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Westminster Book Club

Posted by Amanda | January 2, 2018

Get inspired and start 2018 with our top 10 hand-selected books from your Westminster team. Included are a few of our favorites, with everything from improving your team, to sparking that creativity, to improve your daily workflow. We’re proud to say we even designed and printed a few of these ourselves. We hope these suggestions get your New Year off to a great start. Cheers and happy reading

In Great Company


At a lunch with the CEOs of Clif Bar and Triage Consulting Group, Gary Erickson and Patti Lee-Hoffmann compared notes about the financial health of their companies. Both of their industries (specialty food and consulting) were suffering during the Great Recession, but it turned out that the two companies had just wrapped up record-breaking years. They wondered if there were other companies like theirs, engaged in industries hard hit by the downturn, but were nonetheless thriving. Over the next 12 months, Lee-Hoffmann traveled across America to search for those successful companies and learn what they all had in common. Through interviews with board chairmen to line staff, she found 11 companies, all engaged in different industries—from advertising to construction and from women’s clothing to outdoor furniture. She learned that great companies sell products that come with intense, often personal, service. Their egoless leaders encourage their people to lead, take risks and challenge the status quo. These leaders tell the truth, no matter how painful, and communicate freely and fully with their people and customers. Great companies are valued community institutions and their concern for the environment is a deeply held value. It turns out that these and other common traits are the very things that provide financial support to them regardless of the state of the economy.

You’re My Favorite Client


Whether you’re a designer or not, you make design decisions every day. Successful design projects require equal participation from both the client and the design team. Yet, for most people who buy design, the process remains a mystery. In his follow-up to Design Is a Job, Mike Monteiro demystifies the design process and helps you prepare for your role. Ensure you’re asking the right questions, giving effective feedback, and hiring designers who will challenge you to make your product the best it can be. Mike Monteiro is the co-founder and design director of Mule Design, an interactive design studio whose work has been called “delightfully hostile” by The New Yorker. In early 2011, he gave a Creative Mornings talk entitled “F- You, Pay Me” that not only uplifted the downtrodden the world over, but fueled his first book, Design Is a Job. In 2014 he won .net’s Talk of the Year award for “How Designers Destroyed the World,” a screed about designers taking responsibility for their work. He can be heard weekly as the co-host of Let’s Make Mistakes. None of the terms Mike has coined are printable on a family website.

Start with Why


In 2009, Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who’ve watched his TED Talk based on START WITH WHY—the third most popular TED video of all time.

Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?

People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.

START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way—and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.

Inspired


Why do some products make the leap to greatness while others do not?

Creating inspiring products begins with discovering a product that is valuable, usable, and feasible. If you can not do this, then it s not worth building anything.

  • How do you decide which product opportunities to pursue?
  • How do you get evidence that the product you are going to ask your engineering team to build will be successful?
  • How do you identify the minimal possible product that will be successful?
  • How do you manage the often conflicting demands of company execs, customers, sales, marketing, engineering, design, and more?
  • How can you adapt Agile methods for commercial product environments?

Product management expert Marty Cagan answers these questions and hundreds more as he shares lessons learned, techniques, and best practices from working for and with some of the most successful companies in the high-tech industry. You will find that there s a very big difference between how the very best companies create products and all the rest.

Logo Lounge


The tenth book in the LogoLounge series celebrates the latest in expert identity work by notable designers and up-and-coming talents from around the world. This far-reaching collection offers inspiration, insight, and an indispensable reference tool for graphic designers and their clients.

Founded by Bill Gardner, president of Gardner Design, the LogoLounge website is the most comprehensive and searchable logo database available today. Through their submissions, members gain the added benefit of consideration for inclusion in the LogoLounge book series.

LogoLounge 10 presents the 2,500 best logo designs as judged by a select group of identity designers and branding experts. Logos are organized into 20 visual categories for easy reference. Peek behind the curtain to witness logo genius throughout the book, with article on design firms such as Alex Rinker, Odney, Steely Works, Simon Frouws Design, Gardner Design and more. LogoLounge 10 is the definitive logo resource for designers, brand managers, and start-ups looking for consummate inspiration.

Accidental Creative


Many of us assume that our creative process is beyond our ability to influence, and pay attention to it only when it isn’t working properly. For the most part, we go about our daily tasks and everything just “works.” Until it doesn’t. Adding to this lack of understanding is the rapidly accelerating pace of work. Each day we are face escalating expectations and a continual squeeze to do more with less. We are asked to produce an ever-increasing amount of brilliance in an ever-shrinking amount of time. There is an unspoken (or spoken!) expectation that we’ll be accessible 24/7, and as a result we frequently feel like we’re “always on.” Now business creativity expert Todd Henry explains how to unleash your creative potential. Whether you’re a creative by trade or an “accidental creative,” this book will help you quickly and effectively integrate new ideas into your daily life.

How to Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul

Designers are quick to tell us about their sources of inspiration, but they are much less willing to reveal such critical matters as how to find work, how much they charge, and what to do when a client rejects three weeks of work and refuses to pay the bill. How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul addresses the concerns of young designers who want to earn a living by doing expressive and meaningful work, and who want to avoid becoming hired drones working on soulless projects. Written by a designer for designers, it combines practical advice with philosophical guidance to help young professionals embark on their careers.

How should designers manage the creative process? What’s the first step in the successful interpretation of a brief? How do you generate ideas when everything just seems blank? How to be a graphic designer offers clear, concise guidance for these questions, along with focused, no-nonsense strategies for setting up, running, and promoting a studio, finding work, and collaborating with clients.

Don’t Make Me Think


Since Don’t Make Me Think was first published in 2000, hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on usability guru Steve Krug’s guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it’s one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject.

Now Steve returns with fresh perspective to reexamine the principles that made Don’t Make Me Think a classic–with updated examples and a new chapter on mobile usability. And it’s still short, profusely illustrated…and best of all–fun to read.

If you’ve read it before, you’ll rediscover what made Don’t Make Me Think so essential to Web designers and developers around the world. If you’ve never read it, you’ll see why so many people have said it should be required reading for anyone working on Web sites.

Manage Your Day


Are you over-extended, over-distracted, and overwhelmed? Do you work at a breakneck pace all day, only to find that you haven’t accomplished the most important things on your agenda when you leave the office?

The world has changed and the way we work has to change, too. With wisdom from 20 leading creative minds, Manage Your Day-to-Day will give you a toolkit for tackling the new challenges of a 24/7, always-on workplace.

Tribe of Mentors


Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, shares the ultimate choose-your-own-adventure book—a compilation of tools, tactics, and habits from 130+ of the world’s top performers. From iconic entrepreneurs to elite athletes, from artists to billionaire investors, their short profiles can help you answer life’s most challenging questions, achieve extraordinary results, and transform your life.


Les Kyono

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