It may seem almost anachronistic to suggest, but if you are designer, and you want to stay at the top of your game, you do yourself a great disservice if you don’t invest in a few books on the topic.
You may be inclined to dismiss the above with barely a thought. After all, designers live and breathe in the digital world. Their bread and butter come from all things digital. What use are books to people such as these? And while it is true that the internet is the greatest vehicle the world has ever known where free learning is concerned, an actual, honest to God book or two on the subject of your profession can be really helpful.
Forget the fact that a hardcover book is simply a joy to hold, and provides a much needed break from the inevitable eye strain that comes with staring at the monitor all day, but the reality is that authors who take the time to present their ideas in books tend to think them out better and develop their concepts more thoroughly than some of the content you find on the internet.
There’s really no way to know if the blog on visual design you’re looking at has an editorial staff, or is just some random posting by someone who may or may not be good at what he does. With a book, you’re getting a level of guaranteed quality control that you can’t really equate to much of anything online, or at least not anything offered for free.
Books also tend to be written by more esteemed authors and take more care in their research, or at least, it can be fairly said that most books thoroughly and completely document their research, whereas most websites do not. Even if the information is the same, and largely from the same sources, you have no real way of knowing or confirming that, because most websites don’t bother with footnotes (there are exceptions, obviously). Not so with books!
In any case, at the end of the day, if you work in the design field, then you know how quickly things change. Part of your responsibilities as a professional is to keep up with the changes, regardless of the pace of that change, and one of the best ways to do that is to invest in a few design books by true leaders in your field. Absolutely supplement that learning via the web, but don’t sell yourself, or your profession short!
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