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Graphic Design: Getting Started

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

These online resources are for quick reference on terms, styles, designers, etc. The databases that you will use for research are under the Finding Articles tab in this Guide.


Here are some examples of handbooks and manuals that describe the fundamentals and best practices of graphic design. The titles listed below are all available electronically; there are additional electronic and print materials that you can find through the Library Catalog.

Background Information

Here are some examples of books that can provide a broad look at the history of graphic design and graphic design theory. There are many other histories of graphic design, both print and electronic, that you can find through the Library Catalog.


Here are some resources to get started in identifying historical designers and designers of renown.

If you are interested in designers from a particular part of the world, trying using a subject search in the Library Catalog. Use the Keyword drop-down book to select Subject. Here are some suggested search terms:

Graphic artists Switzerland

Designers England

For more information on how to search the library is available in the Using the Library Catalog guide.


Jennifer Hanft
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If you have a question or need help you can use the chat window below, call the refererence desk at 703-284-1649 or email us at


If you have a question or need help, you can use the chat window, call the reference desk at 703-284-1649, or email us at 

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