Material you need for preparation


Here is beginner’s guide on how to start preparing for any design exam, following are the things you should buy, to begin with, most of these things you can get at your local stationery shop else you can get it cheaper online by clicking these Amazon link.

These products are long-term investment and will help you in college and job as well 🙂 so even if it feels expensive don’t compromise on quality and buy for long-term success.

MANORAMA YEAR BOOK – for General Knowledge Questions

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this book is enough to prepare for design exam GK questions. read it word by word 3 times before the exam.

The Big Book of Brain Games: 1000 PlayThinks of Art, Mathematics and Science


The Big Book of Brain Games: 1000 PlayThinks of Art, Mathematics and Science is a collection of puzzles, teasers and games. It challenges the readers to exercise their brain in innovative ways. Designed by puzzler, Ivan Moscovich, the book has a collection of brain-teasers and can satisfy anyone from the novice to the most ardent and experienced puzzle addict. Key Features:

  • Each puzzle has been rated on the order of difficulty, on a scale from 1 to 10.
  • Indices at the back interconnect many of these puzzles through cross-references.
  • The book provides full solutions to all the puzzles, to enable the reader to check the accuracy of their own answers and to find solutions for the puzzles they are unable to solve.

The Complete Book of Intelligence Tests: 500 Exercises to Improve, Upgrade and Enhance Your Mind Strength


This engaging book offers readers the ultimate in calisthenics for the brain. Using the same fun, informative, and accessible style that have made his previous books so popular, Philip Carter helps people identify mental strengths and weaknesses, and provides methods for improving memory, boosting creativity, and tuning in to emotional intelligence. Featuring never–before–published tests designed specifically for this book, plus answers for all questions, this latest treasure trove from a MENSA puzzle editor outlines a fun, challenging program for significantly enhancing performance in all areas of intelligence.

Universal Principles of Design


Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated is a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary encyclopedia of design. Richly illustrated and easy to navigate, it pairs clear explanations of every design concept with visual examples of the concepts applied in practice. From the “80/20” rule to chunking, from baby-face bias to Occam’s razor, and from self-similarity to storytelling, every major design concept is defined and illustrated for readers to expand their knowledge.

This landmark reference will become the standard for designers, engineers, architects, and students who seek to broaden and improve their design expertise.


NIFT preparation cover all ( GAT, CAT, MAT, SITUATION Test )

nift book

The Design of Everyday Things

This book is a must-read for all design aspirants, it’s a basic introduction to the world of design and how should you look at things as a designer.


Logical Reasoning books by RS Aggarwal


Creative Workshop


Within these pages, you’ll find 80 creative challenges that will help you achieve a breadth of stronger design solutions, in various media, within any set time period. Exercises range from creating a typeface in an hour to designing a paper robot in an afternoon to designing web pages and other interactive experiences. Each exercise includes compelling visual solutions from other designers and background stories to help you increase your capacity to innovate.

Art Education by Gautam Roy

art education

Drawing for absolute beginners

Learn all you need to know about getting started in sketching and drawing including materials, basic techniques and perspective. Al, o includes a glossary of common art terms. The Absolute Beginner series will inspire anyone who wants to make art to create realistic artwork for any subject, including still life, landscapes, animals and people.


The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Taking Photos Like a Pro


If you can press a button, you can take great pictures. It’s as simple as that. In BetterPhoto Basics, Jim Miotke, founder of the popular online photography school, shares tips and tricks to improve your photos right away, no matter what camera you’re using. Too busy to read a book? No problem—flip to any page for an instant tip to use right away! Learn to compose knockout shots, make the most of indoor and outdoor light, and photograph twenty popular subjects, from sunsets and flowers to a family portrait. Those who want to go further get tips on controlling exposure and the secrets behind ten advanced creative techniques.

And everyone will appreciate Jim’s breakdown of easy fixes to make in Photoshop.        No matter what your level of experience, you’ll be amazed how easy it is to start taking photos like the pros.

Creative Writing: A Beginner’s Manual

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The book guides the reader through every stage of the writing process. The authors demonstrate the flexibility of English that allows it to express a multitude of cultural identities and encourage the students/readers to use the language assertively to      express their ideas

How to Read Better and Faster

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Reading is a vital skill considered mandatory for improving knowledge and enhancing wisdom. However, like other skills, the skill of reading can also be improved and honed to maximize the benefits.

The book, ‘How to Read Better and Faster’ provides its readers various techniques on how to improve reading and also discusses different aspects in detail.

Copier paper for sketching and drawing

This a 100 gms paper, thicker than your regular photocopy ( 75 gsm ) paper for better quality of sketch and colouring, you can also do light water/ink colouring on this like calligraphy and hand lettering.

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Colour Pencils for all the colour based assignments

This set of 24 colours is enough for preparation, you can buy 48 colours set also if you want, these are water soluble pencils so you can do water colour effect also.

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prisma color

Caran D Ache (the most high end)



A good set of sketching pencils 

Like STAEDTLER  box with different grades of pencils to help you do fine line drawing, shading and texturing  etc based on the type of question and type of task.

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and this is how you can practice using these materials,

If you already have a computer at home, buy a good digital pen tablet like One by Wacom Graphic Pen Tablet this  will help you a lot in the final portfolio preparation and also in design career ahead, this product last for 5-6 year easily so its a very good long term investment.

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check this video to see what all you can do with a Wacom Tablet

Creative games like Tangrams and LEGO BRICKS for solving visual reasoning questions in fun way.

this game is very affordable and will help you a lot for other reasoning questions as well.

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Lego Medium Creative Bricks (Multi Colour) for solving 3D visual reasoning questions in fun way and easy way.

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Micron Pens are great for graphic and illustration work, it triggers your creativity to new levels if you are into doodling and line art these pens will impress you.

Sakura Manga Comic Kit

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micron workpen work

Calligraphy Dip Pen Set

Exploring Lettering and Typography is very important for graphic designers.


You should also try some craft work along with reading and sketching to help you prepare for studio test, so here are some tools and materials you can buy for that.

Quilling Tools Kit

Quilling is a very good way to create beautiful craft work with paper, very good tool to learn material handling for studio tests.Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 1.53.19 PM

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Foam sheet with different colour, A4 size, 2mm Thickness

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General Purpose Colour Paper, 80 GSM (Pack of 100)

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Thick Beautiful Pattern Design Printed Papers for Art n Craft, Set of 40 

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Precision paper cutter – Detailing Knife

This detailing knife helps a lot in precise paper craft work and its easy to use over regular cutter or scissors.

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detail knife

Cutting Mat

Cutting Mat is very helpful for safe and precise cutting because of the marking grids, very useful for high quality craft work.

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Artists’ Human Manikin – Male or Female 12 inch height

If you are preparing for FASHION DESIGN OR ANIMATION DESIGN OR want to improve on human figure drawings, This Manikin will help you a lot in understanding and drawing correct proportions from various angles, its very good for daily practice and inspiration for figure in motion.

just by daily looking at it for 5 minutes (observing size and proportions ) you can improve a lot on your figure sketching in a month’s time.



Colour Wheel 

This is very helpful in the beginning to understand the colours, how to do matching and make things look better with each other, very helpful for industrial, fashion and visual communication students.


I think this is enough to begin with and inspire you, i will keep adding more to this list as and when i find something useful for you guys 🙂

All the best !


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