Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits

The lovely Debbie Millman published a new book called Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits.

Brand Thinking is a dialogue with 22 of the world’s top culture critics, design executives, and branding strategists – people like Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Godin, Daniel Pink, Grant McCracken, and Wally Olins – on the state of branding today, what “brand” truly means, and how companies and consumers can best embrace the future.

In each interview, Millman cuts through all the empty jargon and buzzwords to expose the underpinnings of how people respond to the ideas of designers, and how the best brands open avenues for cultural change in our daily lives–whether we’re aware of it or not.

FastCompany wrote a long post about the new book. Read it here.

I am ordering my copy right now: Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits

inbook Charging Stations

I couldn’t help but smile at the sight of this inbook Charging Station over on BLTD. Why not disguise your iphone docking station with old-school looking books? I like it. Available over on Etsy.

I just bought the white one pictured above. Yay!

It’s Nice That Bookshelf

Every week It’s Nice That invites someone from the creative industry to share with them what book they turn to in need of inspiration or reference, but condensed down, to five titles and the stories behind them. Lovely idea: It’s Nice That / Bookshelf

(If you’re into book lists by designers, make sure to also check out Designers & Books. A fantastic resource!)

Design*Sponge at Home

Grace Bonney, force behind the blog Design*Sponge, just came out with a book called Design*Sponge at Home. (Available as a digital version as well.)

The book includes tours of 70 real-life interiors featuring artists and designers, DIY projects, step-by-step tutorials, Before & After makeovers submitted by her readers and essential tips on modern flower arranging.

Congratulations to Grace, what a wonderful achievement! And how adorable is this book trailer?

Pinhole Cameras: A DIY Guide

Here’s a fantastic book photography enthusiasts: Pinhole Cameras: A DIY Guide, by Chris Keeney. Definitely a cool gift idea for parents that want to pass on the love for photography. What better idea than to build pinhole cameras with your little ones?

Sharing Kindle Highlights

In a recent blog post Fred Wilson explains how he shares his Kindle Highlights. Just like him, when I read a book, I tend to do a lot of highlighting. And if I wanted to save them for later or blog, I would type down my highlights. But no longer! Here’s the exciting news: When you are reading on a Kindle (or a Kindle app), your highlights are sent to a private page at Fred Wilson writes:

The address of my page (and yours too I imagine) is If you have a kindle and do a lot of highlighting, go visit that page and you’ll see all of your highlights.

From there, via the tumblr bookmarklet, it’s trivial to share the quote on Tumblr. And so I suspect I’ll be doing quite a bit more sharing as a result of this discovery.

Sharing my Kindle Highlights, by Fred Wilson

Cake Pops

(images via IndieFixx)

Ever since I tasted a Cake Pop I have been wondering how to make them myself. That’s where the Cake Pops Book by Bakerella comes in. Ordered!

Drive-By Portraits

Observing people while they’re driving is, passing them on the highway, is one of my favorite things to do. It comes to now surprise then, that I am in love with photos of everyday people cruising the freeways of Los Angeles. You can buy the book here: Drive.

(via Brain Pickings)

The Printer’s Terms

The Printer’s Terms contains explanations of virtually all printer’s terms of the pre-digital “lead age of typography” in English, German and French. Designed by legendary Swiss Rudolf Hostettler.

Bosch Fridge Manual 1963

I just stumbled upon an amazing collection of Book and Design related Flickr Sets by German based Design Professor Michael Stoll. This Bosch Fridge Manual Set from 1963 made me chuckle. Or check out this Flight Thru Instruments book from 1945, describing different (military) techniques of flight in a profusely illustrated manner. Or this Corporate Identity Brochure from 1972 about the City of Munich.

Rare Book Feast #1

Now here’s a gem of a discovery that stopped me in my tracks this morning: Rare Book Feast is new short movie series about the timeless character of books. Their message and what they look like are what is celebrated here. Nate Burgos believes that as our culture becomes digital in a lot of ways, it is all the more important (not to mention inviting) to revisit and learn from the early design challenges, creative solutions and general lessons that the “old” print world keeps relevant.

Kicking off this series is the “World Geo-Graphic Atlas” (1953) designed by Herbert Bayer with Martin Rosenzweig, Henry Gardiner and Masato Nakagawa: 2,200 diagrams, graphs, charts, symbols spanning 368 pages about our planet earth. All done before computers.

