Thursday, 9 June 2011

Creative Books

I am constantly adding books to my Amazon Wish List from people's recommendations, therefore I have decided to give some recommendations of my own.

Here are my Top 5 creative industry books, not in any order, but all have been very useful to me:

1. "E" by Matt Beaumont

Amazon summary:
The idea of the first e-mail novel could have been a disaster but instead is a minor comic triumph thanks to Matt Beaumont's E. The novel of letters goes back to Richardson, of course, but things have moved on from Regency rape to the lethal office politics of an advertising agency. The beleaguered protagonists may appear to be concerned with pitching for the Coca-Cola account but their real problem is watching their backs: the knives are out and everyone from head honcho David Crutton downwards is well aware that their careers are on the line. Another part of Beaumont's lineage in this unputdownable novel is the This Life school of detailed interpersonal observation: no one character is allowed to assume centre stage; people screw, argue and discuss professional responsibility while the reader slowly makes his mind up about them from the information conveyed in the increasingly frantic e-mails.

It took me months to get round to actually reading this, but once I started, I couldn't put it down. The internal agency relations described in this story are so familiar to anyone who has worked in advertising. Very funny and easy to read as it is completely written through internal emails.

2. "Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Advertising" by Luke Sullivan

Veteran copywriter Luke Sullivan returns in a third edition of his irreverent warts–and–all look at advertising. Part how–to and part exposé, Hey Whipple, Squeeze This is an insider′s guide to coming up with great ideas as well as an unapologetic send–up of all that′s heavy–handed, dim–witted, and ineffectual in the industry....

For those who haven't guessed already, I enjoyed this book so much that I named this very blog after it. Enough said.

3. "The Advertising Concept Book: Think Now, Design Later" by Pete Barry

Amazon says:
Here is a systematically presented course on everything anyone needs to know about advertising, from how to write copy and choose a typeface, to how agencies work and the different strategies used for print, TV or cinema and other media, including interactive. Exercises throughout help the reader judge their own work and that of others. By getting to the heart of the creative process in a way that other guides dont, The Advertising Concept Book can help anyone produce better advertising.

This book was released when I was still studying advertising at Lincoln and it really helped me with my dissertation. Unlike all the other articles and wordy books I had to trawl through. This simply categorises different types of advertising and gives examples of scamps, which you don't really get to see in all the fancy ad books.

4. "A Technique for Producing Ideas" by James Webb Young

The blurb says:
Since its publication in 1965, A Technique for Producing Ideas has helped thousands of advertising copywriters smash through internal barriers to unleash their creativity. Professionals from poets and painters to scientists and engineers have also used the techniques in this concise, powerful book to generate exciting ideas on demand, at any time, on any subject. Now let James Webb Young's unique insights help you look inside yourself to find that big, elusive idea--and once and for all lift the veil of mystery from the creative process.

There are 3 main benefits of getting this book:
- It is tiny, you could probably read it in under half an hour.
- The tininess means it is CHEAP and therefore a good'n for you students
- It is the clearest definition I have read of the illusive 'creative process'

5. Now this one isn't technically a book, it is a magazine. 125 Magazine to be exact

Strictly speaking this is a photography magazine. Each issue is so beautifully crafted they're like a book in themselves. They are released quarterly but you can order back issues from their website: - I just made the mistake of checking this URL works and have ended up buying 3 back issues.

That's your lot for now but I may extend the list to 10 if I can decide on some more, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Facebook Fail

...and if you enjoyed that, have you read this?

Facebook inspires Israeli couple to name baby 'Like'

The unintended consequences of Facebook
Facebook hits 500m user milestone
Facebook funds a £20,000 wedding
An Israeli couple have named their baby daughter Like, taking inspiration from the Facebook social networking site, Israeli media say.

Lior Adler and his wife Vardit said they were looking for a name that was "modern and innovative".

Facebook allows users to "like" their friends' statuses, pictures and posts.

Like Adler's father said originality was a key factor in the choice and said he had checked no-one else in Israel had the same name.

"In our opinion it's the modern equivalent of the name Ahava [Love]," he said, according to Israeli newspaper Maariv.

"It's just my way of saying to my fantastic daughter, 'Love'."

According to the Haaretz newspaper, the most popular names for girls in Israel currently are Noa, Maya and Tamar.

Like, however, will not be alone within her family with her unusual name.

Both parents enjoy cooking and named one of their daughters Pie - using the English word for the name - and Dvash, Hebrew for Honey, according to Maariv.

Like's father said that when he announced her arrival on Facebook she was very popular.

"When I posted her picture and name on Facebook I got 40 'likes'," he told the newspaper.

"Considering that I have only a little more than 100 friends on the network that's a lot."

Via BBC News