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
Today, we are happily announcing the Launch of Radim Malinic's Book of Ideas on Abduzeedo. It's been quite a few years since his last publication and this time, Radim has put together a journal/collection of 256 pages of his work from the past and also sharing his deep thoughts on our creative industry by not only from a successful perspective but through his creative blocks as well for which is quite interesting one's take of how you encounter these kind of obstacles in your career. I got to become a creative director by saying yes to pretty much everything I thought I could either learn from or do a good job at. I’m curious about everything,” he says. “I got to a point in my career where I found myself needing one more thing - a reason. This collection of my work has been chosen from the last four years of searching for purpose and reasons. About Radim Malinic A designer, creative director, illustrator and speaker; Radim takes a multidisciplinary approach to Design by combining his signature mixture of vibrance and fluid concepts. Currently based in South West London, UK; Radim has been embracing freelance life for more than 10 years now and has worked with brands like: Acer, Arts Council England, BBC, The London Film Museum just to name a few. Some Thoughts It’s about how the world outside influences the creativity inside; and how it inspires us, teaches us and makes us create better work.Coming in one size, this book is bound into a solid paperback cover with a beautiful feel and texture. This book is truly for everyone, it' s not particularly aimed to a certain target of audience. Through the book, you get an insight of who is Radim Malinic and what he was been through in the past few years of his life. While going through the pages, this book has given some thoughts about my career myself, what's not working and the things I can do to improve my situation. Get your book now: http://www.novemberuniverse.co.uk/products/book-of-ideas
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
Good design is timeless, Massimo Vignelli said that once and Dieter Rams reassured use with Good design is long-lasting. If you look back to 5 years ago you can see some of the trends but you can also see this saying working. That's why I like to go back to old projects in sites like Behance, Dribbble, Pinterest, books and of course my own site Abduzeedo to see how much things have changed, but also how much good design is still good design. The project I am sharing today is a great example: the I Love Bodoni book by TwoPoints.Net Every typeface has its own charisma. Not only does its presence in design lend an attribute to the identity of a product or project, but also reflect the taste, personality and attitude of the designer behind. Most designers keep a list of favorites with no more than ten typefaces throughout their trajectory. Some make a statement by sticking to just one typeface in every piece of their work. The choice for typeface is the flag held high by designers. Bodoni has been used in everything from 18th century Italian books to 1960s periodicals, and early versions of the typeface are still used for fine book printing. Popular for poster use, it has graced diverse ad campaigns from Mamma Mia! to Nirvana. This graceful illustrated volume comprehensively explores the broad scope of experimental and creative design ideas that have been realized using Bodoni. I Love Type is a collaboration between Viction:ary and TwoPoints.Net. The type collection series, with focus on one specific typeface at a time, documents the fashionable comeback of a selection of time honored typefaces in a myriad of contemporary designs gathered from around the world. The jacket is printed in CMYK, plus a Pantone neon color and a holographic metal hot foil stamp. As well as the spine, the edge is colored with the neon color. Each book of the series is going to have another color, so when all the books are displayed together they will form a neon rainbow. The preface for I Love Bodoni was written by Wolfgang Hartmann of BauerTypes. Publisher: Viction:ary Distribution: Gingko Press Year: 2011 Buy this book on 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.
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.
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
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
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 The Vignelli Canon by the famous Italian designer and legend, Massimo Vignelli. In the book Vignelli shares a little bit about his design process and despite the fact it's focus on graphic design and visual identities, the lessons can be easily applied to any design project. The famous Italian designer Massimo Vignelli allows us a glimpse of his understanding of good design in this book, its rules and criteria. He uses numerous examples to convey applications in practice - from product design via signaletics and graphic design to Corporate Design. By doing this he is making an important manual available to young designers that in its clarity both in terms of subject matter and visually is entirely committed to Vignelli's modern design. 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!
The book suggestion of this week is by the Paul Rand and it's titled Thoughts on Design. Writing at the height of his career, Rand articulated in his slender volume the pioneering vision that all design should seamlessly integrate form and function. This facsimile edition preserves Rand's original 1947 essay with the adjustments he made to its text and imagery for a revised printing in 1970, and adds only an informative and inspiring new foreword by design luminary Michael Bierut. As relevant today as it was when first published, this classic treatise is an indispensable addition to the library of every designer About Paul Rand Paul Rand was an American art director and graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs, including the logos for IBM, UPS, Enron, Morningstar, Inc., Westinghouse, ABC, and Steve Jobs's NeXT. Wikipedia Buy Now on Amazon
The book suggestion of this week is titled Graphic Icons: Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Graphic Design by John Clifford. Based on the reviews it is a must have for any designer. How Magazine puts "Striking work from the likes of Paul Rand, Milton Glaser, Paula Scher and other greats provides the imagery that guides readers through the pages. This creative bible is for you", DesignWorkLife says "A book every designer should have on their desk". What can I say besides, mine copy is on its way. Who are history's most influential graphic designers? In this fun, fast-paced introduction to the most iconic designers of our time, author John Clifford takes you on a visual history tour that’s packed with the posters, ads, logos, typefaces, covers, and multimedia work that have made these designers great. You’ll find examples of landmark work by such industry luminaries as El Lissitzky, Alexander Rodchenko, A.M. Cassandre, Alvin Lustig, Cipe Pineles, Paul Rand, Saul Bass, Milton Glaser, Wim Crouwel, Stefan Sagmeister, John Maeda, Paula Scher, and more. Who coined the term graphic design? Who turned film titles into an art? Who pioneered information design? Who was the first female art director of a mass-market American magazine? In Graphic Icons: Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Graphic Design, you start with the who and quickly learn the what, when, and why behind graphic design's most important breakthroughs and the impact their creators had, and continue to have, on the world we live in. Your favorite designer didn't make the list? Join the conversation at http://www.graphiciconsbook.com Buy it now from Amazon
The book suggestion of this week is about storytelling, the title is Chris Crawford on Interactive Storytelling by Chris Crawford. The reason I decided to pick this book is because storytelling has become a crucial part of any designer's creative process and gives valuable guidance and insights that help us to create great experiences. About the book As a game designer or new media storyteller, you know that the story is critical to the success of your project. Telling that story interactively is an even greater challenge, one that involves approaching the story from many angles. Here to help you navigate and open your mind to more creative ways of producing your stories is the authority on interactive design and a longtime game development guru, Chris Crawford. To help you in your quest for the truly interactive story, Crawford provides a solid sampling of what works and doesn't work, and how to apply the lessons to your own storytelling projects. After laying out the fundamental ideas behind interactive storytelling and explaining some of the misconceptions that have crippled past efforts, the book delves into all the major systems that go into interactive storytelling: personality models, actors, props, stages, fate, verbs, history books, and more. Crawford also covers the Storytron technology he has been working on for several years, an engine that runs interactive electronic storyworlds, giving readers a first-hand look into practical storytelling methods. Buy now