Best new books by illustrators & designers in 2017

We been sent a whole lot of beautiful books within the last few months by some of our favourite illustrators and designers, so we've put them together for your enjoyment.

We just been sent a whole lot of beautiful books within the last few months from some of our favourite illustrators and designers, so we’ve culminated them together in a best books roundup for your pleasure. If you're after the latest educational books in the areas of typography, illustration, animation and more (rather than project-based books), we've got a roundup for that too. Or if you're after a relaxing afternoon of colouring in, we've got a list of the best adult colouring-in books


By Carnovsky, Rachel Williams
Pre-order from: Amazon 

Release date: October 5

We experienced the delightful work of Milan design duo Carnovsky with their first book Illuminautre, last summer.

Teaming up with The Quarto Group, Wide Eyed and author Rachel Williams, the book explored animals and their different habitats with the use of three lenses – red, green and blue.

With its sequel Illumanatomy, the same technique applies, yet the illustrations explore the human body in an elegant way, with words to match by Kate Davies.

Looking through the three RBG different lenses reveals different illustrations.

For example, red will bring up illustrations of the human head’s skull, while looking through a green lens will show more facial features – even though it’s all on the same book on the page.

It’s fascinating, beautiful to look at, and gives children (or whoever it may be) an interactive, educational experience.

In Illumanatomy, readers can learn all about the human anatomy – with each page spread exploring a different part, such as the heart, eye, head or nose. On every alternative spread, there’s a whole bunch of informative text to get your brain juices going.

It’s probably one of our favourite books to date, and it can be enjoyed by all ages.

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Here's an example of the different parts of the body that can be seen through different coloured lenses. 

Carnovsky duo, Francesco Rugi and Silvia Quintanilla, specialise in ongoing projects that experiment with surfaces that mutate and interact with different chromatic stimulus.

The first installation of Carnovsky’s RGB design was shown during Milan Design Week in 2010, but since then they’ve showcased La Giungla, an installation for the Colore exhibition at MUBA in Milan.

Since then, the duo has delved into RGB prints, atmospherics and wallpapers before expanding to tangible materials such as silk scarves and smartphone skins.

I Want To Be In A Scary Story

By Jean Jullien, Sean Taylor
Buy from Amazon for £11.99

This book sees French artist Jean Jullien and Sean Taylor team up again for a delightful picture book – this time just before Halloween.

I Want To Be In A Scary Story

The adorable storyline follows a purple monster who wants to be in a scary story, but just can’t hack the sinister haunted houses and creeping around every corner. It follows a similar format to Jean’s first picture book, Hoot Owl, in which a parent and child can read the story together. Hoot Owl garnered big success, so it’s no surprise there’s a follow up book from this pair.

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I Want To Be In A Scary Story

Jean is an illustrator who works (now in London) in a variety of mediums – photography, installations, clothing, illustration – for clients including Byron Burger, The New York Times and Waterstones. You also may have seen his art Je Suis Charlie following the terrorist attacks to hit Paris in 2014.

I Want To Be In A Scary Story

Ivy and the Inky Butterfly

By Johanna Basford OBE
Pre order from Amazon for £11.94 

Release date: October 12

Johanna Basford OBE is back with another incredible colouring book (after her first pioneered the entire adult colouring book craze) this time armed with a 1,200 word narrative that sits alongside her trademark illustrations.

Ivy and Inky Butterfly follows the narrative of a bedtime story Johanna would tell her daughter Evie through over 75 different black-line illustrations. Ivy has a vivid imagination. She follows a magical butterfly through a secret door into the beautiful world of Enchantia where she meets a realm of quirky characters.

Although the story might seem for children, the colouring remains pretty challenging, so the book is for young and old to enjoy. Expect to colour in a wildflower meadow, gargantuan garden, trinket-filled tree houses, a woodland, castle full of treasure and some 200 butterflies.

The book has been made with ivory paper with smooth texture to allow for coloured pencil or pens.

You can check out different techniques on how to colour Johanna’s books – as well as helpful illustration tutorials – on her YouTube channel.

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How to Draw Anything

By Scriberia
Buy from Amazon now for £9.99

This small, short but wonderfully bright hardback is all about "repairing our broken relationship with drawing", by encouraging adults to pick up a pencil after neglecting art for years. Scriberia, an illustration agency based in London, aim to give adults their confidence and joy back for drawing by introducing it as a practical tool for communicating in everyday life.

This book is part of a wider series – Little Ways to Live a Big Life – with Quercus Books all about the skills you’ve always to learn and perfect, like how to play the piano, and how to land a plane….? Expect one more book to be added to the series – How to Write a Letter – expected to be published in spring next year.