articles on

The Best American Infographics 2013

The Best American Infographics 2013

The book suggestion of this week is about infographics. The title of the book is The Best American Infographics 2013 by Gareth Cook and David Byrne. The Best American Infographics captures the finest examples from the past year, including the ten best interactive infographics, of this mesmerizing new way of seeing and understanding our world. The rise of infographics across virtually all print and electronic media—from a striking breakdown of classic cocktails to a graphic tracking 200 influential moments that changed the world to visually arresting depictions of Twitter traffic—reveals patterns in our lives and our world in fresh and surprising ways. In the era of big data, where information moves faster than ever, infographics provide us with quick, often influential bursts of art and knowledge—on the environment, politics, social issues, health, sports, arts and culture, and more—to digest, to tweet, to share, to go viral. - Amazon Buy it now!

Little Book of Lettering

Little Book of Lettering

The book suggestion of this week is once again about typography and hand lettering. The title is Little Book of Lettering and the author is Emily Gregory. The book is a collection that surveys the recent lettering renaissance, showcasing a diverse range of talent in gorgeous, eye-catching examples and profiling today's innovators. Typography is always one of the designer's first considerations when it comes to making a statement, and in recent years the world of lettering and type has exploded in an unprecedented wave of creative discovery. Contemporary artists, typesetters, and designers of all kinds are exploring new horizons in illustrated and hand-drawn lettering, digitally rendered lettering, and 3D lettering.... In a stunning little package that expertly combines a handmade feel with a modern aesthetic, this is the ultimate inspirational collection of contemporary lettering for design buffs and type enthusiasts alike. - Amazon Buy it now!

Hand to Type: Scripts, Hand-Lettering and Calligraphy

Hand to Type: Scripts, Hand-Lettering and Calligraphy

The book suggestion of this week is about typography, more precisely, about hand-lettering and calligraphy. The book is titled Hand to Type: Scripts, Hand-Lettering and Calligraphy and the authors are R. Klanten, J. Middendorp and H. Hellige. Published by Gestalten, this book is a showcase of these styles that have become so popular nowadays mostly because, in my opinion, they translate the idea of craftsmanship into modern digital design. Although, or perhaps because, most of us write less and less by hand, our fascination for handwritten letterforms is growing. Typeface designers who specialize in traditional, charming, or spectacular lettering with a handmade look have become role models for today's young typographers and graphic design students. Script fonts--digital type families based on handwriting--are among the most sought on the typography market today. Scripts from the past, be it 18th-century formal calligraphy or advertising headlines from the 1960s, are being digitized and turned into OpenType programming. The love of the hand-written look is nothing new. Even the oldest printed books pretended to be something unique and not a machine-made mass product. Hand to Type is a collection of some of the best work by today's lettering artists in the fields of hand-made and digital script forms. The book includes texts about outstanding designers and contains a series of expert chapters outlining the principles of script forms that may be lesser known to most western typographers--from the German Sütterlin to Arabic and Asian scripts. Hand to Type also traces script fonts back to some of the earliest examples: hand-lettering as a sign of authenticity, or printing type made to look like formal writing. - Amazon Buy it now

The Art of Choosing

The Art of Choosing

The book suggestion of this week is The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar. The book is about choice and how our behavior about making them. I am half way through this book and I am enjoying it a lot. There are some very usfeul information about conformity, the sense of uniqueness that we think we have, especially when me make our choices. Every day we make choices. Coke or Pepsi? Save or spend? Stay or go? Whether mundane or life-altering, these choices define us and shape our lives. Sheena Iyengar asks the difficult questions about how and why we choose: Is the desire for choice innate or bound by culture? Why do we sometimes choose against our best interests? How much control do we really have over what we choose? Sheena Iyengar's award-winning research reveals that the answers are surprising and profound. In our world of shifting political and cultural forces, technological revolution, and interconnected commerce, our decisions have far-reaching consequences. Use THE ART OF CHOOSING as your companion and guide for the many challenges ahead. About Sheena Iyengar's Sheena Iyengar's groundbreaking research on choice has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Security Education Program. She holds degrees from UPenn, The Wharton School of Business, and Stanford University. She is a professor at Columbia University, and a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award. Her work is regularly cited in periodicals as diverse as Fortune and Time magazines, the NYT and the WSJ, and in books such as Blink and The Paradox of Choice. TED Talk

