These past few months I've read quite a few books of varying topics, from simple fiction to alchemy. Among these books I've read two from Ryan Holiday, his latest I believe, Ego is the Enemy and the most popular The Obstacle is the Way. Both books are quite good but I'll focus this book suggestion post solely on The Obstacle is the Way. I recommend this not only because of the difficult time I have been going through personally but because it has really good insights on how to deal with situations in life. The Obstacle is the Way is a great portrayal of stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. Stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else, and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, tougher. As Marcus Aurelius put it nearly 2000 years ago: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” The book is rife with amazing quotes and I feel the greatest takeaway is that obstacles are part of our lives, we don't choose them. Once you think that that's the only way you stop questioning why that happened to you. I'd say that it's not that the obstacle is the way, but life is the way. We need to be adaptable. We need to learn to face adversities not as setbacks but learning opportunities. I know you might say, it is easier said than done. I agree, but I believe we are always ready for what is given to us. The problem is that we neglect that or we try to reason why instead of moving forward, adapting and learning. "Ryan Holiday, the author, shows us how some of the most successful people in history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—have applied stoicism to overcome difficult or even impossible situations. Their embrace of these principles ultimately mattered more than their natural intelligence, talents, or luck." -- amazon.com "If you’re feeling frustrated, demoralized, or stuck in a rut, this book can help you turn your problems into your biggest advantages. And along the way it will inspire you with dozens of true stories of the greats from every age and era." -- amazon.com Heres a video from Ryan about stoicism: Stoic optimism: Ryan Holiday at TEDxUChicago 2014 Buy The Obstacle is the Way on Amazon
Books are an essential tool to designers, it's a source of reference and inspiration and despite the easy access to content through the internet I still believe books are the best medium for inspiration. We usually feature books that are available for purchase but on this post I want to share a really cool Kickstarter project by Joe Rubinstein, it's his book titled Costumed Play - A Fine Art Cosplay Book. Costumed Play - A Fine Art Cosplay Book is beautiful representation of both the art of photography and the art of cosplay, hard bound with museum-quality high-resolution prints to show the finest detail of every single exquisite shot. Each character section will feature a minimum of 3 photos, including one detail shot, and a brief story about the shoot, the author's history with the character represented, or how he met the model. A fine art photography book that presents a youthful sense of wonder and discovery. A true discussion piece, there's something for everyone to love in "Costumed Play". The more comic or fantasy-leaning will love the clever depictions of the characters and the intimate portrait feel, and the casual viewer can't help but be impressed with the technical achievements and boundary pushing concepts, even if they don’t know much about the characters or culture. Cosplay sample images About the Author My name is Joseph Rubinstein, and I have created one successful project on this great platform, and backed many more. I am coming to Kickstarter again, this time to bring a long time passion project to fruition! I have been a photographer for many years, and have done work for major companies like Warner Bros, Red Bull, Converse, and Coca-Cola. In my personal time, I have also been shooting sci-fi, fantasy, and comic-inspired photography for almost 10 years. After recently wrapping up a business venture that consumed most of my time over the last few years, I finally have time to dedicate to a project that encompasses a lot of my creative work! For more information on how to support and help making this book reality check out https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/joedp/costumed-play-a-fine-art-cos… and back this project :)
I finally finished reading Sprint, a book published by the Google Venture designers Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz. I knew about design sprints, and have had the chance to participate in a few, including one with Jake himself. The process works great if you have the right number of people that are excited about the endeavor of a week of intense and gratifying work. Their book, titled Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days gives all the details and story behind how they came up with and perfected the design sprint. It's a must read for designers willing to improve their skills on problem solving and the design process in general. Read this book and do what it says if you want to build better products faster." – Ev Williams, founder of Medium, Blogger, and Twitter About the book Entrepreneurs and leaders face big questions every day: What’s the most important place to focus your effort, and how do you start? What will your idea look like in real life? How many meetings and discussions does it take before you can be sure you have the right solution? Now there’s a surefire way to answer these important questions: the sprint. Designer Jake Knapp created the five-day process at Google, where sprints were used on everything from Google Search to Google X. He joined Braden Kowitz and John Zeratsky at Google Ventures, and together they have completed more than a hundred sprints with companies in mobile, e-commerce, healthcare, finance, and more. A practical guide to answering critical business questions, Sprint is a book for teams of any size, from small startups to Fortune 100s, from teachers to nonprofits. It’s for anyone with a big opportunity, problem, or idea who needs to get answers today. The key to success, often, is building the right habits. But which habits work best? Sprint offers powerful methods for hatching ideas, solving problems, testing solutions—and finding those small, correct habits that make all the right behaviors fall in place." – Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit Buy now
