20 Useful Free PDF ebooks for Designers and Bloggers

Over the years I have a saved a decent sized library of useful design and blogging related PDF ebooks, I love them. I have voraciously collected them, and all stored on my mobile for whenever the chance of quick read arises. In this post I would like to share my favorite 20 (freely available) ebooks with you.

All of the below books are have been written to be read quickly, they are neither very long nor are they the definitive resource on their specific subject. Having said that, they are all a ‘darn good read’, and well worth downloading. Some of the books may have been written a few years back, but the topics are certainly relevant now.
So if you are a web designer, graphic designer or even a blogger you are bound to find something worth reading in this round-up.

Introduction to Good Usability by Peter Pixel

Introduction to Good Usability by Peter Pixel

This guide is especially handy if you haven’t done a lot of webdesign yet or if you are involved in webdesign but don’t do any of the real work. I hope to shed some light on some common interface elements and mistakes people often make with them.

A lot of books have been written in the past but the threshold for reading them, especially if you have never built a site, is quite big, hence this short guide. This is by no means a complete guide or solid set of rules, but it is definitely a good start.

Introduction to Good Usability →Download the PDF →

Web Accessibility Checklist by Aaron Cannon

Web Accessibility Checklist by Aaron Cannon

Written by Aaron Cannon, blind web developer and accessibility consultant.Aaron explains in his article “The Accessibility Checklist I Vowed I’d Never Write”, that the problems with a “simple checklist that, when followed, will give you an accessible site without fail.” No such checklist exists or likely ever will. He believes that this list is not the perfect solution, nor is it the only solution, but believes it is a good first step, and it gives our developers and designers a place to start from.

Web Accessibility Checklist →Download the PDF →

CSS Systems For Writing Maintainable CSS by Natalie Downe

CSS Systems For Writing Maintainable CSS by Natalie Downe

A CSS System is a reusable set of content-oriented markup patterns and associated CSS created to express a site's individual design. It is the end result of a process that emphasizes up-front planning, loose coupling between CSS and markup, pre-empting browser bugs and overall robustness. It also incorporates a shared vocabulary for developers to communicate the intent of the code.

This ebook elaborates on this concept, and also describes a number of tricks used to preempt maintainability issues.

CSS Systems For Writing Maintainable CSS →Download the PDF →

Better CSS Font Stacks by Nathan Ford

Better CSS Font Stacks by Nathan Ford

Better CSS Font Stacks →Download the PDF →

Faster, and More Secure Webfonts by Bram Pitoyo

Faster, and More Secure Webfonts by Bram Pitoyo

Font embedding for the web is a great step in making the web look better and become more functional, but what about security and load times?
Bram Pitoyo’s ebook takes the top layer off font embedding and shows us how things work, and ultimately how to improve performance and make it more secure.

Faster, and More Secure Webfonts →Download the PDF →

Type Classification eBook by Jacob Cass

Type Classification eBook by Jacob Cass

This book has been made to help you learn the 10 broad classifications of type. These are the basic foundations of what you need to learn to learn typography and it is essential for any designer to know how to classify type. This book goes through the 10 type classifications with a brief history as well as the key characteristics of each.

Type Classification eBook →Download the PDF →

HTML5 Quick Learning Guide by freehtml5templates.com

HTML5 Quick Learning Guide by freehtml5templates.com

This guide introduces you to just the main elements of HTML5 that you’ll probably want to use right away. This guide is for those who want to get the basics figured out first, and worry about the finer details later on.

HTML5 Quick Learning Guide →Download the PDF →

The Woork Handbook by Antonio Lupetti

The Woork Handbook by Antonio Lupetti

The Woork Handbook is a free eBook about CSS, HTML, Ajax, web programming, Mootools, Scriptaculous and other general topics about web design.

The Woork Handbook →Download the PDF →

Web Font User Guide by FontShop

Web Font User Guide by FontShop

This Web FontFont User Guide contains information aimed at web developers, system administrators and website visitors.

Section B is for web developers, showing how to get started using Web FontFonts for display on your website. Section C contains information for system administrators about which configuration changes may be necessary to successfully serve webfonts from your web server and, finally, section D outlines some issues visitors of your website may experience in connection to webfonts and may assist site owners in answering webfont-related support requests.

Web Font User Guide →Download the PDF →

Typo Tips – Seven Rules for Better Typography by Erik Spiekermann

Typo Tips - Seven Rules for Better Typography by Erik Spiekermann

Typo Tips – Seven Rules for Better Typography →Download the PDF →

How to Start a Business Blog by Michael Martine

How to Start a Business Blog by Michael Martine

How to Start a Business Blog, by Michael Martine, is a step-by-step-guide to help you plan, set-up, and create content for a business blog.

How to Start a Business Blog →Download the PDF →

Forty’s Pocket Guide to SEO by Forty

Forty's Pocket Guide to SEO by Forty

Pocket Guide to SEO contains everything you could want to know about SEO. Buried deep inside its pages you’ll find tips, tricks, general information about search engines, and how you can make them work for you – in a completely ethical way, of course.

Forty’s Pocket Guide to SEO →Download the PDF →

Why design? by AIGA

Why design? by AIGA

The “Why design?” booklet outlines the role of design in business strategy. It seeks a common framework for why design adds value to clients’ interests. It defines the power of Designing, a larger concept that includes strategy as well as artifacts across a variety of disciplines.

Why design? →Download the PDF →

The Design Funnel: A Manifesto for Meaningful Design by Stephen Hay

The Design Funnel: A Manifesto for Meaningful Design by Stephen Hay

From the authour of this manifesto, Stephen Hay: "Would you like a process which would help translate the often vague, unclear wishes of your clients (and yourself, for that matter) into a clear and solid basis for your design? This manifesto will show you how."

The Design Funnel: A Manifesto for Meaningful Design →Download the PDF →

How To Be Creative by Hugh MacLeod

How To Be Creative by Hugh MacLeod

Written by HughMacLeod, an advertising executive and popular blogger with a flair for the creative. He offers his 26 tried-and-true tips for being truly creative with each point being illustrated by a cartoon drawn by the author himself.

How To Be Creative →Download the PDF →

Time Management for Creative People by Mark McGuinness

Time Management for Creative People by Mark McGuinness

Time Management for Creative People →Download the PDF →

Who's There? by Seth Godin

Who's There? by Seth Godin

Who's There is not an ebook about how to write better or how to follow the traditional conventions about formatting and building a blog. Instead, he talks about how building a blog asset can have a spectacular impact on you, your career, your organization and your ideas.

Who's There? →Download the PDF →

A Concise Guide to Archiving for Designers by Karin van der Heiden

A Concise Guide to Archiving for Designers by Karin van der Heiden

AIGA worked with the Dutch Archives for Graphic Designers (NAGO) in the Netherlands to publish an English version of A Concise Guide to Archiving for Designers. The guide provides designers with the proper ways to store and describe their collections in 10 short chapters.

A Concise Guide to Archiving for Designers →Download the PDF →

Guerrilla Freelancing by Mike Smith

Guerrilla Freelancing by Mike Smith

Guerrilla Freelancing →Download the PDF →

KnockKnock by Seth Godin

KnockKnock by Seth Godin

KnockKnock →Download the PDF →

Author: (588 Posts)

Paul Andrew is the editor and founder of Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Comments