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InsightOct 17, 2023

Design books gift guide 2023 - part II

The RGD Book Club has curated a gift guide of design books that will not only establish you as the gifting champion but also elevate your recipient's creative soul.

Whether they're a seasoned architect, a typography fanatic, an aspiring illustrator, a digital-savvy creative, or simply someone with an eye for aesthetics, we've got you covered.

In this design-centric era, books have transformed their roles as more than mere reading materials; they've evolved into works of art themselves. Our thoughtfully selected collection of design books goes beyond pretty covers and coffee table decorations. These are gateways to worlds of inspiration, innovation, and imagination.

Click here for part I of design Books gift guide.

For the fun illustrators

Game Changers: The Video Game Revolution book cover

Game Changers: The Video Game Revolution

By Phaidon Editors

Phaidon, October 2023

The global video game market size is estimated at USD 217.06 billion in 2022 and it’s only expected to grow. With advancements in marketing and technology, gaming culture has grown from a small niche hobby into a global phenomenon, with mega impacts on popular culture. Game Changers, featuring an A–Z listing of 300 video game entries, showcases this evolution by sharing historical and informative insights into each of the selected games. If you’re into gaming, this is a must-read.

Sign Painting: A practical guide to tools, materials, and techniques book cover

Sign Painting: A practical guide to tools, materials, and techniques

By Mike Meyer

Quercus, May 2021

Sign Painting is a comprehensive beginner’s guide to the art of sign painting. Mike begins by detailing out his three D’s to success: Desire, Dedication, and Discipline. The book then delves deep into tools, tips, and techniques of the trade. Peppered amongst these helpful nuggets of information are detailed instructional illustrations that bring the learning to life. The book ends by offering a slew of inspiration in the form of sample letters and artist profiles. This book is both informative and a source of inspiration for those looking to start sign painting or those curious about the technicalities of the craft.

The Illustrator: The Best from around the World book cover

The Illustrator: The Best from around the World

By Julius Wiedemann

Taschen, July 2023

The Illustrator is an artistic book, a gallery of imagination that transforms boundaries. This book celebrates the world's finest illustrators, exposing their diverse styles and inspirations. From evocative visuals to bold narratives, it's vibrant with creativity all around. Each page breathes life into a new story, inviting you to explore the boundless world of illustration. Whether you're an artist or simply a lover of beauty, The Illustrator is an inspiring work that will ignite your own creative spark.

Nicolas Party book cover

Nicolas Party

By Stéphane Aquin

Phaidon, February 2022

This monograph features the work of critically acclaimed Swiss-born artist Nicolas Party. It is filled with 200 lavish illustrations and an in-depth interview between Nicolas and Stéphane Aquin, the Director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Their conversational tone throughout the interview allows the reader to immerse themselves in Nicolas' process, history, and story. The interview depicts how influences from Party's early years, his participation in graffiti subcultures, and his education as a fine artist have all amalgamated to create his distinct illustrative style. This is a must-buy for those interested in in-depth illustrative processes.

A Home for Every Plant: Wonders of the Botanical World book cover

A Home for Every Plant: Wonders of the Botanical World

By Matthew Biggs

Phaidon, May 2023

Through A Home for Every Plant, take an adventurous tour on a horticultural odyssey and the enchanting world of flora. With detailed, vibrant illustrations, Biggs reveals the diverse world of plants. From lush urban jungles to minimalist succulent havens and colorful gardens, this book exalts the limitless ways nature flourishes, both indoors and out. As an added bouquet to this book, "Flowers," a chapter of blooming brilliance, adds fragrance and color to this rich narrative. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a budding botanist, this book inspires you to create your own green oasis.

For the digital savvy

User Experience Design: An Introduction to Creating Digital Spaces book cover

User Experience Design: An Introduction to Creating Digital Spaces

If you are a digital designer wanting to know how to create the best online spaces in our ever-evolving technological world, Mark’s User Experience Design case studies are your best bet. Learn how to approach each project while examining some of the most used design approaches and how to harness these to create engaging solutions and exciting products for end-users.

Universal Principles of UX book cover

Universal Principles of UX

By Irene Pereyra

Rockport Publishers, March 2023

Universal Principles of UX serves as a compass, expertly navigating the intricate world of user experience design. Irene's clarity and expertise unlock the secrets behind exceptional UX, unraveling the art and science of crafting digital user experiences. From empathy-driven interfaces to the fusion of form and function, this book reveals the principles constructing effortlessly navigable user journeys. Irene's insight becomes your treasure map, guiding you to create not merely usable but exceptionally concise digital experiences. It's a must-read for UX explorers embarking on their quest for digital literacy.

Designing Human-Centric AI Experiences book cover

Designing Human-Centric AI Experiences

By Akshay Kore

Apress, August 2022

Designing Human-Centric AI Experiences is a guide for any user experience researcher or practitioner interested in integrating AI into their repertoire. Akshay's learnings come from his own experience working in large AI-centric teams, and the book serves as a distillation of all he's learned. The book is divided into four main sections. First, Akshay begins by providing foundational knowledge about AI as a conceptual framework. He then offers insights on how AI can be incorporated into existing workflows to optimize organizational performance. The later parts of the book focus on the design process and how to work within AI-centric teams as a designer.

How to Land in the Metaverse book cover

How to Land in the Metaverse

By Harry Nuriev

Rizzoli, April 2023

A treat for those who are obsessed with interior design and/or Crosby Studios, founded in 2014 by Harry. With the studio’s instantly recognizable pieces, it’s no wonder that they have dived into the digital realm and are leading the charge in the metaverse revolution. How to Land in the Metaverse showcases Crosby Studios’ most popular interiors and newest spaces, which include plenty of private residences and commercial venues, as well as specific and super funky creations specifically designed for the metaverse. As this world continues to grow, beautifully designed spaces are more important than ever.

Interfaces and Us: User Experience Design and the Making of the Computable Subject book cover

Interfaces and Us: User Experience Design and the Making of the Computable Subject

By Zachary Kaiser

Bloomsbury Publishing, February 2023

In Interfaces and Us, Zachary adds to the discourse of user experience and user interface design by asking the reader to consider that the interface is more than just a neutral object or a thing. He argues throughout the book and through various case studies of popular technological apps and devices that the interface is a historically embedded construct of ideas and assumptions people have about themselves and the world around them. The interface, therefore, can influence everyday life and shape behavior, which in turn has far-reaching effects on how designers influence broader society and culture.

Stay tuned for Part III on book for Creative Inspiration!

The Design Books Gift Guide 2023 is lovingly assembled by The RGD Book Club committee, a trio of passionate bibliophiles and dedicated writers, volunteering diligently to ignite your creativity.

Written by:

Literary Maven: Esther Sunghee Byun RGD

Bibliophile Dynamo: Bianca Jozwiak


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