Today we have an awesome gift guide full of hand picked goodies for illustrators and designers. We've put together a great list of books (and some gifts) that will give you a ton of inspiration and the professional edge to help you start 2013 with a bolt of creative energy! Make sure to link this post on Twitter, Facebook and G+ – you never know – a friend or two may take it as a hint.
Adobe Master Class: Illustrator by Sharon Milne
Our very own associate editor, Sharon Milne has not only been busy writing tutorials and bringing you inspirational community projects all year, she has also been hard at work putting together a book for Adobe Press!
This book features an inspiring collection of innovative Illustrator artists and their amazing artwork. The illustrations represent a mix of techniques and styles and are field-defining works that demonstrate technical excellence and awe-inspiring aesthetics.
Rockstar Icon Designer by Kate McInnes
If icons are more your thing, Vectortuts+ Editor Kate McInnes, has written the perfect book for you.
During the course of this book, she shares her experiences in the field of icon design. Takes a look at rendering styles and ways to achieve them, and the many uses for icons today. This book won't teach you how to emulate others. It won't focus heavily on one OS over another; nor will it turn you into a master overnight. Instead it will help you create designs that will stand up to the test of time and help you better understand the constraints (and the joys) of pixel perfect rendering and icon design in general.
Looking to brush up on your Adobe Illustrator skills? Adobe Illustrator CS6 Classroom in a Book is a great addition to any library (and it's in a digital version too!) In addition to learning the key elements of the Illustrator interface, this completely revised CS6 edition covers the new tracing engine, the pattern toolset and more.
Mastering Adobe InDesign can be a challenge, but once you do, it's one of the most rewarding skills you can have. This completely revised CS6 edition covers the new tools for adding PDF form fields, linking content, and creating alternative layouts for digital publishing. The companion CD includes all the lesson files that readers need to work along with the book. If you're not a fan of print, this book has a digital edition too!
Illustration & Drawing Skills
Illustration Now! Portraits by Julius Wiedemann
Illustration Now! Portraits is packed full of inspiration for aspiring portrait illustrators. This book gathers together the exclusive portrait work of over 80 illustrators from all over the world, including Aaron Jasinski, Alex Gross, André Carrilho, Andrea Wicklund, and Anita Kunz.
Illustrators Unlimited: The Essence of Contemporary Illustration by R. Klanten & H. Hellige
As all illustrators know, there's a million ways to draw an object. If you're looking for a fresh perspective on illustration, Illustrators Unlimited: The Essence of Contemporary Illustration features creative work from established illustrators and new talent from around the world.
Fashion Illustration: Inspiration and Technique by Anna Kiper
Would you like to try your hand at fashion illustration? This book is a great guide. Covering topics such as, how to draw bodies, the best way to draw hands and composing the perfect pose, Fashion Illustration: Inspiration and Technique is a great book for illustrators who work with digital or traditional mediums.
Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills by David Sherwin
This is a boot camp for design in book form! With 80 creative challenges, this book will test your design skills and help you become more professional, creative and organized. 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. Can't wait to get started?! It's also an e-book!
100 Ideas that Changed Graphic Design by Steven Heller
Are you interested in the origins of design? This is a book has 100 answers. 100 Ideas that Changed Graphic Design has entries that are arranged in chronological order, ranging from overprinting, rub-on designs and swashes on caps to loud typography, white space and pixelation.
Custom Lettering of the 60s & 70s by Rian Hughes
I love lettering, I can't get enough of it. When I saw this book of custom lettering from the 60's and 70's, I had to own it! Rian Hughes, an award-winning graphic designer, illustrator, comic artist, logo designer and typographer, has put together 4,500 examples of inspiring hand-lettered fonts from the 60s and 70s. 4,500! I'm in lettering heaven... There's also a companion to this book with lettering from the 40's and 50's!
Business and Freelance
Marketing Illustration: New Venues, New Styles, New Methods by Marshall Arisman & Steven Heller
Looking to start the new year in a business frame of mind? Marketing Illustration: New Venues, New Styles, New Methods is a great book for you. Fifty working illustrators, including such top names as Christoph Niemann, Alex Murawski, Jashar Awan, Yuko Shimuzo, and Tomer Hanuka, share insights on the illustration industry and how to make it work for you.
Illustrating Children's Picture Books: Tutorials, Case Studies, Know-How, Inspiration by Steve Withrow & Lesley Breen Withrow
Children's books are one of the most competitive forms of illustration and writing. Illustrating Children's Picture Books: Tutorials, Case Studies, Know-How, Inspiration sets out to give the reader an insight into the industry and arms them with everything they need to know about layout, style, writing and publishing. If your new years resolution is to create a childrens book, this is a must have for your library.
Do you love your wacom but wish you could sketch with it while your out and about? The Wacom Inkling is the answer. The Inkling lets you sketch your ideas on standard paper or sketchbooks and captures a digital likeness of your sketch. It exports to JPG, BMP, TIFF, PNG, SVG and PDF, so no matter what program you use, you can take your sketches from paper to screen.
Do you know someone who finds it hard to remember all of the shortcuts from Adobe Illustrator? They might need these. The Adobe Illustrator Keyboard Sticker Set is printed on the sticky side so you won't smudge the design.
Looking for style, productivity and a splash of color? The Pantone engagement calendar ticks all the boxes!
Pantone: 50 Shades of Gray Flexi Journal by Pantone
Last year we speculated that Pantone wanted you to work over time with Pantone toothbrushes, chairs and espresso gift sets. This year we have Pantone lip gloss, fake eyelashes and a 50 Shades of Grey journal design. It's clearly the year for looking good and being cheeky. Happy Holidays from Vectortuts+!
From the Editors of Vectortuts+
Adobe Illustrator & InDesign
Vector Basic Training: A Systematic Creative Process for Building Precision Vector Artwork (Voices That Matter) by Von Glitschka
The perfect gift for vector illustrators of all skill levels. Von Glitschka will show you how to create elegant curves and precise anchor points for your designs and teach the very best ways to make professional illustrations using Adobe Illustrator. This book also comes with a DVD!
For the Office