I had such a great time reading the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris that in the end I felt I was left with that little feeling of wanting a bit more. At least in the end of that book Tim recommends a few other books and I am now trying to tackle those. I just finished one of them, another excellent book, The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. There are so many good tips in this book that I had to recommend it here as well. Millions of people around the world have improved their lives through the timeless advice David Schwartz offers in The Magic of Thinking Big . In this best-selling audiobook, Schwartz proves you don't need innate talent to become successful, but you do need to understand the habit of thinking and behaving in ways that will get you there. Publisher's Summary With more than six million copies sold worldwide, David Schwartz's timeless guide and best-selling phenomenon, The Magic of Thinking Big , is now available for the first time as an unabridged audio edition. Millions of people around the world have improved their lives through the timeless advice David Schwartz offers in The Magic of Thinking Big. In this best-selling audiobook, Schwartz proves you don't need innate talent to become successful, but you do need to understand the habit of thinking and behaving in ways that will get you there. Filled with easy-to-understand advice, this unabridged audio edition - perfect for gift giving - will put you on the road to changing the way you think, helping you work better, manage smarter, earn more money, achieve your goals, and, most importantly, live a fuller, happier life. ©1959, 1965 Prentice Hall. All rights reserved. (P)2015 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved. Video Buy it from Amazon
It's been quite a while since the last time I recommended a book. It's not because I haven't read any new books lately, it's just because I felt that the books I read weren't exactly worth sharing here. That's not the case of the book I want to talk about today. It's The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss. I think this book has really cool tips on how to increase your productivity and improve your lifestyle. I've been hearing about this book for some time now but I was always a bit reticent about reading despite the fact I am a Tim Ferriss fan and follower. Once I started reading it I was still a bit hesitant but it didn't take too long to change my mind and start trying to apply some of the tips to my own life. I won't spoil it and I know that everyone of us is different but a lot of things in this book are true gold. Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less This step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches: How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements” You might ask me, doesn't all of that sound too much of a BS? I feel that you can take everything with a grain of salt or you can embrace, get excited and try to exercise the ideas to improve your own life. It's a win win situation, and for me, if he did it, why can't we? About the author TIMOTHY FERRISS is a serial entrepreneur, #1 New York Times bestselling author, and angel investor/advisor (Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, Uber, and 20+ more). Best known for his rapid-learning techniques, Tim's books -- The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef -- have been published in 30+ languages. The 4-Hour Workweek has spent seven years on The New York Times bestseller list. Tim has been featured by more than 100 media outlets including The New York Times, The Economist, TIME, Forbes, Fortune, Outside, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and CNN. He has guest lectured in entrepreneurship at Princeton University since 2003. His popular blog http://www.fourhourblog.com has 1M+ monthly readers, and his Twitter account @tferriss was selected by Mashable as one of only five "Must-Follow" accounts for entrepreneurs.
If you really love fonts and typography maybe there is a chance you already know the Little Black Font Book, by HypeForType Foundry. So now they are releasing the second edition, a beautiful book, full of inspiration, and of course, amazing fonts. Designers, typographers, magazines, blogs and networks will be excited to hear that the Second Edition of The Little Black Font Book is about to hit the shelves. The First Edition rose to the top of Amazon’s Typography chart on its release in 2012 and since then has been the indispensable go-to resource for designers looking for the perfect font for the job. "Instead of the static, black and white layouts of the standard typographic suitcase, The Little Black Font Book presents the user with vibrant, eye-popping layouts that showcase each font at its best." Printed in DL format at 34 pages long, the volume is slim enough and portable enough to make itself at home in your workspace, laptop bag or back pocket. Take a look on some of the photos take it from the book and don't forget to visit hypefortype.com, to know more about the book.
