Gift Guide: The Best Industry Related Books to Give this Holiday Season

With the holidays upon us, we’ve passed the time for list making and moved on to checking them twice. If you’re like us, you may find yourself in need of a few last minute gift ideas. Fear not, we’re here to help! Books make great gifts for just about anyone because they can be chosen based on a person’s unique interests. We asked members of Full Sail’s Faculty and Staff to share some of their top picks for books that would make perfects gifts for the creative minded person on your list.

For Game Enthusiasts

 Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design (2nd Edition) by Scott Rogers
“Rogers breaks down the various aspects of game design in smaller pieces that are easy to absorb,” says Will Fitzgerald, a Game Studies advisor with Full Sail’s Career Development team. “With over 500 pages of solid information, the best thing about this book is the many appendices in the back. There are lists of genres, themes, environments, design documentation examples, and even a chili recipe (read the book and you’ll appreciate the chili). This book, recently published as a second edition this year, is updated to respond to the industry’s mobile gaming boom, indie game scene, and more.”

Game Development Essentials (3rd Edition) by Jeannie Novak
“Novak’s introductory book to her GDE series is a wonderful overview of the many aspects of game development. Dedicating a chapter each to the major disciplines (programming, art, audio, design, etc.), Novak briefs the reader with a high-level understanding of what it takes to make a video game. Her series continues with entire books dedicated to many topics, including game level design, story and character development, and game audio, where she teams up with a subject matter expert on the topic to co-author each book. This book is a true gem of the academia side of game education,” says Will.

For Marketers, Innovators, and Business People

 How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination by Sally Hogshead
In this book that is part self-branding tool, part personality assessment, readers take a simple test that groups them into one of 49 personality archetypes. But there’s a twist: instead of narrowing down your internalized personality type—how you see the world—the results indicate how others might perceive you—how the world sees you.

“This is an excellent book for identifying your core personality archetype and how to leverage your natural strengths to do work you love and positively influence others,” says Carol Cox, a Course Director in the Internet Marketing program.

Linchpin by Seth Godin
Recommended by Sports Marketing & Media Program Director Josh Mora, this book explores how a person can use their professional talents to make himself or herself a linchpin— a person who is indispensable within their organization. According to marketing guru and author of the book Seth Godin, the best way to make yourself a linchpin in any industry is by engaging in “emotional work,” which simply translates to work that is deeply important to you personally.

“Things change so much in sports business and sports marketing that texts can be out of date really quickly,” says Josh. “ So I’m a big believer in books that are about general marketing, leadership and business.”

The Smarter Startup by Neal Cabage
“The bottom line is you have to have some business savvy if you’re thinking of doing any freelance work or starting your own business, so for that, this is a really good book,” says Chris Burke, Program Director for Web Design & Development. “It touches on design and programmatic aspects of web and how you should approach them with your business hat on.”

For Photographers

 Tao of Photography: Seeing Beyond Seeing by Philippe L. Gross and S.I. Shapiro
Any number of books can teach you how to be a better photographer through a series of straight forward, step-by-step instructions. This book takes a different approach by utilizing Taoist philosophy to improve your approach.

“It will teach you how to shoot in a more instinctual way,” says Lesley Silvia, a Course Director in the Graphic Design and Digital Arts & Design programs.

For Designers

Principles of Form and Design by Wucius Wong
“Using a lot of Asian patterns as examples, this book boils design down to its basic foundation elements,” says Lesley. “It looks at elements such as lights and darks, flow, and visual weight.  Since it’s so general in it’s examples, one can plug in whatever project is in the works and apply it to the related example.”

A History of Graphic Design by Philip B. Meggs
Every serious designer should invest in a comprehensive reference text. This one covers a lot of ground historically– from cave paintings to web design.

“Each chapter is a different period of art with subsections: European typography, the application of photography to printing, etc.” says Lesley. This makes the book easy to use for designers who are looking to quickly reference a specific time period or movement in their own work.