Mara Einstein: Black Ops Advertising

Einstein’s book clears the muddying of advertising and editorial content. She delves into native advertising and provides real case studies to help us differentiate sponsored messages and actual content. With the increase of fake news and online tracking, we are being advertised and manipulated to death. This book is an informing and important read even if you are not in the ad industry.

Simon Loxley: Type is Beautiful

The story behind the fifty selected typefaces, including Baskerville, Comic Sans, Futura, Garamond, and Helvetica, in this book has been told many times before. Loxley doesn’t add anything new, but his writing is brief and approachable. If you know your type history, skip it. If you don’t, read it, design students in particular.

Digital Fonts and Reading

A collection of 14 research essays focusing on legibility and readability. If you care about typography, this book will provide informative studies on reading experiences ranging from highway signages to newspapers to everything in between. Required reading for designers.

50 Books Read in 2016

I have read 50 books this year, which is 6 books less than 2015. It’s still a good number according to my reading history. I do hope to keep reading around 40 to 50 books a year. I am still obsessed with reading. I read to relax and when I have time to myself. It also helps me stay away from social media. After this year’s election, I have drastically reduced reading the news; therefore, I will focus more on books next year. In addition to reading, I have started to collect books I love to keep. I will continue to update my wish list.

Robert Bringhurst: Palatino: The Natural History of a Typeface

An attentive assessment of Palatino, a typeface with an extended family Hermann Zapf had spent six decades designed and refined. Once again, Bringhurst’s poetic prose, technical analysis, biographical documentation, and beautiful typesetting make this book a real treat for type nerds.

Michael Johnson: Branding: In Five and a Half Steps

From Investigation to Strategy and Narrative to Design to Implementation to Engagement, Johnson delves into the five-step process as well as the essential half step that bridges the gap between Strategy and Design. Clear and approachable explanations combined with rich visual illustrations make this book a must-have guide for creating successful branding in any industry.

Emigre Fonts: Type Specimens 1986-2016

Celebrating 30 years of type design, the 752-page compilation of Emigre’s prolific work goes beyond the art of type specimen. The essays provide the designers’ approach and thinking process that go into their types. From Mrs Eaves to Tribute to Vista to Alda, you’ll appreciate the details of setting each of these exceptional typefaces.

It’s My Type

A big, beautiful coffee table book on typography begins with brief stories from ten type designers and ends with short articles and interviews. The huge chunk of this book showcases commercial typography. It’s nice to have for the office, but not required.

Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover

A gorgeous, historical collection of cover designs from Penguin Classics. Breathtaking illustration and expressive typography make it an inspiring reference for graphic designers.

Karen Leland: The Brand Mapping Strategy

A brief and practical introduction to create an effective brand. In addition to social media, branding and marketing strategist Karen Leland explains the important of developing a modern, marketing-oriented website:

In my experience, many business people (especially entrepreneurs and small-business owners) glossy underestimate the impact and importance of their websites. I can tell you with absolute certainty that the quality of your website is critical to your customers, potential customers, and even members of the media.

In other word, setting up your site on SquareSpace or Wix won’t help your brand. Take it from the branding expert and president of Sterling Marketing Group, not to be confused with Sterling Brands as I did.