I asked some fellow designers to share their summer reading list suggestions. Here are some books that they recommended, along with some of my faves.

PDA Students: I’ve included links to some of these books through the GVPL. *Illume* indicates that the title is available by request through Interlibrary loans


  • The Complete Pattern Directory by Elizabeth Wilhide *Illume*
  • The Pattern Sourcebook: A Century of Surface Design by Drusilla Cole
  • The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones
  • The Grammar of Chinese Ornament by Owen Jones
  • The Grammar of Japanese Ornament by Owen Jones
  • Studies in Design by Christopher Dresser
  • The History of Ornament by A Speltz
  • The Encyclopedia of Ornament by A Racinet
  • The Decorative Art of Arabia, Press D’Avennes
  • Classic Textile Design, Dupont Auberville
  • Pattern Design by Lewis F Day
  • Pattern Design, an Introduction to the Study of Formal Ornament by Archibald H Christie
  • Geometric Patterns from Islamic Art & Architecture by Robert Field
  • Collecting Textiles by Patricia Frost
  • Bitten By Witch Fever, Wallpaper & Arsenic in the Victorian Home by Lucinda Hawksley *Illume*
  • Spectrum, Heritage Patterns and Colors by Ros Byam Shaw *Illume*
  • Pattern Design Secrets: A Guide for Lovers of Art, Craft and Design Who are Wanting to Create Successful Pattern Designs by Rachelle Holowko
  • The V&A Sourcebook of Pattern and Ornament by Amelia Calver
  • Pattern Design: A period design sourcebook by Sian Evans
  • Love Pattern and Colour: The Essential Guide by Charlotte Abrahams
  • Living with Pattern: Colour, Texture and Print at Home by Rebecca Atwood
  • Wallpaper by Zoe Hendon
  • Wallpaper by Michael Lech
  • Crafting Modern Florals: Creating botanical patterns with petals, pencils and paint by Hanna Wendelbo
  • Textile Designs: 200 Years of Patterns for Printed fabrics arranged by Motif, Colour, Period and Design
  • Basics Textile Design: Sourcing Ideas: Researching Colour, Surface, Structure, Texture and Pattern
  • Victoria and Albert Museum Pattern
  • How to French Country, colour and design inspiration from the southwest of France, Sara Silm


  • Everybody Writes, Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley


  • Graphic Artists Guild Handbook, Pricing & Ethical Guidelines 16th Edition
  • Art Inc The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist by Lisa Congdon
  • How to Grow your Small Business by Donald Miller
  • Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller
  • The Fundamentals of Printed Textile Design by Alex Russell
  • Owning it: A creatives guide to copyright, contracts and the law by Sharon Givoni (for sale here)


  • Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The 5am Club by Robin Sharma
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • Finish by John Acuff
  • Ignore everybody and 39 other keys to creativity by Hugh MacLeod

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