New books from friends, acquaintances and "imaginary" online pals of author Jeff Fisher

Referring to myself as an author still feels a bit odd at times. From an early age, it is something that I wanted to be "when I grew up." Well, I don't know if I've grown up but, with the publication of The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success: Ideas and tactics for a killer career (HOW Books, 2004); the 2007 release of Identity Crisis!: 50 redesigns that transformed stale identities into successful brands (HOW Books); currently writing Logo Type for a 2010 HOW Books release; and discussions about future books, I guess I have become an author.

Anyone surviving the process understands the accomplishment of writing a book - and actually getting the thing published. In the last few months at least nine "creative type" friends, acquaintances and "imaginary" online pals have released design-related books. I wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge their efforts and the end results.

The other day I came across Graphic Design for Nondesigners: Essential Knowledge, Tips, and Tricks, Plus 20 Step-by-Step Projects for the Design Novice, by Tony Seddon and Jane Waterhouse. The book is an incredible resource for anyone needing a basic understanding of graphic design. It would be a great gift for a student considering a design career. I first met Seddon at a HOW Design Conference, where he was attending in his capacity as art director for UK publisher Rotovision. Hopefully our discussions about possibly doing a book together will result in a future volume.

I can't remember when I first met Seattle-based designer Terry Marks. I've been a long-time fan of the work of his firm, TMARKS. His book Good Design: Deconstructing Form and Function and What Makes Good Design Work, written with Matthew Porter, features interviews with numerous designers presenting their definitions of "good design." There's plenty of "eye candy" in this offering from Rockport Publishers.

Illustrator Holly DeWolf is among what some refer to as my "imaginary friends." We're online pals from design forums, Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere. DeWolf's book, Breaking Into Freelance Illustration: A Guide for Artists, Designers and Illustrators, has just been released by HOW Books. It's a step-by-step guide to assist illustrators in creating and promoting an independent business.

I recently just missed a "real world" Austin introduction to another "imaginary friend" - designer, artist, craftsperson and writer Patricia Zapata. Zapata's book, Home, Paper, Scissors: Decorative Paper Accessories for the Home, provides beautiful inspiration to anyone enjoying the creation of art from paper. Check out A Little Hut for a peak at the incredible artwork. I'm thrilled to have a piece of her original art awaiting display in my soon-to-be redecorated bedroom.

Steve Gordon, Jr. is absolutely RDQLUS! One of the nearly infamous HOW Conference "Speakers Gone Wild" gang, Gordon - owner of RDQLUS Creative - was initially another of my online "imaginary friends." Today he is one of my favorite design industry pals. Rockport Publisher released his book, 100 Habits of Successful Freelance Designers: Insider Secrets for Working Smart & Staying Creative, earlier this year. The book focuses on the daily habits that inspire designers to stay creative and business strategies to be successful when working on your own.

Caffeine for the Creative Team: 200 Exercises to Inspire Group Innovation is the follow-up volume to the HOW Books release Caffeine for the Creative Mind: 250 Exercises to Wake Up Your Brain. The new volume offers exercises, tools and related experiences to help creative teams get the most out of their efforts. Authors Stefan Mumaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield have become friends over the years through time spent together at HOW Design Conferences.

I first met designer and educator Peg Faimon years ago when we were on the "Designers in Handcuffs" panel at the New Orleans HOW Design Conference. We've kept in touch over the years - and that resulted in her using me as a resource (more about that it a future bLog-oMotives entry) for her book, The Designer's Guide to Business and Careers: How to Succeed on the Job or on Your Own. The book is a "must have" resource for assisting designers in mapping out a successful career.

Tamye Riggs is another online "friend" that I've never met. We have an Oregon connection, a common passion for typography, and often bump into each other on Typophile, Twitter and Facebook. Riggs' new book, Typeface: Classic Typography for Contemporary Design, is a type lover's wet dream. Read more about this book in a recent bLog-oMotives "Toot! Toot!"

Illustrator, designer and speaker extraordinaire Von Glitschka lives less than an hour from my Portland home studio. However, we were online forum acquaintances long before we met in person at a HOW Design Conference in Chicago. Glitschka spent over a year creating the patterns in his book, Drip Dot Swirl: 94 Incredible Patterns for Design and illustration. The book is an excellent follow-up to his first texture volume, Crumble Crackle Burn

Any titles from this incredible assortment of books - written a collection of my friends, acquaintances and "imaginary" online pals - would be great additions to your own design library.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

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