Creatives generally like to compile image libraries on a particular topic, whether for inspiration, research or just plain ol' obsession. Here are some of the more interesting collections we came across this year, whether in books or online:
Architect Chad Oppenheim and writer/editor Andrea Gollin put together "Lair: Radical Homes and Hideouts of Movie Villains," a 296-page book with over 200 photographs, illustrations and renderings.
The Spitalfields Life blog compiled a book called "The Creeping Plague of Ghastly Facadism," documenting when architects are forced to design new buildings behind old, preserved facades.
In her book "Arcatecture - Swiss Cat Ladders," designer Brigitte Schuster documents the Swiss phenomenon of allowing people to build crazy multi-story cat-climbing structures. Think of them as pet doors for people who live on upper floors.
McMansion Hell's Kate Wagner kept going strong this year. We were particularly tickled when she tackled the wealthy suburbs of Washington, D.C.
In "The Art of Looking Up," art historian and curator Catherine McCormack documented 40 of the world's most spectacular ceilings.
Toshi Omagari put together a visual history of arcade game typography from the '70s, '80s and '90s.
A bit of Cold War product design: Not quite a collection per se, but we found that vintage Soviet hotline phones are surprisingly affordable on eBay.
Like vintage logos? So does designer Reagan Ray, who put together an online vintage logo database.
Photographer Austin Hodges documented a haunting series of ruined standalone homes.
Educator Matt baker created a series of cool charts depicting the evolution of the alphabet, and the writing systems of the world
Lastly, at the intersection of music and design appreciation, audiophile Gideon Schwartz put together a book called "Hi-Fi: The History of High-End Audio Design."