Great Reads for 2010
The beginning of the new year came with lots of plans and resolutions. In my opinion, it's very important to share our experiences and to learn from others as well, and because of that, in this post I will show you some books that I got and that I think are really good for designers or anyone tech-savvy.
Some books I have already read, while others I am currently reading or looking forward to start. There are books more technical about web standards and usability, but there are also good motivational ones that I'm sure will boost your confidence for the new year. In the end that's basically all it's about, doing what you love and having confidence.
Publishers Weekly Review
Yet another rallying cry to the banner of turning your passion into a career, from braggadocio-ridden entrepreneur Vaynerchuk. After taking over his father's local liquor store, Shopper's Discount Liquors, and building it from a $4 million business to a $50 million one, he created the wine-tasting blog Wine Library TV and discovered the power of the Internet for driving sales. This book shares his experience and step-by-step advice for using Twitter, Facebook, etc., and suggestions for monetizing an online persona, reiterating that the Internet makes it possible for anyone to make serious cash by turning what they love most into their personal brand. His enthusiasm is admirable and his advice solid, but there's nothing new here, and his unappealing swagger—repeated stories of how he crushed it and dominated grate particularly—gives his story more the tone of adolescent peacocking than of worthwhile and sober business advice. (Oct.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
I have been following Gary for quite some time now and I have always admired him for his passion. The book is all about passion with some incredibly valuable tips on how to start doing what you like to do professionally. It's a motivating book, perfect for the beginning of this year, so you can start putting to practice your new year's resolutions. Great read, short and effective.
There are a lot of books out there that show collections of logos. But David Airey’s “Logo Design Love” is something different: it’s a guide for designers (and clients) who want to understand what this mysterious business is all about. Written in reader-friendly, concise language, with a minimum of designer jargon, Airey gives a surprisingly clear explanation of the process, using a wide assortment of real-life examples to support his points. Anyone involved in creating visual identities, or wanting to learn how to go about it, will find this book invaluable. - Tom Geismar, Chermayeff & Geismar
In Logo Design Love, Irish graphic designer David Airey brings the best parts of his wildly popular blog of the same name to the printed page. Just as in the blog, David fills each page of this simple, modern-looking book with gorgeous logos and real world anecdotes that illustrate best practices for designing brand identity systems that last.
David not only shares his experiences working with clients, including sketches and final results of his successful designs, but uses the work of many well-known designers to explain why well-crafted brand identity systems are important, how to create iconic logos, and how to best work with clients to achieve success as a designer. Contributors include Gerard Huerta, who designed the logos for Time magazine and Waldenbooks; Lindon Leader, who created the current FedEx brand identity system as well as the CIGNA logo; and many more.
I'm currently in the middle of this book. It's a very useful resource for designers who want to specialize in logo design. The book has good examples with the story behind the logos. Besides that it's a very well designed book, beautiful layout and typography. I will prepare a more in-depth review as soon as I finish reading it.
High dynamic range (HDR) photography lets you capture the myriad colors and levels of light that you can see in the real world, and the results are amazing photographs that run the gamut from super real to surreal. Explore this fantastic realm of photography through the unique vision of renowned travel photographer Trey Ratcliff. In this book, Trey shares his phenomenal HDR photographs as well as all the backstory on the adventurous circumstances of their origin. He also reveals the techniques he used to get the final shot. The breathtaking images gracing these pages and the author’s real-world advice for capturing and manipulating images will inspire you to create your own HDR magic. So Trey also includes his simple and straightforward tutorial that teaches you everything you need to know to make your own HDR photographs, whether you’re a beginner, amateur, or professional
Gisele is preparing a complete review of this book following the tutorials that Trey prepared especially for it. I took a brief look at the content, and there are some gorgeous photos. If you love HDR like I do you must get this book.
Standards, argues Jeffrey Zeldman in Designing With Web Standards, are our only hope for breaking out of the endless cycle of testing that plagues designers hoping to support all possible clients. In this book, he explains how designers can best use standards--primarily XHTML and CSS, plus ECMAScript and the standard Document Object Model (DOM)--to increase their personal productivity and maximize the availability of their creations. Zeldman's approach is detailed, authoritative, and rich with historical context, as he is quick to explain how features of standards evolved. It's a fantastic education that any design professional will appreciate. Zeldman is an idealist who devotes some of his book to explaining how much easier life would be if browser developers would just support standards properly (he's done a lot toward this goal in real life, as well). He is also a pragmatist, who recognizes that browsers implement standards differently (or partially, or not at all) and that it is the job of the Web designer to make pages work anyway. Thus, his book includes lots of explicit and tightly focused tips (with code) that have to do with bamboozling non-compliant browsers into behaving as they should, without tripping up more compliant browsers. There's lots of coverage of design and testing tools that can aid in the creation of good-looking, standards-abiding documents. --David Wall
"Some books are meant to be read. Designing with Web Standards is even more: intended to be highlighted, dogeared, bookmarked, shared, passed around, and evangelized. It goes beyond reading to revolution" - Liz Danzico, Chari, MFA Interaction Design
Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good is the story of the entrepreneurs who learned their lesson from the bust and in recent years have created groundbreaking new Web companies. The second iteration of the dotcoms—dubbed Web 2.0—is all about bringing people together. Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace unite friends online; YouTube lets anyone posts videos for the world to see; Digg.com allows Internet users to vote on the most relevant news of the day; Six Apart sells software that enables bloggers to post their viewpoints online; and Slide helps people customize their virtual selves.
Business reporter Sarah Lacy brings to light the entire Web 2.0 scene: the wide-eyed but wary entrepreneurs, the hated venture capitalists, the bloggers fueling the hype, the programmers coding through the night, the twenty-something millionaires, and the Internet “fan boys” eager for all the promises to come true.
I finished reading this book at the end of last year. It's another motivating one because it tells the story behind the web services we have been using now. All this revolution with the Web 2.0 and with user participation becoming the center of the equation. It also really encourages us to try to do what we believe is right.
Eyetracking Web Usability is based on one of the largest studies of eyetracking usability in existence. Best-selling author Jakob Nielsen and coauthor Kara Pernice used rigorous usability methodology and eyetracking technology to analyze 1.5 million instances where users look at Web sites to understand how the human eyes interact with design. Their findings will help designers, software developers, writers, editors, product managers, and advertisers understand what people see or don’t see, when they look, and why.
With their comprehensive three-year study, the authors confirmed many known Web design conventions and the book provides additional insights on those standards. They also discovered important new user behaviors that are revealed here for the first time. Using compelling eye gaze plots and heat maps, Nielsen and Pernice guide the reader through hundreds of examples of eye movements, demonstrating why some designs work and others don’t. They also provide valuable advice for page layout, navigation menus, site elements, image selection, and advertising. This book is essential reading for anyone who is serious about doing business on the Web.
Next week I will have a few more books to share with you so stay tuned. Also I'd like to thank David Airey, Pearson Education, and Trey Ratcliff for sending me books to read and share my thoughts with the design community.