The book suggestion of this week is titled Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner's Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis. As the titled says the book is a good guid for young designers and enthusiasts but also for everyone that is passionate about the creative process. The author of the book is Jon Kolko, the Vice President of Consumer Design at Blackboard. John also is the author of our previous suggestion, Well Designd. Book Description As the world deals with increasing complexity -- in issues of sustainability, finance, culture and technology -- business and governments are searching for a form of problem solving that can deal with the unprecedented levels of ambiguity and chaos. Traditional "linear thinking" has been disparaged by the popular media as being inadequate for dealing with the global economic crisis. Standard forms of marketing and product development have been rejected by businesses who need to find a way to stay competitive in a global economy. Yet little has been offered as an alternative. It is not enough to demand that someone "be more innovative" without giving him the tools to succeed. Design synthesis is a way of thinking about complicated, multifaceted problems of this scale with a repeatable degree of success. Design synthesis methods can be applied in business, with the goal of producing new and compelling products and services, and they can be applied in government, with the goal of changing culture and bettering society. In both contexts, however, there is a need for speed and for aggressive action. This text is immediately relevant, and is more relevant than ever, as we acknowledge and continually reference a feeling of an impending and massive change. Simply, this text is intended to act as a practitioner's guide to exposing the magic of design. There are three simple goals for this text. The first goal is to present a theory of design synthesis in a simple and concise manner. This theory is based on academic research and discourse, but presented in a way that is clear and valuable to a practicing design manager, designer or design researcher. This theory of design synthesis can then be used to substantiate single methods of synthesis. The second goal is to offer a rationalization of why design synthesis is important, both in a general sense ("why should I care about this at all?") as well as in a more immediate sense ("why should I care about this right now?"). The final goal is to present a set of actionable, learnable methods for design synthesis that can be applied to any design problem. Practicing industrial designers, interaction designers, interface designers, and designers of other disciplines can use these methods to make sense of complicated design problems and to move seamlessly from various forms of research to design. The methods can add a systematic sense of rigor to an otherwise subjective, often introspective process.
Maka Zedelashvili is an illustrator from Tbilisi, Georgia. In this post we will display her work for the book " Galaktionology " which refers to the bohemian life of XX century Georgian poet -galaktion tenants and activities. Enjoy! For more from Maka Zedelashvili visit behance.net/mzeart.
The book suggestion of this week is about design and how it has helped products to be more than just useful but also pleasant to use. Well-designed products create a emotional bond with the user and therefore distance themselves from the competitors. The title of the book is Well-Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love by Jon Kolko. From Design Thinking to Design Doing Innovators today are told to run loose and think lean in order to fail fast and succeed sooner. But in a world obsessed with the new, where cool added features often trump actual customer needs, it’s the consumer who suffers. In our quest to be more agile, we end up creating products that underwhelm. So how does a company like Nest, creator of the mundane thermostat, earn accolades like “beautiful” and “revolutionary” and a $3.2 billion Google buyout? What did Nest do differently to create a household product that people speak of with love? Nest, and companies like it, understand that emotional connection is critical to product development. And they use a clear, repeatable design process that focuses squarely on consumer engagement rather than piling on features for features’ sake. In this refreshingly jargon-free and practical book, product design expert Jon Kolko maps out this process, demonstrating how it will help you and your team conceive and build successful, emotionally resonant products again and again. The key, says Kolko, is empathy. You need to deeply understand customer needs and feelings, and this understanding must be reflected in the product. In successive chapters of the book, we see how leading companies use a design process of storytelling and iteration that evokes positive emotions, changes behavior, and creates deep engagement. Here are the four key steps: Determine a product-market fit by seeking signals from communities of users. Identify behavioral insights by conducting ethnographic research. Sketch a product strategy by synthesizing complex research data into simple insights. Polish the product details using visual representations to simplify complex ideas. Kolko walks the reader through each step, sharing eye-opening insights from his fifteen-year career in product design along the way. Whether you’re a designer, a product developer, or a marketer thinking about your company’s next offering, this book will forever change the way you think about—and create—successful products. Jon Kolko - Well Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love from Midwest UX on Vimeo. Buy Now
