New in the library

Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet and become an indispensable part of our lives. How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes readers inside Google headquarters—the Googleplex—to show how Google works.

While they were still students at Stanford, Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin revolutionized Internet search. They followed this brilliant innovation with another, as two of Google’s earliest employees found a way to do what no one else had: make billions of dollars from Internet advertising. With this cash cow (until Google’s IPO nobody other than Google management had any idea how lucrative the company’s ad business was), Google was able to expand dramatically and take on other transformative projects: more efficient data centers, open-source cell phones, free Internet video (YouTube), cloud computing, digitizing books, and much more.

The key to Google’s success in all these businesses, Levy reveals, is its engineering mind-set and adoption of such Internet values as speed, openness, experimentation, and risk taking. After its unapologetically elitist approach to hiring, Google pampers its engineers—free food and dry cleaning, on-site doctors and masseuses—and gives them all the resources they need to succeed. Even today, with a workforce of more than 23,000, Larry Page signs off on every hire.

But has Google lost its innovative edge? It stumbled badly in China—Levy discloses what went wrong and how Brin disagreed with his peers on the China strategy—and now with its newest initiative, social networking, Google is chasing a successful competitor for the first time. Some employees are leaving the company for smaller, nimbler start-ups. Can the company that famously decided not to be evil still compete?

No other book has ever turned Google inside out as Levy does with In the Plex.

via Amazon.com: In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (9781416596585): Steven Levy: Books.

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Did you know that the most creative companies have centralized bathrooms? That brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea? That the color blue can help you double your creative output?

From the New York Times best-selling author of How We Decide comes a sparkling and revelatory look at the new science of creativity. Shattering the myth of muses, higher powers, even creative “types,” Jonah Lehrer demonstrates that creativity is not a single gift possessed by the lucky few. It’s a variety of distinct thought processes that we can all learn to use more effectively.

Lehrer reveals the importance of embracing the rut, thinking like a child, daydreaming productively, and adopting an outsider’s perspective (travel helps). He unveils the optimal mix of old and new partners in any creative collaboration, and explains why criticism is essential to the process. Then he zooms out to show how we can make our neighborhoods more vibrant, our companies more productive, and our schools more effective.

You’ll learn about Bob Dylan’s writing habits and the drug addictions of poets. You’ll meet a Manhattan bartender who thinks like a chemist, and an autistic surfer who invented an entirely new surfing move. You’ll see why Elizabethan England experienced a creative explosion, and how Pixar’s office space is designed to spark the next big leap in animation.

Collapsing the layers separating the neuron from the finished symphony, Imagine reveals the deep inventiveness of the human mind, and its essential role in our increasingly complex world.

via Amazon.com: Imagine: How Creativity Works (9780547386072): Jonah Lehrer: Books.

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What if doorbells used smell instead of sound? What if watches told time more slowly on weekends? Designers at the ground-breaking firm IDEOthe most innovative design company in the worldpush themselves to ask seemingly outrageous questions like these daily as they work to construct the products that shape our lives. Following 12 design experiments conceived by designers at IDEO, I Miss My Pencil takes a voyeuristic look at what designers do daily, might get to do once, and sometimes only hope to do. Each experiment is made real through collaboration, sketching, prototyping, fabrication, and photographing to go beyond the conceptual to the curiously concrete.

via Amazon.com: I Miss My Pencil (9780811860758): Martin Bone, Kara Johnson: Books.

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Covering a never before seen array of techniques, materials, and forms, this title focuses on the ever-changing nature of promotion. From invitations to brochures, portfolios and catalogues, B.E.A.M. – Visual Tactics in Promotional Design captures the innovation necessary to stand out in a competitive world market and demand notice from prospective clients. As new outlets and technologies are constantly in the process of being created or reinvented, visionary designers who arm themselves with the latest tools feel less constrained and as a result, more free to experiment with implementation than their competitors. The creative output featured in this volume is unmatched and includes products cutting across a diverse cross section of industries including charity, fashion, food, professional, and of course, the design industry.

via Amazon.com: Not for Sale For Promo Only: New Direction in Promotional Design (9789881732828): Victionary: Books.

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The superstars and leading professionals in the business of writing ads

In 1995, the D&AD published a book on the art of writing for advertising. Though now outdated, the best-selling book remains an important reference work today—a bible for creative directors. D&AD and TASCHEN have joined forces to bring you an updated and redesigned edition of the publication, including works from the last 15 years. Regarded as the most challenging field in advertising, copywriting is usually left to the most talented professionals—often agency leaders or owners themselves. The book features a work selection and essays by 48 leading professionals in the world, including copywriting superstars such as David Abbott, Lionel Hunt, Steve Hayden, Dan Wieden, Neil French, Mike Lescarbeau, Adrian Holmes, and Barbara Nokes. Looking for the clues to well-written, effective, and compelling stories that make great advertising? Look no further.

via Amazon.com: D&AD: The Copy Book (9783836528320): D&AD: Books.

