40+ Elegant Books for Designers and Math People

30+ Beautiful Books for Designers and Mathematics People

When art and math collide, the results are always mesmerizing and compelling. While mathematicians have been trying to understand the world, designers have expressed the essential mathematical concepts have been for thousands of years.

There are so many books for designers that take the reader on a geometrical journey and show the connection between art, design, and mathematics and a mathematical explanation of how artworks in a way that you can all understand.

Is There Math in Arts and Design?

Mathematicians believe that mathematics is full of beauty and creativity, and they use words such as “elegant” and “beautiful” to describe their favorite proofs. Mathematicians also admire mathematical greats such as Gauss, Euler, and Leibniz for their creative capacities, not just their computational abilities.

Many design concepts, such as symmetry, fractals, and logos, directly relate to mathematical concepts and discoveries. So, if you are an artist or a designer, there is a good chance that you are already incorporating math into your work and may not be doing it consciously.

What Kind of Math is Used in Design?

A good number of graphic design courses include maths skills. For instance, designers should know algebra, calculus, and geometry. As an example, you should watch “The Math Behind Pixar Movies.”

Do Designers Need to Know Math?

Many of these individuals fail to realize that mathematics is integral to design. Concepts such as patterns, symmetry, fractals, ratios, and sequence that are so important to design all have a basis in mathematics.

Can You be a Good Designer Without Math?

A good designer’s works are always well-balanced and attractive. And some of the most fundamental design techniques are rooted in mathematical concepts. However, you may be applying them without even realizing it, and that’s why you can still be a good designer without advanced math knowledge. 

What are the Best Math Books for Designers?

Below we have curated more than thirty math, geometry, and art books for designers. Here is the list of some excellent books for designers and math people.

Mathematics is a fascinating subject that has created a world of inspiration and innovation throughout human history. Yet, to understand the complex world of mathematics, one needs to understand the core principles that govern the subject. In this regard, the legendary book, “The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid,” is one of the most important works ever written in the field of Mathematics.

The book was written in 300 BC, a time when there were no textbooks to learn and understand mathematics. Euclid, the great Greek mathematician, created this masterpiece, which outlined the fundamental principles of mathematics. The book’s influence is apparent in the works of great mathematicians throughout history, including Newton, Descartes, and Einstein. The Elements of Euclid lays the foundation for modern math, and to understand the subject, you must start with this book.

Oliver Byrne was a civil engineer! However, today we know him because of his ‘colored’ book of Euclid’s Elements. He loved Euclid’s Elements and decided to make his own version in the mid-19th century, and his version of Euclids’ Elements considered a masterpiece of Victorian printing. And many thanks to Taschen, we can access Oliver Byrne’s version of Euclid’s Elements!

Oliver Byrne – The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid from TASCHEN is a classic math book for several reasons. Firstly, the book is beautifully designed and it is full of colorful diagrams and illustrations, and each is color-coded to represent different parts of each geometric shape. This makes it easier for readers to understand and visualize complex geometric concepts.

Euclid’s Elements was created to teach logical reasoning skills. Mathematical reasoning encompasses the systematic steps taken to arrive at logical conclusions. The book teaches how to establish connections between basic or self-evident assumptions and, from these connections, to prove or derive everything else within the subject. Reading the book helps to develop logical reasoning patterns that can be applied in different aspects of life.

For mathematics to be effective, it must be communicated accurately and clearly. The book speaks to an unversed individual in math, teaching various concepts step by step with clear writing and concise definitions. This clarity allows for an easy understanding of mathematical concepts, enabling the ability to apply those concepts in different fields.

The Elements of Euclid’s main mathematical concept is plane geometry, which studies point, lines, angles, and corresponding geometric figures. The book teaches how to observe geometric shapes, relationships, and connections carefully. The students become consciously aware of the shapes, sizes, and distances of geometric shapes, enabling them to use geometric principles to solve various mathematical issues. Understanding these concepts develops a geometric mindset, which can be useful in architecture, engineering, science, and technology.

To summarize, Oliver Byrne – The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid from TASCHEN is more than a math book; it’s a piece of art. The visually appealing layouts, fascinating colors, and sketch drawings provide an artistic approach to math. It is a book that you can appreciate for its beauty as well as its educational value. And having a copy of the book is like owning a piece of history. The book is considered to be extremely rare, so being one of the few people to own a copy is something special. There’s something magical about having an artifact that represents mathematical history and knowledge.

Have you ever looked at a plate of pasta and wondered about the mathematical patterns in the shapes? If so, you need to get your hands on Caz Hildebrand’s book, The Geometry of Pasta. This visually stunning book is part cookbook, part math lesson that explores the mathematical shapes and structures behind some of our favorite comfort food.

