Recommended Reading

While on my way to my hometown of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania to visit my parents and my girlfriends this weekend, I’m taking a minor detour to Lancaster (which isn’t exactly Amish Country, but it’s the same county). I’m visiting an AIGA student group of graphic designers at PCAD, whom I worked with while at the National AIGA Design Conference in Memphis.

As I began to consider what I’d speak to the students about, I kept going back to books. I love books and I’ve always loved books. While working towards my undergraduate degree from RIT in Graphic Design I was always in the library. Not only did I continually have the maximum number of books out (25) I worked there too, at the RIT Archives and Special Collections. This is where I developed my love for gorgeous books. These books were my extended education. They became my bible for design inspiration, encouraging me to think beyond the project.

So, I prepared my top 10 list of all-time favorite books. Some are current, some are historical and some are pure inspiration. Enjoy!

1. History of Graphic Design by Philip Meggs

2. The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters by Chip Kidd

3. Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst

4. Lester Beall: Trailblazer of American Graphic Design by my former RIT professor, R. Roger Remington

5. How To Think Like a Great Graphic Designer by my mentor, Debbie Millman

6. The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier

7. The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry by Jay Hambidge

8. Inside the Business of Graphic Design by Catharine Fishel

9. Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design by Steven Heller

10. Obey the Giant: Life in the Image World by Rick Poynor

Here are two more books that are really important for anyone to read (designer or non-designer):

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

The Stream of Life

This film gives me those chill-bumps every single time I watch it. It captures Lawrence Weiner in his natural light. You get to see how he thinks and rewind through his process. I’ve watched this video more than a dozen times, and yet I always find something new about it that I love.

Produced with Hillman Curtis as part of his Artist Series, starring artist Lawrence Weiner.

My not so over-zealous resolution

I will not be kicking off the new year with a “gloriously over-zealous resolution for 2009″. Nay. To the contrary, my resolution involves this blog and your daily ‘spoon of sugar’ Mr. / Ms. Innerspaeth reader!

I find that it’s good to challenge oneself, and in the spirit of the holiday I hate the most, I’ve decided to set an ambitious goal and pump myself up about it. On the heels of my recent obsession with social networking, specifically twittering, I’ve decided to “take it up a notch” with my blog. It’s time to incorporate more than just my random thoughts (ie – things to put in a salad) on Innerspaeth. My idea is to start an interview series where I conduct one-on-one interviews with local individuals in the DC Metro area that are doing something spectacular. Spectacular in this case really only relates to what I, in the most grand sense, feel is deserving enough, but the idea of the interview allows for uncertainty which is easily the most exciting part.

This kind of thing isn’t really new. Debbie Millman, my mentor, friend and quite possibly the mother of branding in NYC, hosts the weekly live internet radio show Design Matters available on Voice America Business. The show was voted 9th out of over 300 entries for the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum’s People’s Choice Award in 2007. The show is also available as Podcasts on iTunes, where over 100,000 people download the show every month. Design Matters features Debbie, beginning with an always eloquent and meaningful monologue that relates to the interview topic which takes place in the remaining hour. She’s interviewed pretty much every important design star in the industry and she takes callers questions near the end of the show. I once asked Debbie what her all time favorite show was, and oddly it was my favorite as well — the interview with Milton Glaser on 10-5-05.

I’m also diving into the NPR series entitled StoryCorps which was referred to me by Mr. Giam Trinh. This series highlights recording booths across America where everyday people come in and interview one another about their lives. With Design Matters and StoryCorps as my inspiration, I’m hopeful that my resolution will span through the entire year.

I’m in the process of ironing out the interview list and their respective questions. So far I’ve decided to start with my very dear friend, Mr. Jim Darling who has recently begun several photography projects on flickr including the 100 Strangers Project, 100 People I Know and 52 weeks of self portraits. Check out his work and stay tuned for the interview!