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The secret to creative success lies not in knowing the right answers, but in knowing how to ask the right questions–and this little book is full of them! A veritable therapy session on paper, 344 Questions is composed entirely of questions designed to help you determine where you are in your life and career, where you want to be, and how to get there. Hopefully, you’ll also laugh along the way.

Each spread in this colorful, pocket-sized book contains a series of several questions illustrated in Stefan Bucher’s unique, whimsical, hand-lettered style. The questions are designed to get you thinking and drawing and writing with room on each spread to fill in the blanks and jot down ideas. Sample questions include: Can you name 10 things that reliably stress you out? Do you need 10 more spaces? Was filling out lists on your list? Or the decimal system? What happens when you get stressed out? Do you think stress is heroic? Can you please convince me that that’s really stupid?

In addition to the questions provided by Bucher, the book features questions from creative celebrities who share some of the questions they were asked on the way to success, or, in some cases, the questions they wish they had been asked.

via Amazon.com: 344 Questions: The Creative Person’s Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment (Voices That Matter) (9780321733009): Stefan G. Bucher: Books.

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Vital strategies for creating and maintaing brand identity

With in-depth case studies of leading projects from around the world, Brand Identity Now! is destined to be a major work of reference for designers, marketing professionals and anyone working in communications. The book examines logos, imagery, and strategic applications involved in each branded project. Featuring over 150 outstanding brand identities from more than 20 countries, including the Obama ’08 Election Campaign, The Museum of Art and Design, and New York’s bid for the Olympic Games 2012. Top design offices featured include Attik, Pentagram, 3deluxe, Landor, and MetaDesign.

via Amazon.com: Brand Identity Now! (9783836515849): Julius Wiedemann: Books.

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“You go to work each day tasked with (1) inventing brilliant solutions that (2) meet specific objectives by (3) defined deadlines. If you do this successfully you get to keep your job. If you don’t, you get to work on your resume. The moment you exchange your creative efforts for money, you enter a world where you will have to be brilliant at a moment’s notice. (no pressure, right?)”

It isn’t enough to just do your job anymore. In order to thrive in today’s marketplace, all of us, regardless of our role, have to be ready to generate brilliant ideas on demand. The Accidental Creative teaches effective practices that support your creative process. You’ll discover how to:

- Focus in on your most critical work and reclaim your attention.

- Develop stimulating relationships that will lead to creative insights.

- Effectively manage your energy so that you are always ready to engage.

- Curate stimuli that help you stay mentally focused.

- Leverage your hours wisely and effectively to eliminate creativity drains.

The Accidental Creative is your guide to staying fresh and doing your best work each day.

via Amazon.com: The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice (9781591844013): Todd Henry: Books.

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Insights and provocations from world-renowned brand consultants, thought leaders, designers, and strategists.

We are now living in a world with over one hundred brands of bottled water. The United States alone is home to over 45,000 shopping malls. And there are more than 19 million customized beverage choices a barista can whip up at your local Starbucks. Whether it’s good or bad, the real question is why we behave this way in the first place. Why do we telegraph our affiliations or our beliefs with symbols, signs, and codes?

Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits contains twenty interviews with the world’s leading designers and thinkers in branding. The interviews contain spirited views on how and why humans have branded the world around us, and the ideas, inventions, and insight inherent in the search.

via Amazon.com: Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits 9781581158649: Debbie Millman: Books.

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Social media is a crucial tool for success in business today. People are already talking about your business using social media, whether you’re using it or not. By becoming part of the conversation, you can start connecting directly to your customers, as well as finding new ones, easily and inexpensively spreading the word about your products or services.

But social media marketing isn’t like traditional marketing-and treating it that way only leads to frustration. Let Shama Hyder Kabani, president of Web marketing firm Marketing Zen and social media expert, teach you the “zen” of social media marketing: how to access all the benefits of social media marketing without the stress!

With a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Chris Brogan, The Zen of Social Media Marketing outlines the most popular social media tools, from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn, and teaches you how to use them, step by step. She provides proven strategies for success from the businesses she works with every day, along with shortcuts and tips to help you make the most of your time and energy.

The Zen of Social Media Marketing is also the last social media guide you’ll ever need: with the physical book you also get access to the exclusive online edition, which includes regular updates and video extras to make sure you’re always on top of the latest in social media.

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