The Geometry of Pasta by Caz Hildebrand is an amazing book that combines math, art, and food. It is a unique experience that draws you in with its creative story and captivating illustrations. Whether a math person or a book lover, this book has something for everyone.

The Geometry of Pasta is divided into two sections. The first section covers the basics of geometry, explaining why some pasta shapes are better than others for different sauces and flavors. It includes detailed descriptions of the history and evolution of each shape, as well as diagrams to illustrate how they fit together. The second section contains over 50 recipes incorporating these basic geometrical shapes into delicious meals.

Hildebrand’s writing style is light and entertaining. She takes complex concepts like trigonometry and makes them accessible by connecting them to everyday items like spaghetti or penne rigate. The book also provides helpful sidebars that provide additional insight into topics like Italian culture or food science. Combining her knowledge of mathematics with her passion for cooking, Hildebrand has created an engaging story about how humans have used geometry to create flavorful dishes throughout history.

The Geometry of Pasta follows the journey of two friends—Chef Jacob Kenedy and award-winning designer Caz Hildebrand —on their quest to make the perfect pasta dish. From shapes to angles to measurements, this book entertainingly introduces basic geometry concepts. You will love following along as Kenedy and Hildebrand work together on their recipe while learning some mathematical principles.

Another reason The Geometry of Pasta is so special is its beautiful illustrations. Created by award-winning artist Caz Hildebrand, each page features stunning visuals to draw readers in. The black-and-white colors and detailed drawings bring the story to life, making it even more enjoyable for readers.

Whether you are a math person or not, The Geometry of Pasta is a great read for anyone interested in learning more about the geometry or just wanting to have fun with friends! Even if you do not consider yourself a “math person” per se, do not worry – this book inspires and motivates readers!

To summarize, if you want to learn more about geometry or look for an interesting coffee book, look no further than The Geometry of Pasta by Caz Hildebrand! This beautiful book combines math concepts with art and food and will surely become one of your favorite reads! So grab your copy today – you will not regret it!

Eric Broug’s comprehensive guide, “Islamic Geometric Patterns,” explores one of the most mesmerizing facets of Islamic art and architecture. With meticulous attention to the history, technique, and spiritual significance of these patterns, Broug offers both the enthusiast and the novice an opportunity to delve deeper into the complex world of Islamic geometry.

The most striking aspect of “Islamic Geometric Patterns” is how the author demystifies the seemingly inscrutable designs that ornament Islamic landmarks. Broug provides a profound understanding that these stunning patterns aren’t a serendipity but the results of deliberate, skilled craftsmanship. He delves into the methods inherited from generations of ancient masters whose work transcends time, providing continuity in the visual language of Islamic culture.

One does not merely read through this book; one practices and participates in the art form. Broug ensures that technical knowledge is accessible to all, starting from the very basics of drawing foundational shapes with a pencil, ruler, and compass. Readers will appreciate the pedagogical approach that builds from simple structures to more intricate designs, categorized into three tiers of difficulty. Each lesson is a patient unfolding of process and technique, encouraging readers to participate in the act of creation.

Islamic Geometric Patterns” is not confined to theory but offers vivid travel through the Islamic world’s heritage sites. Broug invites readers to virtually wander the corridors of La Mezquita and the Umayyad Mosque, among others, studying their iconic patterns. Alongside over 290 illustrations, these exemplars offer a concrete connection between the artwork on paper and its grand manifestations in stone and tile.

Beyond the mathematical prowess and creative genius lies the universal language of harmony and beauty that transcends cultural barriers. Islamic Geometric Patterns invites readers to connect with a broader human pursuit — the search for meaning expressed through the universal language of art and science.

Islamic Geometric Patterns” by Eric Broug combines educational rigor with aesthetic appreciation, presenting the intricacies of Islamic patterns in a way that is tangible, inclusive, and inspiring. For those interested in Islamic art, geometry, or simply in expanding their creative vocabulary, this book is a treasure trove that promises hours of exploration and a lasting appreciation for the discipline it unfolds. Whether he’s educating the reader’s mind on precision or engaging their heart with beauty, Broug’s work is as precise and captivating as the patterns it decodes.

From the symmetry that appeals to our innate love for order to the spirituality woven into every curve and line, Eric Broug’s book, Islamic Geometric Patterns, is not just an instructional manual; it’s an invitation to partake in a rich heritage that continues to inspire awe and wonder in its admirers. Truly, “Islamic Geometric Patterns” is a laudable fusion of intellectual depth and accessible craft that is certain to delight and educate for years to come.

