Cover Me Christmas: Books I Want To Get (or Give) for the Holidays

It’s the holiday season again and we’re thinking of family and food, holidays and celebrations. Book people, as we know, love to receive books, and the handsomer the package the better.
So we are asked ABDA members the question: “What books do you want to get and give because of how it looks?” Here are their responses.


Tess McCabe

Tess McCabe, Designer and Director, Creative Minds Publishing

The book I would like to getIndoor Green: Living with Plants, designed by Darren Sylvester
Because even if my resolution to keep more house plants (alive) in 2016 doesn’t take hold, I’ll at least have something beautiful to look at (paper is technically a plant, right?)

The book I would like to give: A River, designed by Marc Martin and Bruno Herfst
Because when you have to read as many kids books as I do over and over and over again, it helps when it’s a really good-looking one.


Rob Klinkhamer

Rob Klinkhamer, Freelance Book Designer

The book I would like to get: Graphique de la Rue, designed by Louise Fili 
A gorgeous book, curated impeccably for type lovers.

The book I would like to give:  Imbibe!
A great read about that great American invention – the cocktail, and with added recipes. Lovely design with period illustrations.


Mark Campbell

Mark Campbell, Design Manager, Hardie Grant Books

The book I would like to get: Nanban, designed by Charlotte Heal
I love the crop of the bowl on the cover, and the cursive font used for the title and throughout the book as headings. It’s also such clean, minimal design, with a nod to contemporary typefaces and Japanese character formations also. The clear spine, where you can see the F&Gs and binding, is pretty special too.

The book I would like to give:  The Terrace House, designed by South South West
I love the cover – it’s like the terrace is glowing/illuminated in an other-worldy way. The copper foil and graining are a really sophisticated, but minimal addition that has not gone unnoticed. The internals by SouthSouthWest play with space, composition and type in a really balanced and calming way too. It’s the perfect present for someone looking for house inspiration, or who wants to better appreciate Australian architecture and the iconic nature of the Victorian terrace in our cities.


Susan Hardjono

Susan Hardjono, Senior Designer, Smudge Publishing

The book I would like to get: The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook, designed by Walter Green
As a Lucky Peach reader and fan of Chris Ying, this is on my list as cookbook/memoir to read over the Christmas break. I haven’t been to this NYC restaurant, but have heard lots about it and I’ll be able to recreate the food at home.

The book I would like to give: The Kaufmann Mercantile Guide: How to Split Wood, Shuck an Oyster and Master Other Simple Pleasures, designed by Paul Wagner
The simplicity of the text treatment and the title really appeals to me – who wouldn’t want to master many of life’s simple pleasures?


WH Chong

W.H. Chong, Design Director, Text Publishing

The book I would like to get: Portraits: John Berger on Artists, designed by Everything Studio
Gorgeous little linen-cased hardback with colour illustrations of portraits across history (and not the usual suspects).

The book I would like to give: The Twenty First Century Art Book by Phaidon, designed by Studio Philippe Apeloig
Spectacular inside and out and now marked at $10! Which arty friend could resist?


Sue Dani OUP

Sue Dani, Design Manager, Oxford University Press

The book I would like to get: Avant-garde Graphics in Russia, designed by Reiko Harajo
A beautiful combination of typography, illustration and collage across s wide range of items from propaganda posters to textiles.

The book I would like to give: Conversations with Creative women Volume 2, designed by Tess McCabe
Inspiring, down-to-earth creative women speak.
Simon Barnard
Simon Barnard, Author and Illustrator

The book I would like to get: Michael Howe: The Last and Worst of the Bushrangers of Van Diemen’s Land, designed by Andrew Bent
This is pegged as the first book of general literature published in Australia. It was produced by Andrew Bent (transported for burglary) and details the exploits of Michael Howe (transported for highway robbery). Last I heard, only three copies of this book are extant. Rarer still, is a journal attributed to Howe. Penned in kangaroo blood on kangaroo hide, it is purported to have contained Howe’s dreams, nightmares, and the names of vegetables and flowers he wanted to grow. Its whereabouts remains unknown.

The book I would like to give: Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia, designed by Peter Long and One Minute’s Silence, designed by Sandra Nobes
A tie. The cover of Girt nails the title and author David Hunt’s approach to his subject matter. It’s funny and pretty and a little frightening. In One Minute’s Silence, illustrator Michael Camilleri detonates a teardrop. I expect his work will haunt children well into adulthood.


Analiese Cairis, Senior Designer, Art Gallery of NSW

The book I would like to get and give: Matthys Gerber Catalogue, designed by Fabio Ongarato
This is really a perfect art catalogue – stunning design from Fabio Ongarato, bold placement of images, great cover (foil etc) with a bright orange slip case. Matches Matthys’s work brilliantly.


Sandy Cull

Sandy Cull, Freelance Book Designer, gogoGingko

The book I would like to get: The Book of Strange New Things, designed by Rafaela Romaya
It’s been out for a long time now but every time I see it I love it, still. And I have only read a few short stories by Michael Faber, but would love to read more, given time.

The book I would like to give: Fates and Furies, designed by Suzanne Dean 
Reviews have been fab.
Josh Durham

Josh Durham, Freelance Book Designer, Design by Committee

The book I would like to get: The Book Cover in the Weimar Republic
Can you ever have enough book design books? By all reports this one is a ripper.

The book I would like to give: Floating Horizon, designed by Chris Guest
It’s a beautiful 10 metre, totally illustrated concertina folded book designed by fellow Castlemainian Chris Guest. Watch the book trailer.


Kare Martens

Kåre Martens, Art Director, Handverk

The book I would like to get: The Huxtaburger Book, designed by A Friend of Mine (Suzy Tuxen and Cassie Brock)
Loved the yummy art direction in general as well as the delicious little pop-up feature on the inside.

The book I would like to give: Julefortellinger (Christmas stories)
Because it has the best classical Christmas stories in it (Leo Tolstoj, H.C. Andersen etc) . . . and the cover is OK too (and designed by us at Handverk).


Zoe Sadokierski

Zoë Sadokierski, Designer and Lecturer

The book I would like to get: The Penguin Drop Cap collection, designed by Paul Buckley
A series of 26 penguin classics released in hardcover edition, one for each letter of the alphabet: A is for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, B for Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, C for Willa Cather’s My Ántonia, etc. Each cover features an illustrated drop cap illustrated by Jessica Hische and the series forms a colour spectrum on the shelf, designed by Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley. This will throw out my colour-coded bookshelf, but I want it.

The book I would like to give: The Art of Looking Sideways, designed by Alan Fletcher
Alan Fletcher is my design hero; his illustration and design is witty, playful and never ceases to delight me. This doorstop of a book is the history of the universe from a designer’s perspective, composed of musings, sketches, artwork and things Fletcher collected over his prolific life and career. Despite the hefty size, it should be on every graphic designers’ bedside table for lifelong dipping into.


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