Simply Beautiful Photographs

Simply Beautiful Photographs

The book suggestion of this week is about photography and is titled Simply Beautiful Photographs authored by Annie Griffiths. I got this book for Christmas and it is simply amazing. Published by the National Geographic team, this book takes us on a journey across the world through the lens of amazing photographers with that special knack for capturing the right moment at the right time. National Geographic Simply Beautiful Photographs takes readers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in National Geographic's famed Image Collection. Award-winning photographer Annie Griffiths culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty. Chapters are organized around the aesthetic concepts that create beauty in a photograph: Light, Composition, Moment (Gesture and Emotion), Motion, Palette, and Wonder. Beyond the introduction and brief essays about each featured concept, the text is light. The photographs speak for themselves, enhanced by lyrical quotes from scholars and poets. In the chapter on Light, for example, we read these words of whimsical wisdom from songwriter Leonard Cohen: "Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the lights get in." And then the images flow, of light entering scenes via windows, clouds, and spotlights, from above, alongside, and behind, casting radiance upon young ballerinas and weathered men, into groves of autumn trees and island-dotted seas, revealing everything it touches to be beautiful beyond expectation. To illuminate the theme of Wonder, Griffiths chose a wish from Andre Bazin: "If I had influence with the good fairy...I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life." This thought is juxtaposed with an exquisite vision in white, a frame filled with the snowy-pure dots and rays of a bird's fan tail. And on it goes, picture after tantalizing picture, alive with wondrous beauty. When she created National Geographic Simply Beautiful Photographs, Annie Griffiths set two goals: to maximize visual delight, and to create a book unique in the world of publishing--one in which many of the photographs could be purchased as prints. She has succeeded on both counts. Many of these stunning images are available for order, and there can be no doubt as to the visual delight. You must open this book for yourself, and take in its radiant beauty. Photograph by Joel Sartore Photograph by Ian Nichols Photograph by Joe Petersburger Photograph by Melissa Farlow Photograph by David Edwards Buy it now

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

The book suggestions of this week is about entrepreneurship by one of our favorite authors and speakers, Gary Vaynerchuk. The book title is Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World and Gary shares hard-won advice on how to connect with customers and beat the competition. A mash-up of the best elements of Crush It! and The Thank You Economy with a fresh spin, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really works. When managers, marketers, and small business owners outline their social media strategies, they plan for the "right hook"—their next campaign that will produce profits. Even companies committed to "jabbing"—creating content for consumers and engaging with customers to build relationships—still desperately want to land the powerful, bruising swing that will knock out their opponents or their customers' resistance in one tooth-shattering, killer blow. Right hooks, after all, convert traffic to sales. They easily show results and return on investment. Except when they don't. In the same passionate, streetwise style his readers have come to expect, Vaynerchuk is on a mission to strengthen marketers' right hooks by changing the way they fight to make their consumers happy, and ultimately to compete. Thanks to the massive change in and proliferation of social media platforms in the last four years, the winning combination of jabs and right hooks is different now. Communication is still key, but context matters more than ever. It's not just about developing high-quality content; it's also about developing high-quality content that's perfectly adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices. It's about truly engaging with customers, not by shouting at them over social media but by using new narrative forms particular to each different media platform—especially, though not exclusively, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really work. Buy now