Video concept, script and narration by Nate Burgos of Video creation, direction and production by Joe Giovenco of


Fake Books

I couldn’t help but chuckle when I discovered these Fake Books by Emanuela Ligabue. They are handpainted wooden blocks, made to look like a book. (Please everyone, let’s welcome Emanuela to the internet. She just launched her site *today*, oh, and she happens to be the mother of wonderfully talented Olimpia Zagnoli)

An Endless Table

Don’t we all have a lifetime of dinner table photographs, each celebrating a holiday, birthday, or special event. Pictures that depict the same dinner table and usually the same cast of characters — family members, friends, neighbors. Combined, they create a seemingly never-ending scene. Colored dots represent the designer’s relationship to each person. I absolutely love this idea. Hat tip to Kim Bentley!

(thank you Kyle)

That’s How!

I am obviously a huge fan of Christoph Niemann. So it’s no surprise that I already pre-ordered his latest children’s book called That’s How!

Breaking In

My studiomate William Burks Spencer recently finished a book about how to put together an advertising portfolio. In it, he interviews over 100 of the top people in the industry and asks them practical questions that a student or junior would have. You can check out his blog here or buy the book on Amazon.

The Line by Saul Steinberg

The Line, the original a 10-meter-long drawing with 29 panels that unfold, accordion fashion, is Steinberg’s manifesto about the conceptual possibilities of the line and the artist who gives them life. His drawing hand begins and ends the sequence, as the simple horizontal line that hand creates metamorphoses into, among other things, a water line, laundry line, railroad track, sidewalk, arithmetic division line, or table edge; near the end, the curlicues etched by the iceskater’s blade remind us of the role calligraphy plays in Steinberg’s art.

The Line by Saul Steinberg

Stunning Bookshelf (shot by Selby)

Karl Lagerfeld’s bookshelf system is crazy impressive (and big!) It’s an older shot by Selby, who just came out with Edible Selby.

(via Raul)

Work/Life 2

I just got my copy of Uppercase’s Work/Life 2 today and couldn’t put it down for what seemed an eternity. The Uppercase Directory of Illustration features 100 illustrators from around the world, compiled in a beautiful design.

Here’s a flip through the entire book:

Penguin Luggage Tags

Help your luggage stand out from the crowd with these Penguin luggage tags available in two titles: On the Road, Jack Kerouac and The Lost Girl, D. H. Lawrence.

Eva Kotátková

This piece by Eva Kotátková made me look.

Test Pattern Library

This Test Pattern Library made me chuckle. I found it over on Amrit Richmond’s blog, who found it on Unplggd, who found it on ffffound. Now, who can tell me who made this?

This is 2011, we should be able to easily give credit to the original author. Ugh!

The Elements of Content Strategy

A Book Apart just announced their latest book, The Elements of Content Strategy, written by our brand new studiomate Erin Kissane, designed by studiomate Jason Santa Maria and edited by studiomate Mandy Brown. Yes, that was studiomate three times in a row. The book will be released March 8th.

Designers & Books

I am thrilled about today’s launch of long anticipated Designers & Books. The site is the brainchild of my friend Steve Kroeter and was designed by no other than Pentagram.

Steve told me about the concept of the site months ago and I have been anticipating this day, where I can share his wonderful idea. Steve approached highly respected members of the the design community and asked them to send in a list of books that had an important, meaningful, and formative impact on their lives. Books that have shaped their values, their worldview, and their ideas about design.

From Vitruvius to William Morris to Frank Lloyd Wright to Edith Wharton to Le Corbusier to Paul Rand—there has always been a particularly special and robust relationship between designers and books: reading them, writing them, designing them, collecting them, learning from them, and being inspired by them. Designers & Books celebrates that relationship.

Congratulations Steve! I am raising a glass of bubbly stuff.

Robot Quilt

While I am not all that crazy about quilts, this Robot Quilt by Boo Davis made me look and smile. It’s called “Does Not Compute”. Boo Davis shares the pattern and everything you need to know to make it in her book, “Dare to Be Square Quilting: A Block-by-Block Guide to Making Patchwork and Quilts.”

(How appropriate that the cover features an owl, my ‘obsession in the making!”)