10 books like A Smile in the Mind

By Beryl McAlhone, David Staurt, Greg Quinton, Nick Asbury

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like A Smile in the Mind. Shepherd is a community of 8,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Art of Looking Sideways

David Airey Author Of Identity Designed: The Definitive Guide to Visual Branding

From the list on visual branding.

Who am I?

I am a graphic designer, writer, and brand consultant. I work with clients of all sizes, from multinationals to companies of one. Since opening my business in 2005 I’ve created logos and visual identities for brands in more than 30 countries. I run two design blogs Logo Design Love and Identity Designed. They resulted in publishing deals to write their accompanying books, and their pages now get millions of views each year.

David's book list on visual branding

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books.

Why did David love this book?

A seminal classic for any graphic designer. “A primer in visual intelligence, an exploration of the workings of the eye, the hand, the brain, and the imagination.”

The Art of Looking Sideways

By Alan Fletcher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Looking Sideways as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Art of Looking Sideways is a primer in visual intelligence, an exploration of the workings of the eye, the hand, the brain and the imagination. It is an inexhaustible mine of anecdotes, quotations, images, curious facts and useless information, oddities, serious science, jokes and memories, all concerned with the interplay between the verbal and the visual, and the limitless resources of the human mind. Loosely arranged in 72 chapters, all this material is presented in a wonderfully inventive series of pages that are themselves masterly demonstrations of the expressive use of type, space, colour and imagery.

This book does…


Branding

By Michael Johnson,

Book cover of Branding: In Five and a Half Steps

David Airey Author Of Identity Designed: The Definitive Guide to Visual Branding

From the list on visual branding.

Who am I?

I am a graphic designer, writer, and brand consultant. I work with clients of all sizes, from multinationals to companies of one. Since opening my business in 2005 I’ve created logos and visual identities for brands in more than 30 countries. I run two design blogs Logo Design Love and Identity Designed. They resulted in publishing deals to write their accompanying books, and their pages now get millions of views each year.

David's book list on visual branding

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books.

Why did David love this book?

Few people have more experience in the field of visual branding than Michael Johnson of London-based johnson banks. In my humble opinion, this tome is one of Michael’s greatest contributions to the profession.

Branding

By Michael Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Branding as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Michael Johnson is one of the world's leading graphic designers and brand consultants. His studio, johnson banks, is responsible for the rebranding of many notable clients, including Virgin Atlantic, Think London, BFI, Christian Aid, and MORE TH>N, and he has garnered a plethora of awards in the process.

In Branding, Johnson strips everyday brands down to their basic components, with case studies that enable us to understand why we select one product or service over another and allow us to comprehend how seemingly subtle influences can affect key life decisions. The first part of the book shows how the birth…


Now Try Something Weirder

By Michael Johnson,

Book cover of Now Try Something Weirder: How to Keep Having Great Ideas and Survive in the Creative Business

David Airey Author Of Identity Designed: The Definitive Guide to Visual Branding

From the list on visual branding.

Who am I?

I am a graphic designer, writer, and brand consultant. I work with clients of all sizes, from multinationals to companies of one. Since opening my business in 2005 I’ve created logos and visual identities for brands in more than 30 countries. I run two design blogs Logo Design Love and Identity Designed. They resulted in publishing deals to write their accompanying books, and their pages now get millions of views each year.

David's book list on visual branding

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books.

Why did David love this book?

A relatively small, informal book filled with advice on how to keep having great ideas and how to survive in the creative business. Valuable even in you only pick up for a minute.

Now Try Something Weirder

By Michael Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Now Try Something Weirder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With 233 (to be exact) hints, tips, and pieces of advice, Now Try Something Weirder shows those in the creative industry how to have great ideas (every day).

Internationally award-winning graphic designer Michael Johnson draws on more than 30 years' experience (his CV clocks up eight creative posts, three dismissals, and the launch of his own business) to share his ultimate secrets to enviable success ... who said you should keep your secrets closely guarded?

