Posted June 28, 2011

Summer reading list for the curious designer

10 incredible books to take a look at this summer. These books, blogs, and authors have been carefully chosen based on recommendations from trusted friends and colleagues, and are sure to ignite a passion to do what you love - love what you do.

  1. Stop With the BS by Shane Mac, an incredibly talented and successful entrepreneur who’s ventures include just this short list of awesome things.
  2. Good to Great by Jim Collins is a book we started reading at my company’s book club, but of course I haven’t finished yet (are you surprised?) Collins and his team researched companies who went from just good to (you guessed it) great and kept that status for at least 15 years to be included in the book’s findings. Despite not being finished, I’ve absolutely loved every page of this book and found it to be interesting and insightful. Take a look at his site to read some of it for free.
  3. Crush it! by Gary Vaynerchuck was recommended to me by a great designer and friend, Juanma Teixido. In short, it’s about building a passionate business, and a brand that means something. Juanma is never short on words of wisdom, do yourself a favor and check out his responsive portfolio and studio site now.

  4. How To Be The Luckiest Person Alive! by James Altucher, at 99 cents for a digital copy how can you go wrong? The author’s blog has been inspiring to me during moments of deepest self doubt. If you don’t get his book, be sure to read a few articles on the blog including: It’s your fault and 33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer.

  5. Quitter by Jon Acuff. I stumbled upon this book after clicking a link from a link from a link. I really enjoy Jon Acuff’s blog, and the way it inspires me to feel that I can do anything I’m not ready for.

  6. Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky is a book I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. I’m kind of waiting for the paperback version to come out, so I can scribble in the margins and really tear it up - it feels like a good workbook, not something I’ll end up keeping pristine. I found out about it by reading articles on The 99 Percent, an inspiring blog with new articles, videos, and quick tips every day. If you don’t follow them on twitter already, I’d highly recommend it.

  7. Rework by Jason Fried of 37 Signals. Just check out the chapter list and trailer videos for the book on their website - how could you not want to give this a read?

  8. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath was recommended to me by one of my absolute favorite professors in the Virginia Tech Visual Communication Design program, Ben Hannam. He said he read the book and loved it so much he then bought it for the entire department.

  9. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott, a book I gave as a birthday gift to a friend after reading rave reviews about it all over the internet. To get an idea of what’s in it, check out Friends: People Who Have the Same Flaws as Us, a short and sweet post by a favorite blogger of mine, Ben Casnocha.