10 best colouring books for designers

As they top best-seller lists around the world, there's no denying that adult colouring books are officially a thing. Offering up stress relief and a surprising source of inspiration, your creativity could be kick-started with just a few moments of filling in shapes, patterns and faces. Here, we pick 10 of the best colouring books on offer today that will cater to everyone's tastes.

01. Colour Calm

best colouring books

Colour Calm is a bi-monthly magazine that features 100s of original designs

Colouring books have proved so popular over the past few months, it was only a matter of time before a colouring magazine launched! Colour Calm is a bi-monthly offering featuring over 100 designs to fill in as well as exclusive illustrations from top colouring book designers. Issue two will feature five original, exclusive cake illustrations by Tom Hovey who is best known for his work appearing in The Great British Bake Off.

02. Dead Shark: The Break-Up Colouring Book

best colouring books

Reminisce about your favourite movie break-ups with this book

Belly Kids are one of our favourites here at Creative Bloq – releasing quirky prints, publications and comics, their collective of illustrators always bring their A-game. This latest offering is a colouring book ode to the best break-ups in movie history. Illustrators Grace Micelli, Grace Helmer, Bunny Bisoux, Patch Keyes and more all feature throughout the pages.

03. Lost Ocean

best colouring books

Lost Ocean is due for release in October – you can pre-order your copy now

You could describe Johanna Basford as a celebrity when it comes to colouring books. Her previous publications – Enchanted Forest and Secret Garden – made her one of the top sellers on Amazon, with the latter book proving so popular, it was translated into 14 different languages. So, when she announced Lost Ocean – due for release in October – we were more than excited.

04. Tropical Wonderland

best colouring books

Marotta's style is all about intricate pattern work

If intricate patterns are your colouring-bag, then Millie Marotta is your illustrator of choice. Filled with with intricately detailed line drawings of exotic plants and creatures, the pages are just begging for a splash of colour and creativity. If you're a fan of this one, you might also like her previous colouring book – Animal Kingdom.

05. Fantastic Cities

best colouring books

Gardens not your thing? Snap up Steve McDonald's city colouring

Whilst most colouring books tend to focus on forests, gardens and glorious get-aways, illustrator Steve McDonald heads in the opposite direction with 'Fantastic Cities'. Featuring cities both real and imagined, you'll be surprised by the serenity that staring at high-rise buildings can bring.

06. Querkles: Masterpieces

best colouring books

Bend your mind with the Querkles colouring books

If you're after a bit of nostalgia but with an adult twist, this colour-by-numbers colouring book could be your ultimate purchase. Whilst the colour-by-numbers of days-gone-by feature images you could already see, Querkles is a series that showcases an array of different shapes that reveals a masterpiece once coloured. A mind-bending bout of inspiration.

07. Doodlers Anonymous

best colouring books

The fourth volume in Doodler Anonymous' colouring book collection

Founded by OKAT and Hugo Seijas, Doodlers Anonymous is a collective that has created a permanent home for spontaneous art. There's a blog, interviews, themed-submissions and a lot of amusing thoughts on paper with their colouring books proving particularly popular. Volume 4 is now available to order, with over 60 artists contributing their talents.

08. Bun B's Rap Colouring

best colouring books

Hip-hop fan? You'll love this colouring book

Most creatives need a tune or two in the background to really get going on a project. Bun B's Rap Colouring and Activity Book combines both with tributes to some of the best hip-hop stars in history. As well as sketches to fill, there's also word searches, crosswords and more, making this one a smart play on rap culture.

09. Indie Rock Colouring Book

best colouring books

Indie music fans will love this ode to some of the best out there

The Yellow Bird Project combines music and creativity for brilliant charitable causes. Making t-shirts, totes and more, their initiative has been backed by the likes of Best Coast, The National and Bon Iver to name just a few. Their colouring book allows you to add your flair to illustrations inspired by Broken Social Scene, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and more. A must for any music fan.

10. The Lousy Animals & Friends

best colouring books

Lousy Animals & Friends proves it doesn't always have to be about patterns

Created by cult artist Stefan Marx, this colouring book proves that not all have to be about intricate patterns. Using simple illustrations of lousy animals, this charming colouring book allows space for background creativity where you can inject some patterns of your own if you so wish. A wonderfully weird offering that could offer a path into your colouring book experience.

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Sammy Maine

Sammy Maine was a founding member of the Creative Bloq team way back in the early 2010s, working as a Commissioning Editor. Her interests cover graphic design in music and film, illustration and animation. Since departing, Sammy has written for The Guardian, VICE, The Independent & Metro, and currently co-edits the quarterly music journal Gold Flake Paint.