Having a small collection of books about brand and branding can be an invaluable toolset that you will return to again and again for inspiration – and sometimes, reassurance – throughout a branding project. A great brand book will serve as a launchpad, a roadmap and a sense-checker piece throughout the lifecycle of a brand. But which ones should you invest in? I’m here to help with my TOP 5 BOOKS ABOUT BRAND for all types of branding projects.
How to style your brand – Fiona Humberstone
This is one of my most recommended books about brand. I recommend it to all of my new-in-business clients to support them through the process of building a customer base while remaining true to their core values after a brand identity design project. I also use it personally as a graphic designer to help me talk to my clients about brand in a really relatable way. It’s the perfect ‘beginners guide’ with some nice activities and clear examples. If I could redesign the front cover of this I would probably just typeset START HERE all over the front!
If you like Fiona’s style, her second book Brand Brilliance is also a good next step.
Designing Brand Identity – ‘Wheeler’
This book will always be on my bookshelf. I even own two copies – one for the office and one for my home. It’s a no-nonsense, to-the-point guide to creating and launching a brand identity with plenty of real-world (mostly corporate) examples and insight from the designers. The focus here though is on brand IDENTITY. While it touches on the surrounding stuff that encompasses brand (ie. finding your niche, finding the right avenues to showcase the brand on, etc.) the main focus is the creative process and roll-out, and how to establish a new brand identity as a corporate success.
Book of Branding – Radim Malinic
This book about brand is a beautiful showcase of one graphic studio’s work. It’s a wonderful book for inspiration (the author even has two other ‘inspo’ books I own, The Book of Ideas 1 and 2) and I love it because Radim gives his personal experiences of creating brand visuals for all kinds of clients. It’s a real insight into how great work comes about, and how a good Client-Designer relationship built on trust can result in some really stunning work.
Archetypes in Branding: A Toolkit for Creatives and Strategists – Joshua C. Chen and Margaret Hartwell
Brand archetypes are a bit of a divisive tool – you either love them or hate them. Personally, I love using them to get a group of very different people on the same page very quickly. Archetypes make understanding certain brand personality types accessible to everyone – you can’t always be in a room with people who naturally ‘get it’! This book has some really lovely design features including removable archetype cards, which make brand workshop facilitation a great interactive experience. The book also explains each archetype really clearly.
Also worth a mention here is The Hero and the Outlaw by Margaret Mark. It’s also a great book about brand archetypes, but doesn’t have the nice cards!
Dear Client (How to get what you want from creative people) – Bonnie Siegler
This book is gold dust to both sides of the creative effort – it aides collaboration, supports conversations, helps set expectations, promotes the hard work that both the client and the creative both have to put in for a great project – and of the books I’ve read on this topic, it manages to be one of the few that explains a creative workflow without making it sound ‘fluffy’ – which makes it great for all levels of client or stakeholder in a business. On top of that, it reads like a quick, to-the-point, bullet-point list – I’ve recommended it countless times since reading it!
Got any more to add? Leave a comment and let me know your favourite brand books.