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  • Writer's pictureCajvanean C. Alexandru

Logo Design Books Review: Three Designers and Their Published Works



Logo Design Books Review Three Designers and Their Published WorksCajva


I like books from an aesthetic point of view, superb objects with beautifully designed covers, a smell that just takes you through a journey without reading a word and with a small weight that in our hands feels like knowledge and wisdom have quantifiable values such as size, density, and substance. From a spiritual point of view, the content of these books can make a man live more than one life and love more than one love. It’s traveling while staying still and finding things you never searched for.

book illustration by cajva the designer

Books about design are no different. Just because they treat one particular subject doesn’t mean that they don’t hold value or power, in fact, I truly believe that once you understand the underlying principle of one thing, can make you understand all the other things. Because the principle is not in the activity itself, is in all that makes you a master of that activity. Discipline, routine, love for the craft, focus, patience, approach, and the understanding of the essence of one thing apply to every other thing you do in life.


“If you know the way broadly you will see it in everything.” ― Miyamoto Musashi


photo of principle of logo design book

Ah yes, the grids. If there is one thing that comes to my head when I hear the name George Bokhua is the logo grid. I’m a huge admirer of his work and I find his style simple yet sophisticated. His approach to logo design involves grid systems and geometric shapes. I consider his work quintessential in the field of logo design.


George Bokhua’s book called Principle of Logo Design is one of the books on my shelf that I go to the most often. Not for the inspiration but for the written word. His theory and wisdom make the world of logo design be seen from an enlighted perspective. Dare I say, his philosophy on seeing nature and surroundings as simple geometric forms is a thought I entertain most often while I design.


If you want to step up your skills and knowledge in this field game beyond social media post tips and tricks, Principles of Logo Design should be the first thing you are reading as a Logo Designer. His reasoning and his system will wash away all the superficiality you build up over time. With a clear mind and a sharp pencil, the author is a person who might scare you at first due to your own lack of expertise but in time you will get to love him and see him as a complex and deep human being. Besides the technical side of creating logos, he also touches on moral questions such as Copy vs. Imitation and acknowledges the beauty and magic of a result that comes by accident.


The book aesthetic is gorgeous and the graphic design in between the pages is eye candy for designers. Like I said, is one of my go-to books every so often and I keep it at hand. I’m glad the cover is black so it won’t get too dirty from all the use. Unfortunately, is one of those books you need to take and study with a pencil at hand so you can make notes on the side. Fortunately, is one of those books.


Favorite quote: “So as symbol makers, let us view ourselves as adventurers into the unknown, into the past and the future. Even better, as astronomers of imagination on a constant lookout for the places where simple, little beautiful shapes are waiting for us to be recognized, conceived, and made visible. After years of tireless journey in a timeless list of timeless symbols, one day, if we are lucky, we may hit the mark that finds home.”

I know, right?


You can find George Bokhua on Instagram, Behance and Dribbble


photos of made by james book


James Martin is a prolific figure in the graphic design industry on social media. I don’t know when this man has the time to do all that content, do client work, spend time with his family, and sleep. That’s even more the reason to read more about him and understand his path and his way of thinking. James is one of those designers who you think of and their face comes to mind rather than their work. That’s because most of the designers are hiding behind work and rarely show themselves. I know I do.


Dedicated and working, he is a great representation for designers who are aspiring to become well-known in the industry. Leading by example, that’s how I see him. He talks the talk and walks the walk. I do love his personal brand and style. The tattoo style of illustration, the use of black, white, and gold plus the hand lettering are the salt and pepper of his visual identity. The book is a piece of art as well, the print is gorgeous and the gold used there is glorious.


James provides lots of sketches and insights and takes us on a journey of his process just like you would be right there in his office. He is giving you that over-the-shoulder experience we so much crave. The process is explained in detail, and the thinking behind his creation is easy to understand. Chapter four of his book goes on about working with people and I found that so well-written and informative. There is a lot to take in from this book and if anything, by reading it, I felt encouraged to show more of myself out there. Show sketches, providing behind-the-scenes, talking about my design, and writing about my experience is a part of being a designer, there is nothing to be ashamed of or to hide from the world.


The way he treats his readers with so much kindness makes me believe he is a bit hard on himself, at points he is supportive of himself and talks as if he is still forgiving himself for errors. He is achieving great things in our field and this requires all kinds of sacrifices besides his terrific ambition. I do love his personal story and at times I highly relate to him.


Favorite Quote: “A successful career doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to grow into a fully functioning machine of creative awesomeness. It takes time to build a client base, and that is true for everyone. The people you look up to have put in many years of hard work and struggled along the way. They made it because they were patient with themselves."

You can find James Martin on Instagram or on his Website


pgoto of logos taht last by allan peters

You might know Allan Peters just by seeing the gorgeous neon logo sign of his logo. I also would say that he uses a tasty hue of orange which I instantly associate with his image and his brand. His work is superb and he created some iconic logos such as North Stars Logo Proposal, Firecraft Pizza, Jet Financial, and the beautiful identity for the City of Eagan. I personally consider Allan a skillful designer with a versatile timeless style.


His book was published last year and I recognized it instantly on the shelf of my local bookstore. The gorgeous orange hardcover and the texture made me add it to my library. The book gave me a glimpse into his process, his philosophy, and his story of a successful graphic designer. My favorite chapter was chapter 3 where he talks about inspiration hunting and the process of searching for ideas outside of Pinterest, Dribbble, Behance, and Instagram. Every place has its share of graphic design history ready to be discovered and offer inspiration for the creative mind. I love his approach to #badgehunting and the photos he provided made me see how can treasure be right under our noses. Sometimes, we can’t see the fucking forest due to the trees blocking the view. I also share his love for badge designs.


This book was a fun and fast read I might say and that’s what I love about this book, not only does it look like a great piece to be added to a library but the information skips all the blah blah and goes straight to facts. Acta, non verba! Damn, this book looks good on my shelf.


Spoiler Alert

He tells an amazing personal story on page 200. You can truly say that he lives to tell the tale.


My favorite quote: “Finding a good idea is like fishing. The more times you cast your lure, the better chance you have of catching fish. The more fish you catch, the better chance you have of catching a trophy-sized fish. This same logic applies to logo design. The more sketches you draw, the better chance you have of striking gold with a brilliant idea.”

You can find Allan Peters on Instagram, Behance, Dribbble and personal Website


. . .


photo of cajva the designer at his desk

What about other design books?


Of course, I have so many more books on design and I’ve read a bunch more and then some. I wanted this post to touch on the designers who are quite popular in the present and who wrote about it. I believe this is relevant because not only does it depict the design industry as it is right now but offers ways to deal with shortcomings and dealing with obstacles as a young designer. Or I just like what they do and I was biased by my own belief, deal with it. In a way, they are competition, so one must know thy enemy and know his sword. It is all the art of war.

 

“Know your enemy, know his sword.”

Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings


I encourage you to read and draw your own ideas and opinions. I encourage to absorb knowledge but follow your own path and create your own style. As hard as it is, if anything is worth doing, it's worth doing right. Design does not reside in books and internet, design is everywhere including yourself. I got to be a designer mostly by chance and I later found joy in doing this. I agree and disagree with every other artist and designer out there and that's the beauty of it, finding that there is no real answer to how things should be done. It's what makes the process beautiful.


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Send me your recommendation or start a conversation.


I write on this blog almost weekly and you can find details about my graphic design work and get in touch on this website.

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