7 Coloring Books for Designers

This selection of coloring books for designers was originally featured in the Fall 2016 issue of HOW Magazine. Get the full issue here, or subscribe to get HOW all year long.


Looking to relax and fuel your creativity? Grab your colored pencils and dig into these coloring books for designers.

Coloring books are no longer just for kids. Adult coloring books—which are not exactly as “adult” as they may sound—have taken bookstores by storm, filling our extra offline time with the meditative act of coloring with pencils, markers and crayons. (For a social component, there are even coloring meet-ups in bars around the country.)

Among the different types of adult coloring books you can find everything from de-stressing books to participatory adventures and comics. But which are the best coloring books for designers? Here are some of our favorites, from independent artist offerings to those from major publishers.

SECRET GARDEN

Featuring intricately detailed work by Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford, this coloring book is filled with psychedelic flowers and a forest on each page, so much that one could get lost within its spreads. (And that’s the point.) This coloring book is also a treasure hunt (just think Where’s Waldo?), in which there is a list of things to be found throughout the book, including 63 beetles, 116 butterflies and a shark. The author even recommends the kind of pencils one could take to the
book’s pages. www.johannabasford.com

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DEAD SHARK – THE BREAK UP COLOURING BOOK

Don’t worry, it’s not about you and your dramatic past. This independent comic coloring book is themed around the all-time best movie breakups, from Annie Hall to A Clockwork Orange, and is illustrated by Grace Miceli, Grace Helmer, Bunny Bissoux, Patch Keyes and more. www.bellykids.bigcartel.com

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FANTASTIC CITIES

Both real and imagined cities fill the pages in this book, which is really for the architecture fanatic who wants to color endless rooftops, buildings and windows that seem to go on for miles. Color in city scenes and aerial views of Manhattan, Montreal, London and Paris, as well as Melbourne, Tokyo and Amsterdam. While a bit postcard-y at times, designers are sure to love this book, drawn by artist Steve McDonald. www.artbysteve.squarespace.com

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COLLABORATE WITH ZIO: THE ARTIST’S SKETCHPAD, COAUTHORED AND COLORED BY YOU

Written and illustrated by artist Zio Ziegler, who has earned global renown for his intricate paintings and large-scale murals, this coloring book invites readers to uniquely enliven the artist’s detailed patterns. For those seeking advice and inspiration, the book also includes anecdotal stories about Ziegler’s work, experiences and influences. www.zioziegler.com

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LIFE BEGINS @4D

Toronto artist Jack Bride has created a mystical book devoted to what he describes as “life in
the fourth dimension.” With 12 coloring pages, it takes us on a journey through wizards, witches
and Ouija boards, as well as mobile technology; a second book has also been printed in this imaginative ongoing series, which is sort of like a mix between The Matrix and The NeverEnding Storywww.magicgarbage.bigcartel.com

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DOODLERS ANONYMOUS COLORING BOOK SERIES

From city scenes to Little Red Riding Hood–esque characters, these heavy paper coloring books are
really storybooks for grown-ups who want to channel their inner child. Their magical pages are filled
with oversized fish and foxes, and the book is drawn in a unique comic style that changes every few pages. www.doodlersanonymous.com

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[Read more about Doodlers Anonymous and download free coloring pages from the book.]


COLOR ME CALM

This coloring book is used as a de-stresser because the pages here are like yoga for the mind and hand—they’re for meditation and relaxation. Illustrated by Angela Porter, the book features 100 different therapeutic-themed pages, including nature patterns, spirituality and floral as well as water scenes. For the more complex coloring artist, there are mandalas and geometric patterns. www.artwyrd.wordpress.com

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Coloring is a great way to relax your mind and play with hues to inspire your next design project. There are hundreds of other coloring book titles out there, so if none of these appeal to you, do some research—or if you’re a talented illustrator, create a few pages for yourself.


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