Top 6 Freelance Design Books

Posted by | August 27, 2014 | Freelance | No Comments

I don’t know about you but I love reading about other freelancers, best practices for freelancers and anything freelance related because I can not only relate, but learn as much as I can about being a freelance designer – sounds almost cultish. So here is a little list of my top picks of freelance books that I own and feel are a great resources for any freelance designer.

#6  The business of design — Balancing creativity and profitability by Keith Granet


To be honest I have not read through cover to cover and refers to a lot of architectural content, but this is a great resource book for freelancers wanting to know more about budgeting, business plans, marketing and strategies of running a firm.

#5  How to Be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul — Adrian Shaughnessy


This book has a in-your-face written style, and I read it in 4 days — which means for me it is a great book. Having great advise on personal attributes, the creative process, pros and cons of freelance, how design has changed over the years and more. Not to mention the interviews at the end. I love this book — Kudos Adrian.

#4  Freelance Design Practice -Don’t Start work without it – Cathy Fishel


This goes over the basics of what a freelancer need to know, great if you are just starting out. Including tips on how to make a profit promoting yourself and samples of freelance work throughout the book. The case studies are a great addition!

#3  The Graphic Design Reference + Specification Book – Poppy Evans + Aaris Sherin


This is not particularly about freelance but one of the best reference books to have. Includes all the ins and outs about print media, trademark standards, abbreviations, reference to international sizes, common fonts, colours proofing methods and more.

#2  Work for Money Design for Love — David Airey


David Airey being a great influence of mine over the last few years I not only felt the book was diving into his personal experiences but made me understand clearly about the most often asked questions in the freelance industry. Take it from David as he seems to have conquered many hurdles of this industry and shared them in ‘Work for Money, Design for Love.’

Drumroll please… #1 Paul Arden’s — It’s not how good you are but how good you want to be.


I probably read this once every few years just to get me back on my toes. It has a hardknox way of telling you you have to be determined and ambitious to achieve great thing, but in the end it is all possible if your heart is in the right place.  Encouraging, insightful and inspirational.


I will be giving away a free copy* of Paul Arden’s best selling book — ‘It’s not how good you are it’s how good you want to be’. Enter the contest by either retweeting ‘Win a copy of Paul Arden’s Book  with    (*Canadian Residence only). Or Sign up for the Avid Creative Newsletter here.

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