Holiday Reading

10 months ago by

Summer is here and the holidays are approaching with some pace, which for Aotearoa design means time away from the mac! Wherever you recharge over the festive season we hope there is time to relax and unwind. Many of our DA friends and partners are prolific readers so we asked a few to share their favourite books of 2020 some related to design, others design adjacent and a good selection from other genres to help you escape, expand your mind this holiday season.

Oh, Sh*t… What Now?: Honest Advice for New Graphic Designers by Craig Oldham

This book by Manchester designer Craig Oldham is a comprehensive and insightful guide to anything and everything that is of use to those looking to break into the creative industries, sharing experiences, ideas, advice, criticism, and encouragement. With sections covering education, portfolios, jobs/freelancing, working process, and personal development, this straight-talking, funny, and frequently irreverent guide is a must-read for all creative arts students. Buy the book

Maria Philip Graphic Designer at Run recommends ‘Sea People’ by Christina Thompson

For more than a millennium, Polynesians have occupied the remotest islands in the Pacific Ocean, a vast triangle stretching from Hawaii to New Zealand to Easter Island. Until the arrival of European explorers they were the only people to have ever lived there. Both the most closely related and the most widely dispersed people in the world before the era of mass migration, Polynesians can trace their roots to a group of epic voyagers who ventured out into the unknown in one of the greatest adventures in human history.

How did the earliest Polynesians find and colonise these far-flung islands? How did a people without writing or metal tools conquer the largest ocean in the world? This conundrum, which came to be known as the Problem of Polynesian Origins, emerged in the eighteenth century as one of the great geographical mysteries of mankind.

For Christina Thompson, this mystery is personal: her Maori husband and their sons descend directly from these ancient navigators. In Sea People, Thompson explores the fascinating story of these ancestors, as well as those of the many sailors, linguists, archaeologists, folklorists, biologists and geographers who have puzzled over this history for three hundred years. A masterful mix of history, geography, anthropology, and the science of navigation, Sea People is a vivid tour of one of the most captivating regions in the world. Buy the book

Copy this Book, an Artist’s Guide to Copyright

Copyright is one of the areas of law that designers struggle with most. This book offers a guide to the subject that’s written in plain English, making often complex concepts easy to understand and follow. Both practical and critical, it will guide you through the concepts underlying copyright and how they apply in your practice.

How do you get copyright? For what work? And for how long? How does copyright move across mediums, and how can you go about integrating the work of others? This book answers all these questions and more and will help you keep on the right side of the law. Buy the book

Matt Grantham Creative Director at Onfire recommends Branding: In Five and a Half Steps

Leading graphic designer Michael Johnson demystifies the branding process. Dividing the process into five key steps – investigation, strategy and narrative, design, implementation and engagement – Johnson also acknowledges the non-linear nature of branding with a crucial half step, which marks the fluid relationship between strategy and design.

A no-nonsense, six-question model structures the first half of the book; the second part analyses the design process, using over 1,000 contemporary brand identities from around the world.

This is the ultimate step-by-step visual guide to creating a successful brand identity. It’s an essential read for anyone in the branding industry and a particularly valuable resource for students and new designers. Buy the Book

Matt Grantham believes Yuval Noah Harari trilogy of books are must-reads with 21 Lessons for the 21st Century being a top pick for him this year;

Yuval Noah Harari takes us on a thrilling journey through today’s most urgent issues. In twenty-one bite-sized lessons, Yuval Noah Harari explores what it means to be human in an age of bewilderment. How can we protect ourselves from nuclear war, ecological cataclysms and technological disruptions? What can we do about the epidemic of fake news or the threat of terrorism? What should we teach our children? Buy the book and check out Harari’s other titles Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Overthrow II

Overthrow II explores the 10 different challenger strategies, or narratives, used most powerfully today, each of them embodied in interviews with incisive leaders who have used them to break through in their market. We look at the strategic principles that each follows, the media behaviours they practise, and the part that today’s big themes like technology, data, culture and creativity play. Buy the book

Matt Grantham also recommended;

Graphic design books: Graphic Design for Art, Fashion, Film, Architecture, Photography, Product Design & Everything In Between

Graphic Design for…

The definitive guide to how design studios think and work, Andy Cooke’s Graphic Design for Art, Fashion, Film… compiles branding campaigns of some of the world’s best design studios, along with illuminating interviews with many of the creatives involved, to provide an indispensable guide to modern commercial design. Buy this book

Gray Buchanan of Typeface shared his top picks in multiple categories;

Gray’s Design Pick: Interaction of Colour by Josef Albers

“It’s the most helpful and insightful book I’ve come across on understanding colour. The treasure of it is how Albers builds a language of colour through careful, practical exercises. He reveals how dramatically one colour can influence another – from a design perspective this is invaluable. It has really shaped discussions with clients and encouraged a more nuanced and objective approach to colour choice and application.” Buy this book

Gray’s Fiction Pick: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

“An American classic, again one I should’ve read before now! My brother-in-law (big reader) gifted it to me many Christmas’ ago and 2020 brought it to the top of my reading list. Dry, witty, shrewd, perceptive and ultimately heartbreaking, it reveals the depth of the challenges and injustices facing a fictional black man in 1950s–60s American. Sadly, still relevant today.”

Gray’s Personal Pick: The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer

“This book has vital applications for anyone living a stupidly busy existence. Comer talks about his burnout and shares timely ideas to remedy our preoccupation with hurrying through life.”

Annie McCulloch Portfolio Recruitment loved Little by Edward Carey

The wry, macabre, unforgettable tale of an ambitious orphan in Revolutionary Paris, befriended by royalty and radicals, who transforms herself into the legendary Madame Tussaud.

In 1761, a tiny, odd-looking girl named Marie is born in a village in Switzerland. After the death of her parents, she is apprenticed to an eccentric wax sculptor and whisked off to the seamy streets of Paris, where they meet a domineering widow and her quiet, pale son. Together, they convert an abandoned monkey house into an exhibition hall for wax heads, and the spectacle becomes a sensation. As word of her artistic talent spreads, Marie is called to Versailles, where she tutors a princess and saves Marie Antoinette in childbirth. But outside the palace walls, Paris is roiling: The revolutionary mob is demanding heads, and… at the wax museum, heads are what they do.

In the tradition of Gregory Maguire’s Wicked and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Edward Carey’s Little is a darkly endearing cavalcade of a novel—a story of art, class, determination, and how we hold on to what we love. Buy the book

Annie McCulloch also recommended;

Powered by Design, An Introduction to Problem Solving with Graphic Design

The design industry has evolved rapidly over the past decade. Effective and successful designers no longer need to just “make things,” they need to be curious thinkers who understand how to solve problems that have a true impact on the world we live in and how to show the power of designing for social good. Now more than ever, the graphic design industry needs a book that teaches the foundations and theories of design while simultaneously speaking to the topics of history, ethics, and accessibility in order to make designs that are the most effective for all people. Buy the Book
Graphic design books: Graphic Design A History

Graphic Design: A History (third edition)

This informative and engaging history of graphic design has been updated for the latest edition. Graphic Design: A History (third edition) includes over 500 new images, a new chapter on current trends in digital design and an expanded introduction.  Buy the Book

Don’t Get a Job… Make a Job: How to make it as a creative graduate – Gem Barton

Too often, a design or architecture degree is seen as a means to an end (a job in an established practice). But imagine for one moment that there are no employers, no firms to send your CV to, no interviews to be had – what would you do? How would you forge your own path after graduation? This book celebrates the various strategies that students and graduates are taking to succeed in their design careers. Buy the book

 



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