A complete sheet is devoted to each The Geometry of Type entry, which delves deeply into 100 classical and contemporary typefaces. Characters from each typeface are magnified and annotated to highlight distinguishing traits, anatomical specifics, and the subtler, frequently disregarded components of type design, demonstrating how these characteristics influence mood and readability. The designer and foundry, the year of release, and the various weights and styles that are offered are listed in the sidebar information, and feature boxes explain the history and ideal applications for each typeface, such as whether it is appropriate for running text or as a display font for headlines. The complete character set is displayed, and the best letters for identification are highlighted to assist the reader in identifying each typeface in context. This gorgeous and incredibly useful work of reference for font spotters, designers, and users is a close-up celebration of types and excellent type design.

The sixteenth century was a time of immense change and progress in Europe. Think of the groundbreaking discoveries by Copernicus and the bravery of Martin Luther in his fight against the Catholic Church. This era also saw painters using perspective to create a sense of depth in their artwork and the impact of printing on the spread of knowledge after Gutenberg’s invention of movable type.

During the late fifteenth century, wealthy and educated individuals began collecting and assembling classical texts on mathematics and astronomy. Regiomontanus, a renowned astronomer and mathematician, moved to Nuremberg and established an observatory and printing press. Although he died before his vision could be fully realized, his work marked the beginning of a mathematical rebirth.

The Polyhedrists, based on Andrews’s Harvard thesis, provides valuable insight into the tumultuous sixteenth century through the lens of polyhedra. These geometric shapes served as a bridge between the academic world of mathematics and the practical world of artists and craftsmen. The Polyhedrists is richly illustrated and offers a feast for the eyes. We meet talented artisans and gain a deeper understanding of their craft.

The most famous polyhedra are the five regular solids, known as Platonic solids after their description in Plato’s Timaeus. These shapes are associated with the classical elements and the ethereal universe. Additionally, there are thirteen semi-regular or Archimedean solids credited to Archimedes. Their journey to Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries remains a mystery.

A significant figure in this narrative is Albrecht Dürer, an artist from Nuremberg. Despite lacking a classical education, Dürer’s friendship with the well-connected Willibald Pirckheimer allowed him access to Latin Euclid. He later published a book that provided artists with practical methods for creating precise drawings using ruler and compass. Dürer’s work became a vital link between academia and the world of artisans.

While The Polyhedrists largely provides accurate historical information, there are occasional inaccuracies. The author mistakenly attributes the invention of diagrams in Euclid’s Elements, when they were already present in earlier manuscripts. These diagrams were essential for understanding the text and were not added to improve sales. This distinction should be applied to Luca Pacioli, who enlisted Leonardo da Vinci to illustrate his book.

In conclusion, The Polyhedrists offers a captivating exploration of the interplay between art, mathematics, and society during the sixteenth century. The Polyhedrists serves as a valuable resource for anyone interested in the cultural and intellectual shifts of this era.

A fundamentally new style of thinking is required to tackle today’s difficult problems; this new way of thinking integrates art, technology, and science to boost human creativity and understanding. Future innovators will need to be able to balance their creativity and execution skills, as well as manage complicated issues like pandemics and climate change. The Nexus is the location of this convergence. Julio Mario Ottino and Bruce Mau provide a roadmap for traversing the nexuses of art, technology, and science in this thought-provoking and aesthetically stunning book.

The Nexus combines words and pictures to equip us—both as individuals and as organizations—ready for the opportunities and challenges of the twenty-first century. From the Renaissance, when the domains were one, to the twentieth century, with strong, collaborative creative outpourings from locations as dissimilar as the Bauhaus and Bell Labs, compelling historical examples explain the present. Leaders must be able to understand simplicity in complexity and complexity in simplicity. They must also embrace the potent concept of complementarity, which allows opposing extremes to coexist while expanding our understanding. More than managing is needed for innovation. Leaders create compasses; managers use maps.”

Contemporary visual identities are designed using the Flexible Visual Systems design guidebook guidelines. It offers you a range of ways to develop flexible systems, making them adaptable to any aesthetic or project that requires a different visual language. Learning to build flexible systems is not the same as learning a new craft; rather, it will completely transform how you conceive and carry out your work.

It is a strategy, or method, for designing. If you were to integrate system design into a curriculum, the first course you would take would be the foundation course since it gets you in the appropriate frame of mind. You will be able to employ the systematic approach in any field that you will afterward specialize in, including but not limited to corporate design, communication design, user experience design, and textile design.

