Sure, I’m super proud of the 20 years of design experience and 10 years of being a successful freelancer I have under my belt—sounds pretty legit, right?—but the truth is those years of experience came with tons of mistakes and setbacks.

The books below are handy collections of tips, hard-won wisdom, and general guidelines for what I’ve found works (and doesn’t work) in design and in freelancing. I hope they’ll be a guide for those taking their first steps into these areas and help budding designers and freelancers take a shortcut to success, with fewer tears and ramen meals.

Outrageously good. Few people have Anton’s eye for details. I have hired Anton for several projects ranging from brand strategy, UX/UI makeovers to complete front-end designs. I was deeply impressed by his ability to take an overly complex user interface and make it easy to use in just a few steps. You can easily tell that his decade of acquired knowledge in design and usability makes him stand out among other UX experts.Stefan Helgesson, Strategic Director, Keystone