Creatives Bookshelf

15+ Best Book Gift Ideas for Creatives

Help your loved ones make you feel seen when they gift you one of these creative books.

Let’s be honest, as creatives, we are the pickiest bunch of hoo haas that ever was. If the typography is lame or the cover design is lacking then forget it! Look forward to getting a gift from those you love instead of half-smiling on the outside while dying on the inside wondering why those we love don’t have a flipping clue what get us?

So share this list of creative books with those you love. There are likely reads you hadn’t heard of but because they are selected by fellow designers who get you, the odds are they will be what you need right now. 

Crystal’s Creative Favorites

I’m going to start with my own creative favourites. (If you happen to pop my husband a little email and let him know for me that would be really appreciated.)

  • All things UPPERCASE (I have to admit here that I have all of her publications. No, seriously, all of them.) Janine is a designer turned publisher so she knows what floats our boat. You would think that after over forty issues of her quarterly magazine that there would be nothing to surprise you. You would be WRONG! Each themed issue is a visual party for any creative. It’s the gift that will always keep giving and will find a place on your creative loved one’s shelf for life. At the price point that is where it is because there is NO Advertising, it makes sense. She makes it easy for your loved one to purchase a gift subscription!  She also has an Encyclopedia of Inspiration series that is packed with art and creativity made by artists around the world.
  • House Industries is another design studio turned publisher, font house, and product developer. Their book The Process is in the Inspiration is worthy of any Creatives’ bookshelf. For those that want to amp up their lettering skills, they should check out  House Industries Lettering Manual.
  • The design chops of Aaron Draplin are legendary. He compiled his history of work into 400 pages of his book, Pretty Much Everything. And it really does have everything.

Our Fearless Leader, Nancy Ruzow, Top 3 Creative Business Books

Enough about me. Time to hear from our fearless leader here at Creatives Roundtable, Nancy Ruzow. She is tough, intelligent, and has a heart as big as the full moon. In that spirit she suggests these business development reads are how your loved ones can show they support you and your creative business endeavours:

More Books to Love from the Creatives Roundtable Community

Now onto members from the Creatives Roundtable. They are a group of dynamic creatives who have been hustling the work from home life since before it became a thing (AKA necessity).

Emma McGoldrick

Emma picked The Secret Lives of Color for its unique storytelling about colour, telling the unusual stories of seventy-five fascinating shades, dyes, and hues. In this book, Kassia St. Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colors and where they come from into a unique study of human civilization.

Cara Capizzi

Cara suggested this behind-the-scenes look at the extraordinary and meticulous design of graphic objects for film sets. Fake Love Letters, Forged Telegrams, and Prison Escape Maps. Although graphic props such as invitations, letters, tickets, and packaging are rarely seen close-up by a cinema audience, they are designed in painstaking detail. Dublin-based designer Annie Atkins invites readers into the creative process behind her intricately designed, rigorously researched, and visually stunning graphic props. These objects may be given just a fleeting moment of screen time, but their authenticity is vital and their role is crucial: to nudge both the actors on set and the audience just that much further into the fictional world of the film.

Wendy Wood

Wendy got all excited and wanted to share her favourites on her desk right now as well as their read status:

Lidia Varesco Racoma

Lidia loves these picks to help her amp up her branding skills and knowledge:

So here is the thing, I sourced all of this insight out of one post in our SLACK community! Imagine having all of these creatives ready and willing to share all they know with you? A new Creatives Roundtable session starts up in the new year, sounds like a great opportunity to join in on the group and connect with new creatives in an appropriately socially distanced way.

Written by Crystal Reynolds

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