We’ve been waiting for it, and it’s finally here: Summer! As more and more people take vacation, traffic subsides and work starts to slow down. Well, at least that’s what they say. We all know the truth!
If you take vacation, or find yourself with some free time this summer, there’s no better way to spend it than with a good book. Now is the time to catch up on that reading list you’ve had since… well, last summer. Don’t have a reading list? We’ve got you covered. Check out the top five books every creative professional should read:
1) Imagine: How Creativity Works (Jonah Lehrer)
Like the title suggests, Imagine looks at the science of creativity and how it functions. While many seem to think that creativity is this elusive gift given only to a few lucky souls, this is not the case. Creativity, the book argues, is an acquired skill. One must develop this skill through:
- Embracing the rut
- Thinking like a child
- Day dreaming productively
The book walks you through examples of people who have used these techniques to hone their creativity. One of the examples, Bob Dylan, got the author in quite a bit of trouble. The author allegedly quoted Dylan in an illegal fashion, resulting in the book being pulled off the shelf.
If you can find a copy lying around somewhere, give it a read, and further develop your creativity skills. Just don’t tell anyone where you found it.
2) Stimulated! Habits to Spark Your Creative Genius at Work (Andrew Pek and Jeannine McGlade)
This book outlines five habits that will help you release your creativity and expand your innovative thinking. It does so through a step-by-step process that will help bring you out of a creative rut, and get you unstuck.
The process involves:
- Drawing inspiration from the world around you
- Turning work into play
- Committing to big, bold ideas
- Transferring both success and failure into your next creative effort
In the same way we exercise our bodies to stay in shape, this book attempts to exercise your creative mind, helping you stay innovative and ready for anything that comes your way.
Have you ever had a bold idea? If you’ve made it this far through my blog post, then you probably have. You know how hard it can be to pitch innovative ideas. Those you’re pitching to will need more convincing if risk is involved.
IdeaSelling gives you powerful techniques to help you sell your idea to the powers that be. These tips and techniques can be used by designers, writers, marketers and any other creative professional. Developed by selling and branding specialists, they are fool-proof ways to turn your ideas into a reality. Want a hint: Know your audience!
To make things easier, the book is written so that each page contains a new tip, making for a quick and easy, but highly beneficial, read. If you are in a pinch for time this summer, this is the book for you.
4) BRAINSTEERING: A Better Approach to Breakthrough Ideas (Kevin P. Coyne and Shawn T. Coyne)
While there is no secret way to come up with powerful ideas, there are more productive ways to do so. No more brainstorming sessions that lead you to dead ends! This book gives you research-based techniques to help unlock innovation.
You will learn techniques to steer brainstorming in a more productive direction. Combining the right amount of structure with free thought, these methods are based on the ways that humans think.
What exactly will you learn? For starters, this book will provide you with the right questions to ask in a brainstorming situation. These questions, if applied properly, will lead you to a powerful solution. It even provides real-world examples of how this has worked in the past.
5) The Strategic Designer: Tools & Techniques for Managing the Design Process (David Holston)
This book aims to help today’s graphic designer stay competitive. As the design market evolves, problems become more complex. Designers need to know how to address these problems.
Holston encourages designers to adopt a new process involving collaboration, context and accountability. Basically, he says that designers need to move from makers of things to design strategists. This takes the art of graphic design from a tactical level, to a strategic level.
This new process will not only give designers an edge over competition, it will also help them evolve relationships with clients. The stronger these relationships are, the more work available in the future, as most designers already know.
In this book, you will find each phase of the design process laid out in a step-by-step fashion to help you incorporate it into your own work.
Whether you’re sitting by the pool, travelling to your vacation spot or killing time on the commute to work, these books will help you make the most of your “free” time this summer!
What books would you add to this list? Tell us about them in the comments below.