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

The book suggestion of this week is David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell. I just finished reading it and as any other Gladwell book, it's really enjoyable and full of super interesting facts. In the tradition of Gladwell's previous bestsellers -The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog Saw - David and Goliath draws upon history, psychology, and powerful storytelling to reshape the way we think of the world around us. About the book Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David's victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn't have won. Or should he have? In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks. Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. From there, David and Goliath examines Northern Ireland's Troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge, and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms---all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity. Buy Now

Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience

Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience

The book suggestion of this week is about UX design and how to apply the lean principles to make a better user experience. The title of the book is Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience and the authors are Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden. The Lean UX approach to interaction design is tailor-made for today’s web-driven reality. In this insightful book, leading advocate Jeff Gothelf teaches you valuable Lean UX principles, tactics, and techniques from the ground up—how to rapidly experiment with design ideas, validate them with real users, and continually adjust your design based on what you learn. Inspired by Lean and Agile development theories, Lean UX lets you focus on the actual experience being designed, rather than deliverables. This book shows you how to collaborate closely with other members of the product team, and gather feedback early and often. You’ll learn how to drive the design in short, iterative cycles to assess what works best for the business and the user. Lean UX shows you how to make this change—for the better. Frame a vision of the problem you’re solving and focus your team on the right outcomes Bring the designers’ toolkit to the rest of your product team Share your insights with your team much earlier in the process Create Minimum Viable Products to determine which ideas are valid Incorporate the voice of the customer throughout the project cycle Make your team more productive: combine Lean UX with Agile’s Scrum framework Understand the organizational shifts necessary to integrate Lean UX Lean UX received the 2013 Jolt Award from Dr. Dobb's Journal as the best book of the year. The publication's panel of judges chose five notable books, published during a 12-month period ending June 30, that every serious programmer should read. Buy Now

The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience

The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience

The book suggestion this week is about UX design, the title is The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience by Rex Hartson and Pardha S. Pyla. This book was the winner of a 2013 Most Promising New Textbook Award from the Text and Academic Authors Association, is a comprehensive textbook on designing interaction to ensure a quality user experience. Book description Combining breadth, depth, and practical applications, this book takes a time-tested process-and-guidelines approach that provides readers with actionable methods and techniques while retaining a firm grounding in human-computer interaction (HCI) concepts and theory. The authors will guide you through the UX lifecycle process, including contextual inquiry and analysis, requirements extraction, design ideation and creation, practical design production, prototyping, and UX evaluation. Development activities are linked via handoffs between stages as practitioners move through the process. The lifecycle template concept introduced in this book can be tailored to any project environment, from large enterprise system development to commercial products. A very broad approach to user experience through its components-usability, usefulness, and emotional impact with special attention to lightweight methods such as rapid UX evaluation techniques and an agile UX development process Universal applicability of processes, principles, and guidelines-not just for GUIs and the Web, but for all kinds of interaction and devices: embodied interaction, mobile devices, ATMs, refrigerators, and elevator controls, and even highway signage Extensive design guidelines applied in the context of the various kinds of affordances necessary to support all aspects of interaction Real-world stories and contributions from accomplished UX practitioners A practical guide to best practices and established principles in UX A lifecycle template that can be instantiated and tailored to a given project, for a given type of system development, on a given budget Buy Now

Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook

Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook

The book suggestion of this week is about UX design and how to sketch user interfaces. The title is Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook by Saul Greenberg, Sheelagh Carpendale, Nicolai Marquardt and Bill Buxton. Designing user interfaces is much more than just moving pixels in Photoshop or other software. Creating something requires iteration, especially in the first first phases of the process. Sketching is one of the best ways to iterate fast and try to put togethers ideas. It doesn't require fidelity or pixel perfection. It's just about putting ideas on the paper and trying. If you are not familiar with that. In Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook, you will learn, through step-by-step instructions and exercises, various sketching methods that will let you express your design ideas about user experiences across time. Collectively, these methods will be your sketching repertoire: a toolkit where you can choose the method most appropriate for developing your ideas, which will help you cultivate a culture of experience-based design and critique in your workplace. Buy Now

