Want to buy a gift for a graphic designer (or give someone a hint about what you’d like)? Then check out this list of must-have books.

We don’t want to freak you out, but Christmas is just round the corner. But if you can’t think what to buy a friend, relative or colleague who’s into design, then you’ve come to the right place. Invest in any one of these superlative books on graphic design, and they’ll love you forever. And hey, you might want to pick up one or two for your own enjoyment too.

01. Love Song by Non-Format

An iconic studio for the modern age, Non-Format is a fruitful transatlantic collaboration between Oslo-based Kjell Ekhorn and US-based Brit Jon Forss. This 2007 monograph is packed with awe-inspiring imagery and insight into the duo’s creative process over five years between 1999 and 2003, from advertising work for Coke and Nike to stunning art direction for The Wire magazine.

love song

02. Just My Type by Simon Garfield

Graphic designers are trained to look at type faces, but Garfield’s book will encourage you to look closer. A well chosen font communicates to the reader on an almost subliminal level and it can make (or break) a design.

Just my type

03. Illustration – Play by viction

First up, Illustration – Play has one of the most beautiful, special and intriguing covers you’ll see, each one being individually stickered by hand. This is to echo the explorative approach taken by all of the illustrators featured in the book – looking at new ideas and ways to realise concepts within contemporary illustration. A lovely object.

play by victim

04. Graphics Alive by viction

Exploring the omnipresent power of graphic design and illustration in today’s society, Graphics Alive 2 (the first book is sold out) is not only beautifully designed in itself, but also packed full of highly inspirational T-shirt graphics, shoes, signs, wallpaper and other everyday objects and ephemera that top designers have lent their eye to. An intense, head-hurting experience.

graphics alive

05. The graphic language of Neville Brody

You’ll find this book on the must-read list on every self-respecting graphic design course, and with good reason. Neville Brody may now be president of D&AD and head up Research Studios’ global studio network, but it was arguably his 1980s heyday that had the biggest impact on contemporary graphic design.

First published in 1988, The Graphic Language of Neville Brody explores the thought process behind some of his best-known work, including his genre-defining art direction of The Face magazine.

Neville Brody

The essential guide: Design of the 20th Century by Taschen Books
Art, Interior Design
The essential guide: Design of the 20th Century by Taschen Books
June 6, 2014