The book suggestion of this week is a really nice read for those who are not only starting out their careers, but everyone in the creative industry. The book is titled Burn Your Portfolio by Michael Janda. About the book It takes more than just a design school education and a killer portfolio to succeed in a creative career. Burn Your Portfolio teaches the real-world practices, professional do's and don'ts, and unwritten rules of business that most designers, photographers, web designers, copy writers, programmers, and architects only learn after putting in years of experience on the job. Michael Janda, owner of the Utah-based design firm Riser, uses humor to dispense nugget after nugget of hard-won advice collected over the last decade from the personal successes and failures he has faced running his own agency. In this surprisingly funny, but incredibly practical advice guide, Janda's advice on teamwork and collaboration, relationship building, managing clients, bidding work, production processes, and more will resonate with creative professionals of all stripes. About the author About the Author Michael Janda has been in most positions on the graphic design world org chart over his 16-year career. He has served as production artist, designer, freelancer, and creative director (including a few years as senior creative director over two of Fox’s Internet divisions). Since 2002, Janda has owned and operated his own agency, Riser, which boasts such high-profile clients as NBC, ABC, Fox, Google, National Geographic, Warner Bros., and Disney. Buy it now
Behance has been a source of inspiration on the web for the past 8 years, I remember when they first started back in 2007 and it's amazing to see how important it became to the design community. That's also one of the reasons that Adobe acquired them. Today we won't talk about web but Behance's first book, the Super-Modified: The Behance Book of Creative Work. I got this book a couple of weeks ago and it's simply amazing. I spent hours flipping through the pages of pure inspiration. It's a great book to any designer's library. About the book Presenting a tightly curated collection of cutting-edge creative work from all over the world, Super-Modified: The Behance Book of Creative Work takes you inside the trends driving today’s most exciting art and design creations. Founded in 2006, Behance is the world’s largest creative network, where millions of people showcase and discover creative work. While it can take years for new creative trends to be identified and then showcased in museum exhibitions, Behance takes the pulse of the creative world everyday. Creatives upload a constant stream of incredible work, and our crack team of curators sifts through it—cherry-picking the most original and leading-edge projects to be featured. For its first-ever book, Behance’s curatorial team presents an insider’s look at new directions in art and design work from a global perspective. The book is organized into 18 chapters encapsulating emergent themes that riff on the idea of “super-modified” creative work. From innovative approaches to traditional crafts to wildly unexpected uses of new technologies, classical approaches to art and design are being subverted, blurred, and reinvented by today’s crop of emerging creatives. Super-Modified looks at how a humble material like felt is being remixed in office spaces, character designs, and furniture; how computer algorithms are being used to generate infinitudes of breathtaking abstract shapes; how a focus on recycled design is making everything from discarded aluminum cans to shipping containers fair game for reinvention; and how the grand, cinematic visions of traditional architecture are finding their way into interior spaces. And that’s just a tiny sampling of the creative themes profiled within. From graphic design to photography to fashion to architecture to illustration, and beyond, Super-Modified surveys the landscape of global creativity and delivers up a directional perspective on what’s coming next. The first-ever art & design book to source content exclusively from the Behance community, Super-Modified presents a bleeding-edge look at the trends driving today’s most exciting creative work. Custom-curated by the Behance team, the book includes 288 pages of incredible creative work spanning graphic design, photography, fashion, architecture, illustration, and much more.
The book suggestion of this week is about how to create products that got people to use very often. The title of the book is Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal. As I said, the book ask the questions: Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us? Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many more) by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. Through consecutive “hook cycles,” these products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back again and again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging. Hooked is based on Eyal’s years of research, consulting, and practical experience. He wrote the book he wished had been available to him as a start-up founder—not abstract theory, but a how-to guide for building better products. Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behavior. Eyal provides readers with: Practical insights to create user habits that stick. Actionable steps for building products people love. Fascinating examples from the iPhone to Twitter, Pinterest to the Bible App, and many other habit-forming products.
