Reminiscing on the days we’d dress up for World Book Day in school and how fun it was, we became kind of sad that we don’t celebrate anymore what used to be a magical day for us when we were kids. It got us thinking, it’s actually just as magical to us now. Books still have a profound effect on us and we don’t talk about them enough here.
We read them to our children, we use them for self-help, to feel inspired, to escape into, to learn… They’re some of our most special possessions and as a company that champions print, they’ll never go out of fashion for us.
Now we could have just channeled our inner child and dressed up for work… we’ll chuck that in the suggestion box for next year. Instead, in celebration of World Book Day today, we’ve compiled a selection of books that have served a certain kind of purpose for us – ones that have inspired and taught us to be good at what we do.
So here goes. Our book recommendations for designers, budding designers, creatives and leaders.
Side note – how good do books smell?!
How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your SoulAll too often we gaze longingly into others’ lives - their #designinspiration, their #lovemyjob. Graphic design is seen as a dream job which, we obviously agree with, but no career comes without its hardships. This is an honest account for young professionals who want to design for a living. It’s a no-nonsense, practical and philosophical guidebook on how to achieve your design dreams in a world where creative blocks, invoice issues, monotonous projects, and employment difficulties are a thing. Packed with valuable information and interviews with other designers, it pretty much covers everything a budding designer needs to know. If that’s you - this is your bible!
Know Your Onions: Graphic DesignDrew de Soto is your right hand man in this pragmatic book that takes graphic designers from graduation to the working world. There are some things you just can’t learn until you’re in the job… unless you have this book and can equip yourself with the design knowledge and techniques you need before diving into employment. Our Junior Designer, Chelsie recommended we include this - she joined us fresh out of university and if she’s anything to go by, this book will make you fly!
The Art of Looking SidewaysThis is a book of visual prompts that get you thinking differently about everyday things. A creative’s dream, it’s the kind of book you can go back to time and time again. In a magical selection of images, quotes, facts, jokes, thoughts, sketches and more, your imagination will run wild with ideas you NEED to pursue. This monster of a book will be your best friend whenever you’re in need of some inspiration, and we 100% recommend it sits proudly on your coffee table for your friends and family to enjoy too.
Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of LifeJoe talks about this daily. Yes, he’s a rugby fanatic who has his own business, but you don’t need to be either of those things to take away some powerful lessons from this book. It’s an influential manual for leaders in all fields, based on the leadership style and philosophies of one the world’s most renowned sporting teams - the All Blacks of New Zealand. You’ll not only finish this book with a refreshed outlook on success and how to achieve it, but with an undying need to leave the world in a better place than you found it.
The Brand GapIf you’re looking for an easy read on branding, this one’s for you. The Brand Gap might lack in length, but it definitely doesn’t lack in substance. This deceptively short book presents a perspective on branding that really sings to us, describing brand as a ‘gut feeling’. Taking the focus away from features and price and putting it on experience and identity, it redefines branding in a way that just makes sense. It’s fun, it’s quick and above all, it’s necessary if you want your brand to succeed. It’s all about people, guys!
Layout Essentials: 100 Design Principles for Using Grids (Design Essentials)When it comes to layouts, grid standards and principles, it’s important to know the ropes and tricks of the trade. It’s no surprise that our print designer, Alice chose this. It’s an epic introduction to grids and has a ton of examples from different designers. It’s useful, includes all the essentials and is great to reference when you need gridy reminders. Plain and simple.