I've been inspired by these people and their work:
Reading Tufte's The Visual Display of Quantitative Information shaped the way I approach and think about visual information. Although strongly rooted in the print medium, most of Tufte's observations still apply to the digital context.
Isotype's visual style, ingenious charts, and clever narratives have always been an inspiration for me in my work with data. But only after reading The Transformer, I also appreciated the value of the process that Otto and Marie Neurath established to distill something complex into something playful.
James King and Science Practice
I've been lucky to have James as a friend and a mentor since 2011 when I started working with him at Science Practice. For almost 8 years I've been able to grow beside him as a designer and a leader, learning how to apply a design mindset to so many challenges and domains.
For me — when it comes to articles about product design, UX, and design leadership — the best thing about Medium is the diversity of opinion. My favourite authors include: Intercom, Nikki Anderson, Matt Ström, Matt Griffin, Cassie Kozyrkov, Buster Benson, Thomas P Seager, and the Chan Zuckerberg Science Initiative.
Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky
I wish I had Jake's Design Sprint book when I was a student! Today, whenever I visit my home country to teach a design class at an arts college, I donate a copy of Design Sprint to their library so that new design students can have access to it early on.
Currently, I'm reading their second book: Make Time.
I read Der Mensch und Seine Zeichen in Polish (sadly, no English translation). Frutiger's analysis of the visual language (including typography, iconography, and layout) inspires most of my design work to this day.
I recommend reading Understanding Comics to anyone interested in visual communication. Two things that made a lasting impact on me are McCloud's explanations of image transitions and the "reality—meaning—abstraction" pyramid.
Kevin M. Hoffman
I discovered Kevin's Meeting Design book slightly by accident through a podcast. Although most of Kevin's book is common sense, often things need to be written down to carry the message across and help develop new habits.
R. D. Sinelnikov
I grew up in a family of medical doctors, surrounded by medial handbooks from the earliest years of my life. There was one book in particular that I loved browsing and that for me for the first time brought together the concepts of the life sciences and arts: Sinelnikov's Atlas of Human Anatomy.