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
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!
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!
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 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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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