From Typefaces to UX – Yoke’s Favourite Inspirational Books

With the Yoke team recently having grown by nine new members, we thought what better way to introduce everyone, team members old and new, than asking them to reveal their favourite inspirational book.

From Typefaces to UX - Yoke’s Favourite Inspirational Books

See what books inspire our designers, devs, digital marketers and account managers. Who knows, maybe a few of them will strike your fancy.

Richie Meldrum, Creative Director

Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads – Luke Sullivan
Coming up with creative ideas isn’t something that can be taught easily – there are no 5 quick steps, no IKEA-esque instructions, however, if you want an insight into the creative process that can lead you to that sacred moment of creative clarity, then I’d recommend reading this. I believe this book is a must for any aspiring creative.

Elizabeth Carruthers, Designer

The Shock of the New – Robert Hughes
This book by Australian art critic Robert Hughes analyses the revolutions in Modern Art since the late 19th century. It’s one of my mum’s books and I pored over it (mostly just looking at the pictures) from a really young age. Going back and reading it as an adult, it is just as amazing, and I totally blame it for setting me on the path of art and design.

Nikko de Jesus, Designer

Graphic Design: A User’s Manual – Adrian Shaughnessy
I go through this book sometimes to refer back to some of the design principles we learned at uni back in the day. The content serves as a great refresher and suits my reading style with its A-Z dictionary style glossary. Of course, me being a designer, the language used in the book speaks to me as well and it’s great light reading!

Olivia Gatt, Designer

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts – Simon Garfield
Just My Type dives into the psychology and history of typography design. The reason I like this book so much is because it reveals how much power words actually have over us. It inspires me, as a designer, to create powerful work that has a deeper meaning. It’s a page-turner and an easy read because most of the content is based on imagery.

Sina Kresse, Senior Digital Consultant

Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) – Christian Rudder
I like Dataclysm as it applies data in a real world context, which sounds nerdy, I admit, but is actually very relevant to our world. It shows how powerful data is in helping us to understand our surroundings and to make educated calls on different situations. These can then be developed into strategies, policies, and most importantly, significant mind shifts.

Luke Parsons, Digital Consultant

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Brave New World is a dystopian story of a society where everyone, par the ‘World Controllers’, have been turned into happy consumers through brainwashing, genetic engineering etc. The book does paint a pretty bleak picture, but the premise of it is very interesting: just how easy it is to influence people.

Pauline Russell, Senior Account Director

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead – Sheryl Sandberg
Although I’m not a fan of self-help or autobiographical books, I liked Sandberg’s goal-driven approach to work, and was very interested in how she got to where she is now. I found her thinking fascinating, especially her reasons for wanting to join Google and Facebook. The book isn’t actually about empowering women or how women can be more equal, but it’s more about how women can BE like Sandberg – which isn’t such a bad goal for women in the workforce!

Marah Houlihan, Senior Account Manager

The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
The Giving Tree is a book for adults and kids alike as the interpretation of the underlying message is up to the reader! It’s about the relationship between a boy and a tree, from his youth into his manhood and the give-take dynamics between the two over this period of time. I love the simplistic line illustrations and the use of minimal colour – these elements combined with the messaging transcend generations, that’s the charm of it!

Megan Pepicelli, Account Manager

Designing Brand Identity – Alina Whaler
As an account manager I need to have a solid understanding of quite a few different creative areas, with branding being one of the big ones, of course. This book has been of great help to me at thoroughly explaining the whole branding process from start to finish, and has definitely helped me in my career.

Linda Lam, Account Manager

Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
The book has taught me a lot about the philosophy of individual achievement. It has helped me with reaching my goals and advance in my career from being a real estate agent to working in property marketing.

Lana Laham, Account Executive

Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
Shantaram is a semi-fictional tale of a convict Lin, who escapes an Australian prison to disappear in the streets of Bombay. It’s a massive book full of adventure, but with also a deeper undercurrent. It takes you out of your comfort zone and makes Lin’s journey in personal growth feel like your own. All in all, the book gives you a new-found understanding of life in general.

David Cooper, Senior Digital Account Manager

Ideas That Matter: A Personal Guide for the 21st Century – A. C. Grayling
Ideas That Matter is a book on ideas that have had an impact on the world, ranging from philosophy and science to politics and religion. My interest in this book is personal – I think it gives you a nice crash course in framing every day challenges and how to apply philosophy in real life.

Joel Stevens, Digital Producer

Tale of Genji – Murasaki Shikibu
I’m a literature graduate, so books have always been a big part of my life. I recently read The Tale of Genji. Published over 1000 years ago it details the trials and tribulations of an emperor’s son in 10th century Japan. The characters would communicate with each other through reciting ancient poems, placing emphasis on the subtleties and nuances of language in order to articulate themselves. Being a producer I try to replicate such eloquence in my daily communication but words is hard.

Yuki Kubota, Digital Developer

Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich was originally published in 1937, during the Great Depression and it describes 16 laws that can be applied to achieve success. The laws are based on research and, in my opinion, the laws can also function as principles in business. The book teaches you business sense that can be applied in a wider context as well, from everyday life to work.

Rabia Chhabra, Digital Developer

Don’t Make Me Think – Steve Krug
This book is a classic in UX reads, and it has a lot of useful info for developers and pretty handy tips and tricks that I can use in my web development work. The biggest two takeaways from the book that have stuck with me were:

  1. If something is ‘usable’, it means that a person of average ability and experience can figure it out without trouble
  2. Navigation is the most important element on a website.

Stefanie Urso, Office Administrator

Chapter One: You Have the Power to Change Stuff – Daniel Flynn
Daniel Flynn is the Co-Founder of the social enterprise Thankyou. The Thankyou story is a great example of how an individual’s aspirational vision to end the effects of global poverty can translate into a huge movement in which his brand is now nationally recognised and supported by corporate giants. Daniel co-founded his business in a backyard shed whilst in university thus demonstrating that you don’t need a huge set up or bank account to start your business, just determination, passion and a great deal of focus to reach your desired goals.

(If you didn’t know, Thankyou is a NFP that originally sold water bottles but has recently added a number of household items to its brand such as cereal and hand wash. To date, Thankyou says it has given more than $2.5 million to projects spanning 16 countries, including safe water, hygiene and sanitation and food aid.)

Salli Jokinen, Marketing Manager

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini
The book was first recommended to me by one of our university’s PR lecturers, and ever since then I’ve found myself going back to this book regularly. The reason I’m obsessed with it is because the seven principles of persuasion are used so widely everywhere. Not just in marketing, PR and sales, but also in everyday interactions between people. It’s always very fascinating to notice these principles in action, not to mention to use them myself when crafting marketing messages.