Read us like a book

In the summertime, when the weather is… let’s be honest, fairly unpredictable… a backup plan is necessary. You know the drill - out comes the barbecue, down comes the rainfall. On goes the jacket, out comes the sunshine. 

To help you navigate the various conundrums that Mother Nature’s bound to throw at you this summer, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite reads that can either be your rainy-day solution, or your sunny, pool-side project.

Last week our CEO, Jim Prior, reflected on the books that have had the most profound impact on him in ‘Books that influenced me’.   This week we’re tapping a few other minds from across our studios to bring you a summer reading list with a little bit of everything in it – business, branding, strategy, design, and those “just because” reads. In fact, it’s so comprehensive, you should probably print it out and frame it.  Are you ready?

Uri Baruchin, Head of Strategy

UnflatteningNick Sousanis

“Nick Sousanis’s extraordinary Ph.D. dissertation investigates the relationship between words and images in western culture and explores how combining the two might create new ways of thinking.  Written entirely in comic book form, Sousanis topples language’s assumed superiority over imagery, exploring the possibility that the two might be equals in the process of creating meaning. What emerges from this investigation into the construction of human knowledge is an astonishing experiment in semiotics, epistemology and visual thinking.

There’s more to this book than meets the eye. Images that initially seem straight-forward morph into allusions and motifs, giving way to a vibrant conflict between abstraction and realism. Create, consider, critique, and prepare to have your mind blown.”

Inga Howell, Business Development Director

Brand New - Wally Olins

“I had the privilege of working with Wally when he was writing his last book, Brand New, published just before his death. The sharpness of his mind, his legendary straight-talking and immense warmth of heart shine through every word and every page. He wrote Brand New with the same unwavering passion that he brought to the branding industry in the 1960s – a passion for the world of brands and businesses, for the value of authenticity and provenance, and, ultimately, his belief in the power of human nature. Wally viewed organisations like people – with personalities and traits – and he became increasingly frustrated with big brands losing sight of themselves. His book is free of marketing jargon; his ideas are simple and clear. In his own words: ‘I try to be direct and clear. I simply tell my clients the truth as I see it, without too much gloss or varnish because that’s what I’m there for. Of course, it’s nice to be nice. But it’s also nice to be straight.’ He will always be a true inspiration for me.”

Jane Harwood, Designer

It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to BePaul Arden

“This one’s for the ambitious! And I think it's made a bigger impression on me than I even realise.”

Advertising legend Paul Arden gives a unique insight into the world of advertising and provides a quirky compilation of quotes, facts, pictures, wit and wisdom, packed into a handy-sized book on how to succeed, not just in advertising but in business generally.

Show Your Work - Austin Kleon 

“This is one for those who are perhaps publicly shy, but also protective over their work.”

Austin Kleon describes his work as a book for people who hate the idea of self-promotion. In it, he lays out ways to think about your work as a never-ending process, about how to build an audience by sharing that process, and about how to deal with the ups and downs of putting yourself and your work out into the world.

Scott Lambert, Design Director

Mondial - Rapha

“Mondial expands the idea of what road cycling is and what the sport can be. Featuring incisive long-form writing and stunning photography, in Mondial you will find familiar cycling topics given a fresh new treatment, while a cycling viewpoint is brought to wider cultural subjects, thus broadening the sport’s reference points. This is a triumph from several perspectives:  graphic design, print production, brand-world, and lifestyle. They know. They get it. The last issue featured a rare interview with Norman Foster.”

Miki Nathan, Account Executive

 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

“I don’t want to give anything away so all I’m going to say is… beautifully written – especially if you like books set in America, read this. I couldn’t put it down, so much so that I walked into a lamppost.”

Harriet Ghaui, Marketing Manager

 The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien

This was the first book I every stayed up all night to finish. When it comes to the Vietnam War, there is no one in my mind who can compare to O’Brien for conveying the sense of confusion and conflict.  You never know if you’re reading fact or fiction as you read the interwoven stories of a platoon of American soldiers grappling with their sense of reality. But you put it down with a renewed appreciation for what the English language is capable of emoting.   

Happy reading!