Capsule 15: Books & Reading

Our next Capsule 15 series comes to you in the form of inspirational readings. For fifteen days we will share a variety of books of different shapes, sizes and genres that fuel our day-to-day adventures at Capsule. We hope you find these stories, thoughts and theories equally inspiring and thought-provoking. We welcome commentary on the subject matter from all of these suggested reads. And, follow our Capsule 15 series on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest with the hashtag, #Capsule15. 

Day Fifteen: Capsule, "Design Matters: Packaging" 

For our last day of the Capsule 15 series on inspirational readings, we are featuring our very own "Design Matters: Packaging." 

This book focuses on developing, creating and implementing package designs, while others in the series dissect brochures, logos, publications, and letterhead systems. Offering all the essential information needed to execute strong designs in concert with beautiful and well-crafted examples, so readers can successfully hit the mark every time.

Day Fourteen: Andy Weir, "The Martian" 

If you like Sci-Fi novels, then this book will be very hard for you to put down. You'll find it filled with all kinds of inspiring human ingenuity, thrills and chills. Plus it is being made into a movie starring Matt Damon, to be released in theaters later this year. 

More information on Andy Weir and "The Martian" available here

Day Thirteen: Cheryl Strayed, "Wild" 

"At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone."

"Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her." 

Read more about Cheryl, and the review above, here

Day Twelve: Gillian Flynn, "Gone Girl" 

"Gone Girl" is a spectacular, page-turning read. One that many from our office have read and recommended to colleagues and friends due to its psychological intrigue and mind-gripping story. As The Washington Post proclaimed, her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.”

"Flynn cements her place among that elite group of mystery/thriller writers who unfailingly deliver the goods…Once again Flynn has written an intelligent, gripping tour de force, mixing a riveting plot and psychological intrigue with a compelling prose style that unobtrusively yet forcefully carries the reader from page to page." - Library Journal (Starred review) 

Flynn's book is available for purchase on Amazon and most book stores. 

Day Eleven: Capsule, "Design Matters: Logos" 

"The design bar is at an all time high for those brave enough to participate in the industry. Today's designers must be clear on all the steps necessary to create work that stands out in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Unfortunately, most design books only focus on type, color, and layout issues."

Capsule's Design Matters series "takes a more in-depth approach, allowing designers to learn not only how to create work that is aesthetically appealing, but that is also strategy-driven and smart."

Contact Aaron Keller for more information on the Design Matters series.

Day Ten: Seth Godin, "Tribes" 

"A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For millions of years, humans have joined tribes, be they religious, ethnic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads)...Who is going to lead all these tribes? The Web can do amazing things, but it can’t provide leadership. That still has to come from individuals—people just like you who have passion about something. Anyone who wants to make a difference now has the tools at their fingertips."

Read more about this review of Seth's book or purchase on Amazon

Day Nine: Joe Pine & James Gilmore, "The Experience Economy" 

"Goods and services are no longer enough."

Though the world has changed in many ways since the original book was published, the way to a customer's heart has not. In fact, the idea of staging experiences to leave a memorable--and lucrative--impression is now more relevant than ever. With an ongoing torrent of brands attacking consumers from all sides, how do you make yours stand out?"

Read more about this review of Pine & Gilmore's book here

Day Eight: Paul Rand, "Design, Form and Chaos" 

"Rand speaks about the contemporary practice of graphic design, explaining the process and passion that foster good design and illustrating his ideas with examples of his own stunning graphic work as well as with the work of artists he admires. The centerpiece of the book consists of seven design portfolios--with diagrams and ultimate choices--that Rand used to present his logos to clients such as NEXT, IDEO, and IBM."

Learn more about Paul Rand and this review. His book is available on Amazon and a variety of bookstores.

Day Seven: Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner, "Freakonomics" 

“Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.

In the book they explore the hidden side of … well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.”

Read more about "Freakonomics" and the review above here


Day Six: Nicholas Taleb, "The Black Swan" 

"A black swan is an event, positive or negative that is deemed improbable yet causes massive consequences." In Taleb's book, he shows a how Black Swan events explain our world.

More about Taleb and the above review of his book here


Day Five: Richard Florida, "The Rise of the Creative Class" 

“The Rise of the Creative Class chronicles the ongoing sea-change in people's choices and attitudes, and shows not only what's happening but also how it stems from a fundamental economic change."

A good book to turn to for a detailed introduction into the creative industry."The Rise of the Creative Class" analyzes and explains how, like other classes, it's basis is economic. According to Florida's theory explained, the creative class derives its identity and values from its role as purveyors of creativity. 

More information on this review of Richard Florida’s book is available on Amazon

Day Four: The Vince Flynn series

The Vince Flynn series is another favorite here at Capsule HQ. Flynn had family connections to Aaron Keller and there are several Capsulites currently reading his Mitch Rapp series.

The Mitch Rapp story begins with American Assassin, followed by Kill Shot and Transfer of Power. To learn more about Flynn’s famous series and purchase the books, visit


Day Three: Peter Thiel, "Zero to One" 

As a design firm that fuses the gap between business strategy and design, we are consistently curious about new methods for thinking. Peter Thiel's book presents an "optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation." And comes highly recomended by Aaron Keller for other entrepreneurs. 

Learn more about this review above, about Peter and his book

Day Two: Malcolm Gladwell, "Outliers" 

In Outliers, "Gladwell taps into the intelligence and ambition behind successful people."  

A common theme in his book is Malcolm's explanation of the 10,000 hour rule - claiming that the key to success in any field is to practice any specific task for 10,000 hours. A book that comes highly recommended by us here at Capsule, it goes into great detail on the logic behind great success stories like The Beatles, Microsoft and J.Robert Oppenheimer. 

Read more about the review above, Malcolm Gladwell and his books.  


Day One: Paul Rand, "A Designer's Art" 

Best known for his corporate identity projects, Paul Rand’s theories and philosophies of visual design inspire our work every day and have shaped our very own Brian Adducci’s viewpoint on design thinking.

Rand thought and designed in terms of form and function. A practice we carry forth in our own client work.

His book “A Designer’s Art” (pictured below) describes, in 27 collected essays, his work with the same precision and passion he exhibited in his graphic designs.

Learn more about Paul Rand and this review. His book is available on Amazon and a variety of bookstores. 





About The Author

Courtney Johnson

Affectionately known around the office as C-John, CoJo or Uptown Girl, I make sure the whole world knows about the general greatness of Capsule. Armed with the Mary Tyler Moore theme song and Audrey Hepburn inspired wardrobe, I coordinate all details around building relationships and exploring new design opportunities. Sailing on Lake Calhoun and attending local concerts feed my daily musings. 


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