Content Strategy for the Web

Content Strategy for the Web

The book suggestion of this week is about content and the strategy behind crafting the right content for your site or application. The book is Content Strategy for the Web, 2nd Edition by Kristina Halvorson. Better content means better business. Your content is a mess: the website redesigns didn’t help, and the new CMS just made things worse. Or, maybe your content is full of potential: you know new revenue and cost-savings opportunities exist, but you’re not sure where to start. How can you realize the value of content while planning for its long-term success? For organizations all over the world, Content Strategy for the Web is the go-to content strategy handbook. Read it to: Understand content strategy and its business value Discover the processes and people behind a successful content strategy Make smarter, achievable decisions about what content to create and how Find out how to build a business case for content strategy Buy it now

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

The book suggestion of this week is the book that Stefan Sagmeister recommended during his presentation at Reasons to be Creative. The book is about positive psychology, the title is The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt. In his widely praised book, award-winning psychologist Jonathan Haidt examines the world’s philosophical wisdom through the lens of psychological science, showing how a deeper understanding of enduring maxims-like Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, or What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger-can enrich and even transform our lives. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, lamented St. Paul, and this engrossing scientific interpretation of traditional lore backs him up with hard data. Citing Plato, Buddha and modern brain science, psychologist Haidt notes the mind is like an "elephant" of automatic desires and impulses atop which conscious intention is an ineffectual "rider." Haidt sifts Eastern and Western religious and philosophical traditions for other nuggets of wisdom to substantiate—and sometimes critique—with the findings of neurology and cognitive psychology. The Buddhist-Stoic injunction to cast off worldly attachments in pursuit of happiness, for example, is backed up by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's studies into pleasure. And Nietzsche's contention that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger is considered against research into post-traumatic growth. An exponent of the "positive psychology" movement, Haidt also offers practical advice on finding happiness and meaning. Riches don't matter much, he observes, but close relationships, quiet surroundings and short commutes help a lot, while meditation, cognitive psychotherapy and Prozac are equally valid remedies for constitutional unhappiness. Haidt sometimes seems reductionist, but his is an erudite, fluently written, stimulating reassessment of age-old issues. (Jan.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title Buy now

Essential Elements for Brand Identity: 100 Principles for Designing Logos and Building Brands

Essential Elements for Brand Identity: 100 Principles for Designing Logos and Building Brands

The book suggestion of this week is about branding, the title is Essential Elements for Brand Identity: 100 Principles for Designing Logos and Building Brands (Design Essentials) by Kevin Budelmann, Yang Kim and Curt Wozniak. It's a useful guide to designers and clients to understand the terms commonly used in branding and to avoid confusion. Design terms are often used inconsistently - or just as bad, interchangeably. This leads to confusion for designers as well as clients. New in paperback, Essential Elements for Brand Identity lays a foundation for brand building, defining the tools and building blocks, and illustrating the construction of strong brands through examples of world-class design. It is a one-stop reference for connecting visual design elements for logos to branding concepts, and demonstrates core identity design principles through clear organization and a variety of sources and examples. Through a cohesive structure that explores broader concepts in relation to graphic identities, identity programs, and brand identities, Essential Elements for Brand Identity links formal design concerns with business issues. Design students and seasoned brand managers alike will appreciate the pragmatic relevance of its content and be inspired by the representative body of work collected and presented throughout the book. Buy it now