Looking to improve the way you work with clients, understand and question design briefs, deliver knockout presentations—and generally gain covetable creative confidence? Sometimes the solution…


The Process

By Richard Wilde, Judith Wilde,

Book cover of The Process: A New Foundation in Art and Design

David Airey Author Of Identity Designed: The Definitive Guide to Visual Branding

From the list on visual branding.

Who am I?

I am a graphic designer, writer, and brand consultant. I work with clients of all sizes, from multinationals to companies of one. Since opening my business in 2005 I’ve created logos and visual identities for brands in more than 30 countries. I run two design blogs Logo Design Love and Identity Designed. They resulted in publishing deals to write their accompanying books, and their pages now get millions of views each year.

David's book list on visual branding

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books.

Why did David love this book?

If any book can explain why there’s always more than one way to solve a visual problem, this is it. The book shares a compendium of 13 experimental projects, each designed to teach conceptual thinking and problem solving to art and design students.

The Process

By Richard Wilde, Judith Wilde,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Process as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Process is a compendium of 17 experimental art and design projects geared toward teaching college art students what is needed to become an artist.

The projects, created by Judith Wilde and Richard Wilde, focus on developing formal excellence and a strong sense of aesthetics, along with the ability to generate new ideas.


Designing Web Usability

By Jakob Nielsen,

Book cover of Designing Web Usability

Don Glickstein Author Of After Yorktown: The Final Struggle for American Independence

From the list on effective graphic design.

Who am I?

My first career was as a reporter on daily newspapers. As I got promoted to editing and eventually webmaster jobs, I needed to learn about design. Newspapers had been trying to figure out which designs attract the most readers for a century. The Poynter Institute, founded in 1975, began doing quantitative research as part of its journalism education mission. Seven years later, Gannett, a large newspaper publisher, introduced USA Today, based on the latest graphic and readability research. About the same time, Edward Tufte wrote his seminal book on graphic design (See recommendation #1). With the arrival of the web, companies like Google and Microsoft took the research to new levels. For example, Microsoft used readability research to create Verdana, a font designed to be legible with then-low resolution screens. Of course, the advertising and direct-mail industries had been conducting design research for decades to enhance sales. In short, you can’t pretend to be a competent designer, webmaster, or editor in this day and age without understanding quantitative readability research.

Don's book list on effective graphic design

Discover why each book is one of Don's favorite books.

Why did Don love this book?

Edward Tufte provided the intellectual framework to evidence-based graphic design, but Jakob Nielsen got down and dirty with web design. His lab research looks into stuff like eye fixations and click rates. But don’t get the wrong idea: He translates the research into practical suggestions about how to design web pages and web interfaces. While this book is ancient by tech standards, its principles remain unchallenged. His many other books report findings about facets of good design ranging from eye-tracking research to designing for cell phones.

Designing Web Usability

By Jakob Nielsen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Designing Web Usability as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Users experience the usability of a web site before they have committed to using it and before making any purchase decisions. The web is the ultimate environment for empowerment, and he or she who clicks the mouse decides everything. Designing Web Usability is the definitive guide to usability from Jakob Nielsen, the world's leading authority. Over 250,000 Internet professionals around the world have turned to this landmark book, in which Nielsen shares the full weight of his wisdom and experience. From content and page design to designing for ease of navigation and users with disabilities, he delivers complete direction on…


The Big Red Fez

By Seth Godin,

Book cover of The Big Red Fez

Don Glickstein Author Of After Yorktown: The Final Struggle for American Independence

From the list on effective graphic design.

Who am I?

My first career was as a reporter on daily newspapers. As I got promoted to editing and eventually webmaster jobs, I needed to learn about design. Newspapers had been trying to figure out which designs attract the most readers for a century. The Poynter Institute, founded in 1975, began doing quantitative research as part of its journalism education mission. Seven years later, Gannett, a large newspaper publisher, introduced USA Today, based on the latest graphic and readability research. About the same time, Edward Tufte wrote his seminal book on graphic design (See recommendation #1). With the arrival of the web, companies like Google and Microsoft took the research to new levels. For example, Microsoft used readability research to create Verdana, a font designed to be legible with then-low resolution screens. Of course, the advertising and direct-mail industries had been conducting design research for decades to enhance sales. In short, you can’t pretend to be a competent designer, webmaster, or editor in this day and age without understanding quantitative readability research.

