A Look Inside the Sketchbooks of 12 Top Designers [Slideshow]

If you peek inside a sketchbook of a designer, you can see the birth of their ideas: everything from corporate communications to hand-screened posters, beginning life as wandering doodles. But sketchbooks are usually private affairs; you only see inside them at the personal invitation for the designer himself. That’s why Graphic: Inside the Sketchbooks of the World’s Great Graphic Designers (The Monacelli Press) is such an exciting new book: It’s like a exclusive journey inside the brains of the greatest design minds working today.

Authors Steven Heller and Lita Talarico take us inside the sketchbooks of top designers like Milton Glaser, Michael Bierut, and Stefan Sagmeister, showing the intriguing evolution of familiar logos, typefaces, and book covers. Some designers use their sketchbooks as creative outlets for their over-computerized lives, making room for the painting and drawing their design work doesn’t require. And many of these sketchbooks also serve as journals for the designers’ daily life, so we get to see activities like meals and vacations documented as beautifully as future design projects.

It’s also a treat to see how and where designers like to sketch. Some use fancy hard-bound Moleskines, some swear by cheap drugstore spiral-bound notebook. Some designers create collages made from found objects, others have a ritualistic dedication to using the same type of pen. But no matter how designers choose to use their sketchbooks, each page tells a fascinating story about the creative process. Graphic proves that a fresh sheet of notebook paper is destined to become a work of art when placed in the right designer’s hands.

All images copyright their designers, courtesy of The Monacelli PressAW