Top books, movies, and series recommended by designers in 2019

The Holiday season is upon us. A time of eating, relaxing, meeting family and friends, netflixing and chilling. Perhaps this year you’ll find a moment to just lay on your sofa and do nothing else but watch the motion pictures in front of you. Maybe a New Year’s Eve with a good book awaits you. No shame in that. Finally, you’ll get some quality time for just you. 

Every good designer will tell you that making an effort to stop the racing thoughts from time to time is a must. Especially when you work in an environment demanding constant creativity. You have to clean up your mind and be ready for new challenges in the next year. So this season we wish you to simply relax and get inspired.

But how many times have you found yourself already covered in a blanket, with your laptop on your – well – lap, a bowl of popcorn growing cold by your side but still, with no idea what to watch? Or thought you’d grab a good book and just dive in but there’s so many of them on Amazon and how to know which is a really good one and which one will be a total waste of time? So maybe you’re looking for a good book or movie or series recommended by designers? 

Here’s a list of great books and shows that our friends from the field liked in 2019. It’s probably not the most objective, but surely very interesting. There’s a chance you’ll like it. 


Books recommended by designers in 2019

Books about leadership

  • Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott
  • Lean Out: The Truth About Women, Power, and the Workplace by Marissa Orr
  • Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs Hardcover by John Doerr
  • Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams, by Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson, Nate Walkingshaw


The classics about design 

  • The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
  • Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
  • Be Our Guest – Perfecting the art of customer service by The Disney Institute with Theodore Kinni 
  • The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide

Inspiration from different fields 

  • This is Marketing by Seth Godin 
  • Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller
  • It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried


Movies and series recommended by designers in 2019

Top movies of 2019 

  • Once Upon a time in Hollywood, directed by Quentin Tarantino
  • Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix
  • Afterimage (Powidoki) by Andrzej Wajda
  • Le Mans ’66, starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale
  • The House that Jack Built, directed by Lars von Trier
  • Burning, directed by Lee Chang-dong
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Avengers: Endgame
  • Toy Story 4
  • The Irishman, directed by Martin Scorsese (available on Netflix)

Visually appealing web TV shows 

  • Killing Eve, season 2 (BBC/HBO)
  • Watchmen (Netflix)
  • Chernobyl (HBO)
  • The Boys (Amazon Prime)
  • The Mandalorian (Disney +)
  • Abstract: The Art of Design, season 2 (Netflix)
  • Queer Eye: We’re in Japan! (Netflix)
  • Russian Doll (Netflix)
  • The Crown, season 3 (Netflix)
  • Fleabag (HBO)

When we’d been asking around, the premiere of Netflix The Witcher was still ahead of us all but the expectations were high so fingers crossed this will be the number one in next year’s summary.


The source of images of book covers:; movie posters: press materials. 

by Katarzyna Kempa on 23rd December, 2019

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