Book Club: Readings on Design Standards

by Serious Studio

Here in Serious Studio, we understand the value of having a standard to uphold, whether it is concerning the cleanliness of our desks (it’s a myth that creatives are messy—or is it?), our quality of work, or the quality of our lives. Having standards gives a sense of purpose and pride, ultimately preparing us just in case we reach a whole new level as a branding and design studio.

The most essential and initial step to setting standards is to get out there and take everything in. To know what is best, we must know what is good, okay, and bad. And we find that the quickest way to learn this is to read, so we’ve set up a few references on what a good starting point is for better design foundations and standards.

If we get everyone on the same page (pun intended), we will be able to uphold good design not only in the workplace but ideally and eventually everywhere we go. As emerging leaders and designers of the future, let’s make this our responsibility. You’ll find our recommendations for further reading below:

This holy grail for designers with an addiction to logos is worth buying a strong and dependable shelf for. In this classic, literally heavy-weight book with interesting case studies and biographies, you’ll see how systems are made into logo work, and how there is so much invisible structure in making great things. Like, 6000 of them.

“We stand for the inordinate power of good design in everything we do: designing thoughtfully, responsibly and intelligently…” And shouldn’t we all? This piece of article is helpful for those who feel stuck in their design profession/hobby or who are just in need of an inspirational boost.

Bonus: If you find his book Less but Better, better. Our copy is currently in transit from the UK, and who knows, maybe we’ll write about it some more if it met all our expectations.


This highly recommended reference guide gives branding teams a broader vocabulary and an extensive view of best practices. It helps to refresh your understanding of branding, management, and marketing once in a while. If possible—and trust us on this—this may even be worth sharing with your clients.

We all love Muji. If you have the same sentiments, this book points out why we feel that way by perfectly explaining the value and philosophy of emptiness in design. What a pleasure to read.

Josef Müller-Brockmann’s Grid Systems in Graphic Design

This sounds so basic, but we see so much of designers’ works bypass the basic rules, like grid systems in a design space. We should be testing ourselves on these basic design principles to make sure there is less need for quality assessment down the road.

Read more of the good stuff

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