Identity Suite: Visual Identity in Stationery

Identity Suite: Visual Identity in Stationery

The book suggestion of this week is about branding. The title of the book is Identity Suite: Visual Identity in Stationery by Victionary. As the title says, the book is about extending the brand through beautiful crafted stationery. Book description The most fundamental of all branding tools is a company's own stationery. Being the most frequent touch points between staff and clients, corporate stationery remains a perfect and most basic branding tool for companies in any industry and of any size. Investigating about 100 complete stationery sets, Identity Suite is an up-to-the-minute epitome of successful branding through office supplies today. Through the choice of stationery items to include and designers' attention to details, these highly characterized letterheads, labels, tapes, folders, notepads, memo pads, wrappers... and many more can be customized to befit specific operation needs and visualize brand visions at the same time. Seven in-depth case studies will also highlight the lavishly designed and executed branding and rebranding campaigns for new luxurious apartments, a sizable mixed-use development, designer hotel, five-star historic hotel, an independent industrial designer and fashion boutiques from around the world. Buy Now

I Love Type 01 - Futura

I Love Type 01 - Futura

The book suggestion of this week is an awesome one, it's about typography. The title of the book is I Love Type 01 - Futura by Victionary. The book showcases artworks created using Futura and it's the first book of the series I Love Type. Once representing Swedish IKEA globally (in a slightly tweaked appearance of Ikea Sans) and raging the world when substituted by Verdana in 2009, Futura has been one of the most influential san-serif for nearly a century. Its simplicity and geometric qualities, originally responding to the trends of the Bauhaus or constructivism back in the 1920s, is still valid at present while spawning equally prominent types like Avenir in 1980s and Gotham in 2000. Beautifully produced in hands with prolific Spanish creative duo, TwoPoints.Net, I Love Type is witness to the fashionable comeback of a selection of time-honored typefaces with focus on one type-family at a time. Capturing a myraid of inventive type treatments, ranging from layout arrangements, special printing and custom variants, the series is a review of how today’s graphic designers are breathing new life into classic typesets and timeless aesthetics into modern context. I Love Futura is the first volume of the type collection to hit the stores. Buy Now

It's the Way You Say It - Second Edition: Becoming Articulate, Well-Spoken, and Clear

It's the Way You Say It - Second Edition: Becoming Articulate, Well-Spoken, and Clear

The book suggestion of this week is about communication, it's titled It's the Way You Say It - Second Edition: Becoming Articulate, Well-Spoken, and Clear by Carol A. Fleming PhD - this book helps you to improve your communication skills through useful exercises. Speak your mind effectively! The best, most direct way to convey your intelligence, expertise, professionalism, and personality to other people is through talking to them. But most people have no idea what they sound like. And even if they do, they don’t think they can change it. It’s the Way You Say It is a thorough, nuts-and-bolts guide to becoming aware and taking control of how you communicate with others. Dr. Carol Fleming provides detailed advice and scores of exercises for: Understanding how others hear you Dealing with specific speech problems Varying your vocal patterns to make your speech more dynamic Using grammar and vocabulary to increase your clarity and impact Reinforcing your message with nonverbal cues Conquering stage fright An entire section of the audiobook focuses on communication issues in the workplace - interviews, presentations, voice mail, and more. Dr. Fleming puts a human face on her advice through vivid before-and-after stories of 40 men and women who came to her for help... Buy it Now

Design For How People Learn - Book Suggestion

Design For How People Learn - Book Suggestion

The book suggestion of this week is about how to teach, or more exactly, how people learn. The title of the book is Design For How People Learn and the author is Julie Dirksen. Products, technologies, and workplaces change so quickly today that everyone is continually learning. Many of us are also teaching, even when it's not in our job descriptions. Whether it's giving a presentation, writing documentation, or creating a website or blog, we need and want to share our knowledge with other people. But if you've ever fallen asleep over a boring textbook, or fast-forwarded through a tedious e-learning exercise, you know that creating a great learning experience is harder than it seems. In Design For How People Learn, you'll discover how to use the key principles behind learning, memory, and attention to create materials that enable your audience to both gain and retain the knowledge and skills you're sharing. Using accessible visual metaphors and concrete methods and examples, Design For How People Learn will teach you how to leverage the fundamental concepts of instructional design both to improve your own learning and to engage your audience. Buy now