Don's book list on effective graphic design

Discover why each book is one of Don's favorite books.

Why did Don love this book?

Why are three of the five books I recommend about graphic design written by marketing types? They know that their livelihood depends on effective design. Godin is one of those smarmy marketing types—who else would name a book about web design after a fez?—but he knows his stuff. He argues that website owners shouldn’t take their cues from their IT people, who don’t know nothin’ about sales, customers, and web design. Tufte and Nielsen present the data dispassionately; Godin tells it like it is. This book expands on his legendary essay, “Really Bad PowerPoint,” which you can still find as a free download on the web.

The Big Red Fez

By Seth Godin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Big Red Fez as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Synopsis coming soon.......


Ogilvy on Advertising

By David Ogilvy,

Book cover of Ogilvy on Advertising

Drew Eric Whitman Author Of Ca$hvertising: How to Use More Than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone

From the list on creating powerful, money-making advertising copy.

Who am I?

Drew Eric Whitman is known internationally as a dynamic consultant and trainer who smashes old advertising myths like a china-shop bull. Teaching the psychology behind the response for nearly four decades, he worked for the direct-marketing division of the largest ad agency in Philadelphia, was a senior copywriter for the country's leading direct-to-the-consumer insurance company, and was the associate copy chief for catalog giant Day-TimersHis work has been used by companies ranging from small retail shops to giant, multi-million dollar corporations. A popular keynote speaker at international affiliate marketing conferences, Drew’s intensive CA$HVERTISING Clinic teaches business people how to use consumer psychology to boost the effectiveness of their ads, brochures, sales letters, Websites, and more.

Drew's book list on creating powerful, money-making advertising copy

Discover why each book is one of Drew's favorite books.

Why did Drew love this book?

What’s it like to climb inside the mind of one of advertising’s most iconic legends? Reading this book is probably the closest thing to it. You’re sure to come out with a dramatically changed view on how the industry works, and doesn’t. I’ve quoted him often in Cashvertising because his no-bull approach to advertising resonates strongly with everything I’ve been teaching for nearly four decades. Make his words your own and then--when you speak to others about advertising--you’ll be speaking with the voice of unquestionable authority.

Ogilvy on Advertising

By David Ogilvy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ogilvy on Advertising as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

David Ogilvy is well known and respected as the most successful adman of all time. His bestselling book, Ogilvy on Advertising, gives valuable advice to young hopefuls and veterans of the industry wanting to improve their success rate.


Book cover of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte

Mark S. Blumberg Author Of Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us about Development and Evolution

From the list on seeing science differently.

Who am I?

Even though I am a scientist who has written over 130 scientific articles, I have a longstanding passion for scientific books that are written for non-scientists. I love books about science, no matter how distant they are from my area of expertise. To me, the best science books convey the excitement of science and scientific thinking in an accessible manner, but without pandering or dumbing things down. My favorite books tackle big ideas and respect the reader’s intelligence. My choices here reflect my core interests in biology, evolution, and behavior—and the aesthetics of science, too. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Mark's book list on seeing science differently

Discover why each book is one of Mark's favorite books.

Why did Mark love this book?

It’s one thing to do science. It’s another thing entirely to communicate science. But scientific communication is much more than just about words. Science is also a visual pursuit, and this indispensable and elegantly constructed book tells you how to be an effective visual communicator of information. But also, the principles that Tufte explains and explores are valuable to anyone who must present information in visual form to others. This is a classic book that you will take down from your shelf and read—and admire—over and over again.

