For lay out, I tip my hat to George Vasilakos for Buffy core book and the Decipher Lord Of the Rings core book. When it comes to using screenshots from media in a rpg, George makes beautiful books.
For interior text lay out, check out what Chris Huth did with Pelgrane Press core book for Night's Black Agents. That book is filled with text, in three columns, not two, and it remains legible. It's pretty darn awesome.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Eclipse Phase rpg books from Posthuman Press.Those books are beautifully done in full color. The text is nearly as tightly packed as Night's Black Agents, but something about them just isn't quite as sleek about them. Still, their color and art more than make up for the text. Adam Jury has a whole line of these books.