The book is broken up into three distinct sections. The first half of this book is a theoretical introduction with a wealth of illustrations and spans 82 pages and explains the past, present, and future of flexible systems. The second half is a hands-on, almost entirely visual discussion of how to construct flexible systems based on form. It begins with a circle and then moves to a triangle, square, pentagon, and hexagon. On a total of 148 pages, there are numerous instruction manuals and examples demonstrating how to utilize them! In the third section, an explanation is given regarding how transformation processes might become adaptable systems for visual identities.

This chapter will be a lot of fun for many different people, especially creative coders, motion designers, and people who love to experiment. The prototypes that you see above don’t even come close to representing the gorgeous production that we have envisioned. We will print the 320 pages on a high bulk paper using three vivid Pantone colors, which cannot be replicated using CMYK or RGB colors, and we will use the Pantone colors. Agpograf in Barcelona, our go-to printer, will handle the printing and binding of the document. Slanted, a publishing house based in Germany will attend to the distribution of the books with the utmost attention to detail and affection.

The natural world has regularities running through it, from the hexagons of a honeycomb to the spirals of a seashell and the branching veins of a leaf, despite the initial impression that it is overwhelming in its richness and complexity. Patterns in Nature explore not only the math and physics but also the beauty and artistry underlying Nature’s awe-inspiring designs, revealing the order at the core of the seemingly chaotic natural world.

In contrast to the patterns we design in technology, architecture, and the arts, natural patterns arise naturally from the forces at work in the physical world. Very often, the same forms of pattern and shape – spirals, stripes, branches, and fractals, say—recur in areas that seem to have nothing in common, as when the striping of a zebra resembles the ripples in windblown sand. That’s because, as Patterns in Nature demonstrates, these patterns can frequently be explained using the same mathematical and scientific concepts at their most fundamental level, demonstrating a startling underlying unity in the natural world’s kaleidoscope. Patterns in Nature uncover the structure at work in enormous and ancient woods, powerful rivers, massing clouds, and coasts carved out by the sea. It is richly illustrated with 250 color images and is supported by readable and enlightening essays by renowned scientific writer Philip Ball.

This breathtaking visual tour illustrates the wonder, beauty, and diversity of natural pattern generation by examining parallels between, for example, a snail shell and the swirling stars of a galaxy or a tree’s branches and a network of rivers.

“Many people are familiar with modernist aesthetics in product design, art, and architecture. We may see remnants of an era of great technological advancement in the soaring glass buildings and minimalist canvases, which confirmed people’s ability to significantly alter their surroundings and break free from traditional norms. The modernism in graphic design that has been distilled is less well-known but no less fascinating.

Jens Müller’s ground-breaking TASCHEN volume examines how modernist ideas and demands gave rise to corporate identity by bringing together about 6,000 trademarks from the 1940s through the 1980s. The comprehensive examination is divided into three design-focused chapters: Geometric, Effect, and Typographic. It includes information on media companies, retail behemoths, airlines, and art galleries. Then, each chapter is broken into sections that are guided by form and style, such as alphabet, overlay, dots, and squares.

The book also includes an essay by R. Roger Remington on modernism and graphic design, an introduction by Jens Müller on the history of logos, and the extensive catalog. A detailed look at the lives and careers of notable individuals like Paul Rand, Yusaku Kamekura, and Anton Stankowski, as well as important projects like Fiat, The Daiei Inc., and the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games, are all included in the book’s eight designer profiles and eight instructive case studies. Logo Modernism is an unmatched resource for graphic designers, advertisers, and branding experts. It is also a fascinating read for anybody with an interest in social, cultural, and business history as well as the undeniable persuasive power of form and image.”

“With previously undisclosed footage, this in-depth look at the beginnings of the legendary, top-selling video game includes the game creator’s own words.

Anyone building something entirely new can relate to Mechner’s story… I can’t wait to read over these journals again with fresh illustrations.” — Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger.

In this one-of-a-kind compilation, the designer of one of the most inventive and successful video games ever provides an honest glimpse into the process.

Before Prince of Persia became a popular video game series and a Disney film, Jordan Mechner developed and programmed an Apple II computer game. Mechner’s open and frank diaries from the time document his journey from his parent’s basement to the top of the rapidly expanding video game industry in the 1980s, as well as the creative, technical, and personal struggles that led to the creation of the prince and ultimately his entry into the homes of millions of people around the world.”

Ali Kaya

Author

Ali Kaya

This is Ali. Bespectacled and mustachioed father, math blogger, and soccer player. I also do consult for global math and science startups.
Ali Kaya

Author

Ali Kaya

This is Ali. Bespectacled and mustachioed father, math blogger, and soccer player. I also do consult for global math and science startups.