Jeffrey Bernett

Product/Industrial Designer / United States / CDS/Consultants for Design Strategy

Jeffrey Bernett’s Book List

School only teaches you so much, so the two other things I’ve held to are: surround yourself and work with the brightest people you can, and read broadly. Reading, isn’t only a quest to gain knowledge, but it’s actually a very thought-provoking journey in its own right, and it’s surprising, when provoked provocatively, where the mind goes off to along the way.

8 books
Otl Aicher

Otl Aicher founded the Ulm School of Design, which became Germany’s leading educational center for design during the 1950s and 1960s. Aicher was heavily involved in corporate branding for a number of important companies of the era, including designing the logo for German airline Lufthansa, and is probably best known for being the lead designer for the 1972 Munich Olympics. A complete and broad thinker of design.

Paul Arden

Paul Arden was a top ad man and this is his witty and insightful little book on how to succeed in the world—“a pocket bible for the talented and timid to make the unthinkable thinkable.”

Gordon Bruce

Eliot Noyes was an architect who began his career working in the office of Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. He went on to become the first Director of the Industrial Design department at MoMA in the 1940s. From the late 1950s on he was Consulting Director of Design for IBM (and was, in fact, responsible for turning International Business Machines into IBM), Mobil Oil, Westinghouse, and Cummins Engine Company, bringing about a change in the way that these corporations, and others that followed, were to think about design and its impact on business. Noyes was one of the first true corporate design consultants and “strategists”—a leader, pioneer, and visionary.

Ralph Caplan

Ralph is a bit like Thomas Friedman, and his book By Design—covering architecture, industrial design, fashion design, graphic design, and the design of business and social situations—shows how design affects many of our most significant human activities.

James Collins

In a world that seems to accept “good enough” and with the U.S. and the world facing some dynamic changes, the U.S.—and its leading corporations—need to decide if we are again going to be world leaders in a broad section of industries going forward, and if so, what are the values and principles that are going to get us there. To this end, Collins and his researchers went on a broad and in-depth journey of 1,400-plus companies to find out what characteristics and values are common to, and what are the key attributes found in “great” companies.

Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell’s book is about what factors make high achievers the best and the brightest, and the most successful and unique. An insightful and provocative look at the Rubik’s Cube of life—chance, luck, dedication, and determination.

John Heskett

John Heskett wants to transform the way we think about design by showing how integral it is to our daily lives—from the spoon we use to eat our breakfast cereal, and the car we drive to work in, to the medical equipment used to save lives. Design combines “need” and “desire” in the form of a practical object that can also reflect the user’s identity and aspirations through its form and decoration. 

This is a David and Goliath story of baseball and sports. Moneyball is about Billy Beane and the Oakland A's, whose courage and quest for the secret of success in baseball form a tale of the search for new knowledge bucking the instincts and trends of the past—a great story about the little guy and underdog who was willing to discard old wisdom in a quest for victory.

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