If you’re new here, you’ll learn very quickly that I’m really good at buying books. While I was in school, I had a few professors that would bring in or recommend books to us. The second a book was passed to me, I knew I’d be looking it up on Amazon seconds later.
A lot of these I’ve read, skimmed, and a few I haven’t been able to read just yet. Here’s a list of must read books for creative small business owners. There are affiliate links in this post, to learn more about them click here.
Required Textbooks from College
Design Basics, Lauer / Pentak
The Elements of Graphic Design, Alex W. White
Designing with Type, Craig
The Elements of Typographic Style, Robert Bringhurst — One of my favorite professors had us doing weekly readings from this book. The readings that were assigned to us in class were so helpful that I couldn’t help but buy the book. I still need to finish this read!
Brand Thinking, Debbie Millman
A World History of Photography, Rosenblum
HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites, Jon Duckett — Great for understanding the basics of coding for web design. You can use it as a reference book or learn from the learning tools the book comes with. You will be given access to code samples when you buy this book, that will help you learn step by step while you read.
Adobe InDesign CC, Adobe Press — With any of the Adobe Creative Cloud textbooks, be sure it’s the most up to date version. Creative Cloud updates frequently, so you’ll want to buy the most recent copy to learn from.
Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Press
Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Press
Recommended Design & Business Books
Stand Out, Denise Anderson
Graphic Design Thinking, Ellen Lupton
Thinking with Type, Ellen Lupton
Design is Storytelling, Ellen Lupton
How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer, Debbie Millman
Leonardo Da Vinci, Walter Isaacson
Designing Brand Identity, Wheeler
How to Style Your Brand, Fiona Humberstone
Brand Brilliance, Fiona Humberstone — If you’re stuck on the branding of your business, this book goes through it all.
Mind Your Business, Ilana Griffo — I found Ilana’s workbook on Twitter and I’m so glad that I did. It’s a great exercise book that helps you identify your brand, inside and out. Highly recommend! Beautiful graphics, typography, and learning pieces.
Build a Storybrand, Donald Miller — The amount of sticky notes in my copy of this book would blow your mind. Great information to assist you with your marketing, website design, and so much more.
Books to Inspire
Cool Beer Labels, Daniel Bellon/Steven Speeg
The Designer’s Dictionary of Color, Sean Adams
Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines, Graphic Artists Guild
Identity Suite: Visual Identity in Stationery, Victionary
Mindset Books for Creative Small Business Owners
Originals, Adam Grant
Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Mark Manson — I enjoyed some of the ideas that came across in this book. I tend to really appreciate honesty and at times Manson was relatable.
Girl Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis
Girlboss, Sophia Amoruso — Inspirational biography about how Sophia’s hard work paid off.
Are we friends on GoodReads yet? I’m hoping to read 20 books in 2020, and if I make my goal before the year is over I’ll be upping it to 25! Join the reading challenge with me!