When sitting in front of a computer designing for the web or mobile landscape, the Internet quickly becomes your single source on inspiration—a digital muse—causing the wisdom of books to be forgotten. Doejo’s strong connection to all things digital made asking my colleagues to recomend work-inspiring books somewhat of an uphill battle.
For some, print takes a backseat. Others relish in the idea that inspiration comes in many forms and make time to pick up a book (whether it’s an ebook or of the ink, paper and glue variety). Below we provide a peek into the metaphorical bookshelf at Doejo, sharing a collection of the books that stood out to us and an explanation of why it is time to let go of that mouse and pick up a paperback.
Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation
We all compete for attention in an ad-saturated, ADD-crazed world. I wanted to better understand what grabs users/customers attention from a marketing and practical perspective. This book, by Sally Hogshead, takes you through various examples of successful attention-grabbers from iconic brands and impressive campaigns to stories of intrigue throughout history. Fascinate tells you how to sharpen your triggers in lust, mystique, power, alarm, trust, prestige and vice, while challenging you to leverage what makes your brand, company or self more fascinating to others.
Kelsey, Social Media Manager
When I went from freelance to full-time at Doejo, I read Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson from 37Signals. I had all of these outdated expectations about what working in an office would be like and it really helped me acclimate to the Doejo way of doing things—bravely, independently and creatively. There’s a small section about sharing behind-the-scenes views of your company. That notion has really informed my idea of what Social Media means for Doejo. We make things every day and I’m more focused on sharing that process than I am endlessly retweeting and chasing follows from tech super stars. It reaffirmed my belief that social media should be experiential, active and fun!
Hand Job: A Catalog of Type
The book has qualities similar to a journal: it is playful and displays no fear of failure. As an illustrator and designer, I like Michael Perry’s hand-done approach to everything. I like the human quality and approachableness of his work: so much of it is simple expression of things on paper. When designing you must always be thinking and always be testing your comfort zones. The only way you can do this is to just keep going and ideating. It can be hard to see this process in websites and logos once it is released to the world but that is the part I love the most: the brains and thinking behind a “finished” piece. Hand Job succeeds at giving you that kind of internal insight.
Mark, Front End Developer
Bird by Bird
Readers will come away from this book with two main lessons: give yourself small assignments and don’t be afraid of writing a terrible first draft. Aimed at prospective authors, Anne Lamott’s advice works for anyone who is trying to create or simply wants to laugh. This book helps you to be productive, spark creativity and get in the zone while making you smile.
Jeff, UX Designer
The Zombie Survival Guide
Jeff has a special connection to Zombies: from his Map of the Dead to the zombie apocalypse survival game (currently in development), many of his days at Doejo are spent thinking about the undead. Although he read this book years ago, Jeff still keeps it around for reference in case of any future attacks.
Timur, UX Designer
Stumbling on Happiness
A scientific explanation of the limitations of the human imagination and how it steers us wrong in our search for happiness, this book talks the reader through the way our minds work. Written by Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard, it provides a helpful insight on human’s expectation and predictability. Gilbert argues that imagination has its shortcomings and just as we err in remembering the past, so we err in imagining the future.
Monique, Copy Intern
The Culture Code
This book helped me to understand cultures around the world and the mind-set of the people who inhabit these cultures, allowing me to unlock hidden information about the American culture that surrounds me. The Culture Code taught me that sometimes when doing research you need to educate yourself on other, outside information: while this may seem counter-intuitive or opposite of your goal at the time it will open your eyes and allow you to better understand the subject that is right in front of you. With this newfound information you can better inhabit the mindset of the consumer, allowing you to understand their expectations, needs and desires.
Richelle, Design Intern
How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul
A breakdown of the things a graphic designer needs to know when trying to earn a living doing meaningful work, this no-nonsense guide is informational without being overwhelming. Written by designer Adrian Shaughnessy, this book teaches designers how to balance the business side so they don’t have compromise themselves or their design. Touching on topics that are frequently not discussed in the classroom or the real world this well designed book allows designers to succeed when trying to make a business out of freelance work.