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte

By Edward R. Tufte,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The classic book on statistical graphics, charts, tables. Theory and practice in the design of data graphics, 250 illustrations of the best (and a few of the worst) statistical graphics, with detailed analysis of how to display data for precise, effective, quick analysis. Design of the high-resolution displays, small multiples. Editing and improving graphics. The data-ink ratio. Time-series, relational graphics, data maps, multivariate designs. Detection of graphical deception: design variation vs. data variation. Sources of deception. Aesthetics and data graphical displays. This is the second edition of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. This edition provides excellent color reproductions of…


Leadership Is an Art

By Max DePree,

Book cover of Leadership Is an Art

Steve Arneson Author Of What Your Boss Really Wants from You: 15 Insights to Improve Your Relationship

From the list on for helping leaders develop to their full potential.

Who am I?

After a career as an HR and learning & development executive at PepsiCo, AOL, and Capital One, I founded Arneson Leadership Consulting to provide coaching, talent management, and leadership development solutions to corporations and non-profit organizations.  I have a passion for helping leaders develop to their full potential and believe all leaders have the capacity to learn and grow. But development doesn’t just magically happen – you have to be willing to work at it. Whether it’s taking a course, gathering 360 feedback, or reading a best-selling book, the best leaders know they must never stop learning.

Steve's book list on for helping leaders develop to their full potential

Discover why each book is one of Steve's favorite books.

Why did Steve love this book?

This classic by Max De Pree (the former CEO of Herman Miller) looks at leadership as a kind of stewardship, stressing the importance of building relationships, initiating ideas, and creating a lasting value system within an organization. Rather than focusing on the “how” of corporate life, he stresses that leaders need to explain the “why.” He writes that the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality and the last is to say thank you. De Pree offers dozens of memorable leadership anecdotes that will have you wishing you’d worked for him at some point in your career! A wonderful gem of a book, it’s lessons will resonate with any leader who is trying to build a winning culture. 

Leadership Is an Art

By Max DePree,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leadership Is an Art as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In what has become a bible for the business world, the successful former CEO of Herman Miller, Inc., explores how executives and managers can learn the leadership skills that build a better, more profitable organization.

Leadership Is an Art has long been a must-read not only within the business community but also in professions ranging from academia to medical practices, to the political arena. First published in 1989, the book has sold more than 800,000 copies in hardcover and paperback. This revised edition brings Max De Pree’s timeless words and practical philosophy to a new generation of readers.

De Pree…


The Alphabet Man

By Richard Grossman,

Book cover of The Alphabet Man

David David Katzman Author Of A Greater Monster

From the list on shattering the conventions of what a novel can be.

Who am I?

As a writer, artist, and actor throughout my life, I’ve explored and enjoyed many artistic forms. While I appreciate books across many genres, I elevate to the highest level those works that manage to break conventional boundaries and create something original. In my own work, I have always challenged myself to create something unique with a medium that has never been done before. At the same time, I have sought to discover a process and resulting work that inspires readers’ own creativity and challenges them to expand their imagination. 

David's book list on shattering the conventions of what a novel can be

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books.

Why did David love this book?

Grossman achieves something remarkable in The Alphabet Man. The work manages to weave together visual, avant-garde graphic design, literary poetry, and a suspenseful thrilling plot. The book itself is gorgeous to look at it, and the text layout is designed as a work of art. Grossman seamlessly blends these disparate elements into a unified, unique creation that breaks the boundaries of what a novel can be. 

The Alphabet Man

By Richard Grossman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Alphabet Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"America loves a murder, and I am a murderous American," observes Clyde Wayne Franklin, who is considered by many to be the foremost poet in America. No ordinary killer, he is equal parts writer, obsessive lover, alcoholic, moralist, ex-con, clown, and butcher. The Alphabet Man is the story of his ruthless search for carnal love and spiritual redemption as he moves through the underworld of Washington, D.C., a sadistic landscape peopled by drug dealers, prostitutes, and assassins-for-hire. Part thriller, part psychological and linguistic masterpiece, Grossman's explosive fiction convinces us that if there is a pure poetry in the modern world,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in graphic design, branding, and design?

8,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about graphic design, branding, and design.

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