Every new year comes with new resolutions, among them at least for me there's always one that is always there at the top of the list, which is to read more books. This year my goal is to vary the styles and move away from design books to focus more on subjects that can improve my personal and work life. The book I will start this week and recommend in this post is What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith. I found out about that book while reading another one and got really curious about it. About the book America’s most sought-after executive coach shows how to climb the last few rungs of the ladder. The corporate world is filled with executives, men and women who have worked hard for years to reach the upper levels of management. They’re intelligent, skilled, and even charismatic. But only a handful of them will ever reach the pinnacle -- and as executive coach Marshall Goldsmith shows in this book, subtle nuances make all the difference. These are small "transactional flaws" performed by one person against another (as simple as not saying thank you enough), which lead to negative perceptions that can hold any executive back. Using Goldsmith’s straightforward, jargon-free advice, it’s amazingly easy behavior to change. Executives who hire Goldsmith for one-on-one coaching pay $250,000 for the privilege. With this book, his help is available for 1/10,000th of the price. Editorial Review from Publishers Weekly Goldsmith, an executive coach to the corporate elite, pinpoints 20 bad habits that stifle already successful careers as well as personal goals like succeeding in marriage or as a parent. Most are common behavioral problems, such as speaking when angry, which even the author is prone to do when dealing with a teenage daughter's belly ring. Though Goldsmith deals with touchy-feely material more typical of a self-help book—such as learning to listen or letting go of the past—his approach to curing self-destructive behavior is much harder-edged. For instance, he does not suggest sensitivity training for those prone to voicing morale-deflating sarcasm. His advice is to stop doing it. To stimulate behavior change, he suggests imposing fines (e.g., $10 for each infraction), asserting that monetary penalties can yield results by lunchtime. While Goldsmith's advice applies to everyone, the highly successful audience he targets may be the least likely to seek out his book without a direct order from someone higher up. As he points out, they are apt to attribute their success to their bad behavior. Still, that may allow the less successful to gain ground by improving their people skills first. (Jan. 2) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Buy Now
I really love artists that come up with super creative series. Some ideas are so cool that it's impossible not to come up with tons of pieces and by the end, to publish a book with all of them. That's the case of Badass Cartoon, a series by French artist Sylvain Sarrailh. Sylvain has the most awesome crossover ideas, like Mario meets Akira, Pac-Man meets The Thing, Sonic meets Dragon Ball and more! Here you can see just a few of his crossover ideas. For much more of it and for more information about how to purchase the book, please visit his portfolio at DeviantART. Cheers! ;)
The book suggestion of this week is Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath. This book is about making better decisions or at least understanding a little bit more about our decision making process in order to do so. In Decisive, the Heaths, based on an exhaustive study of the decision-making literature, introduce a four-step process designed to counteract these biases. Written in an engaging and compulsively readable style, Decisive takes readers on an unforgettable journey, from a rock star’s ingenious decision-making trick to a CEO’s disastrous acquisition, to a single question that can often resolve thorny personal decisions. Along the way, we learn the answers to critical questions like these: How can we stop the cycle of agonizing over our decisions? How can we make group decisions without destructive politics? And how can we ensure that we don’t overlook precious opportunities to change our course? Decisive is the Heath brothers’ most powerful—and important—book yet, offering fresh strategies and practical tools enabling us to make better choices. Because the right decision, at the right moment, can make all the difference. Buy it now
The book suggestion of this week is about the importance of change and how difficult that can be. The book is titled Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. I am a believer of the importance of trying new things in order to learn, sometimes we make mistakes sometimes we hit the bullseye, the only way to know though is by trying and changing. Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives? The primary obstacle is a conflict that’s built into our brains, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the critically acclaimed bestseller Made to Stick. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems—the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort—but if it is overcome, change can come quickly. In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people—employees and managers, parents and nurses—have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results: The lowly medical interns who managed to defeat an entrenched, decades-old medical practice that was endangering patients. The home-organizing guru who developed a simple technique for overcoming the dread of housekeeping. The manager who transformed a lackadaisical customer-support team into service zealots by removing a standard tool of customer service In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change. Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline. Buy Now
The book suggestion of this week is titled Grid Systems in Graphic Design/Raster Systeme Fur Die Visuele Gestaltung by Josef Muller-Brockmann and it's a classic book about design and grid systems that despite the age is still useful and the base of most grid design for web and mobile apps. From a professional for professionals, here is the definitive word on using grid systems in graphic design. Though Muller-Brockman first presented his interpretation of grid in 1961, this text is still useful today for anyone working in the latest computer-assisted design. With examples on how to work correctly at a conceptual level and exact instructions for using all of the systems (8 to 32 fields), this guidebook provides a crystal-clear framework for problem-solving. Dimension: 81/2 x 113/4 inches, English & German Text, 357 b&w examples and illustrations.. Buy now!