69 books like ZAG

By Marty Neumeier,

Here are 69 books that ZAG fans have personally recommended if you like ZAG. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

Julie A. Mullen and Mike D. Rodgers Jr. Author Of The Island

From my list on cultivating a fulfilling life-long relationship.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are a couple with a combined 70 years worth of relationship experience. We certainly know ‘what not to do.’ What makes us relationship experts is having a relationship that is as exciting today (after more than 6 years together) as it was from day one! We never argue, we have tremendous passion, we never name-call, we show 100% respect every day, and we have 100% connectivity. This does not mean we don’t have disagreements. It means we handle them without arguing. Since experiencing a relationship we never imagined was possible, we want to share with others how to get it and keep it ongoing.

Julie and Mike's book list on cultivating a fulfilling life-long relationship

Julie A. Mullen and Mike D. Rodgers Jr. Why did Julie and Mike love this book?

I can sum this one up plain and simple. My big takeaway from this book is the same message as the love languages when the author talks about the ‘platinum rule.’ Yes!

This is where he writes about ‘treating others how they want to be treated,’ as opposed to the well-known ‘golden rule’…treating others as you would want them to treat you. This makes perfect sense to me. It has everything to do with their love language…not imposing ours on them! 

By Mark Manson,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people. For decades, we've been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F**k positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let's be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn't sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is-a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today.…


Book cover of Everything You'd Better Know About the Record Industry

Koyaki Author Of You Are Ketchup: And Other Fly Music Industry Tales

From my list on helping parents feel better about you being a musician.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Grammy-nominated musician and creative who actually loves music, not as a vocation but as a cathartic practice and art form. Because I love music and the process of creating I also understood that no matter how much I love music that the love of it had nothing to do with the business of selling music. If I wanted to maintain the love I had to learn the business and find a way to continue to cherish the art while familiarizing myself with the business of art. I found peace and a deeper understanding of where I stood in the business and understanding that helps to keep the artist sane.

Koyaki's book list on helping parents feel better about you being a musician

Koyaki Why did Koyaki love this book?

Unlike most music business books that are full of legalese and require an advanced degree, this book is written by a musician who appreciated the business but held firm to their creativity. The explanations of terms and anecdotes about why those terms matter and their practical application, helped me navigate a number of contracts as well as learning how to cope with and make lemonade from my bad business decisions. Though a little out of date in regards to advanced technologies and changes in the current business of music, there is still valuable information as we have to remember that the entertainment business builds new structures on top of old concepts. At its core these scenarios, terms, and industry hustles still apply.

By Kashif, Gary Greenberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everything You'd Better Know About the Record Industry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Offers information for songwriters, performers and singers, and producers on the industry, including hiring managers and accountants, establishing a budget, and copyright and contract law


Book cover of Do Cool Sh*t: Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, and Live Happily Ever After

Koyaki Author Of You Are Ketchup: And Other Fly Music Industry Tales

From my list on helping parents feel better about you being a musician.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Grammy-nominated musician and creative who actually loves music, not as a vocation but as a cathartic practice and art form. Because I love music and the process of creating I also understood that no matter how much I love music that the love of it had nothing to do with the business of selling music. If I wanted to maintain the love I had to learn the business and find a way to continue to cherish the art while familiarizing myself with the business of art. I found peace and a deeper understanding of where I stood in the business and understanding that helps to keep the artist sane.

Koyaki's book list on helping parents feel better about you being a musician

Koyaki Why did Koyaki love this book?

A great guide to starting over, Do Cool Sh*t resonated with me so much while I was working a 9-5, touring, and being a multi-hyphenate at the same time. This book is about shedding the idea of what is “practical” while embracing the concepts of taking chances, failing, learning, failing some more, and understanding that all of these steps are necessary to convert dreams into realities. It’s a personal journey to being content, not complacent, understanding that sometimes it’s leaping off the edge, both feet at the same damn time. 

By Miki Agrawal,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Do Cool Sh*t as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Miki Agrawal opened Slice Perfect, her first farm-to-table pizzeria in New York City with zero experience and no capital. Since then she has watched her business grow exponentially, including a partnership with Zappos.com founder and bestselling author Tony Hsieh with whom she is opening her dream restaurant, Slice: Las Vegas. She's also become become an angel investor for other promising start-ups. In Do Cool Sh*t, she shares her own adventures in entrepreneurship, offering solid, easy-to-follow advice aspiring entrepreneurs can use to start their own business, fund it on a shoestring budget, convene the perfect brain trust to brainstorm a business…


Book cover of Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

Koyaki Author Of You Are Ketchup: And Other Fly Music Industry Tales

From my list on helping parents feel better about you being a musician.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Grammy-nominated musician and creative who actually loves music, not as a vocation but as a cathartic practice and art form. Because I love music and the process of creating I also understood that no matter how much I love music that the love of it had nothing to do with the business of selling music. If I wanted to maintain the love I had to learn the business and find a way to continue to cherish the art while familiarizing myself with the business of art. I found peace and a deeper understanding of where I stood in the business and understanding that helps to keep the artist sane.

Koyaki's book list on helping parents feel better about you being a musician

Koyaki Why did Koyaki love this book?

I wish I could add the trilogy of Austin Kleon books; with Steal Like an Artist and Keep Going completing the trilogy. Show Your Work was the first book that I read that spoke to me about letting your supporters in on the creating. The sharing of exclusive content has become a staple for independent and major-label artists, Instagram, Tik Tok, and social platforms all rely on the need to share. For me this book was the progenitor of this line of thinking, encouraging the creative to share and disperse with the secrecy of process and move toward converting investors in one's product to investing in the person. 

By Austin Kleon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In his New York Times bestseller Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon showed readers how to unlock their creativity by stealing from the community of other movers and shakers. Now, in an even more forward-thinking and necessary book, he shows how to take that critical next step on a creative journey getting known. Show Your Work! is about why generosity trumps genius. It s about getting findable, about using the network instead of wasting time networking. It s not self-promotion, it s self-discovery let others into your process, then let them steal from you. Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories, and…


Book cover of The Brand Gap

Fabian Geyrhalter Author Of Bigger Than This: How to turn any venture into an admired brand

From my list on on creating an admired brand.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Creative Director turned Brand Strategist who loves creating clarity for brand transformations. I do so for small companies and Fortune 500s alike, but the thrill is the same. At the end of the day that hands-on (actually more of a ‘brain on’) work coupled with my books on branding and my podcast Hitting The Mark (where I talk with some of today’s most mesmerizing founders about the intersection of brand clarity and startup success) is doing my part in creating more admired brands in this world. I hope the books on this list will inspire and enable you to do the same for your own company.

Fabian's book list on on creating an admired brand

Fabian Geyrhalter Why did Fabian love this book?

From brand strategy to design, from validation to cultivation, Marty’s delightful read will make you not only understand what branding is, but you will turn into a design advocate along the way. And, more importantly, it will make you understand what’s at the heart of any great brand: Customer experience. Marty further has a captivating style of storytelling. I promise you won’t be putting this book down once you started. Large typography and fun design make it a quick ‘airplane read,’ which is a format that definitely inspired me as an author.

By Marty Neumeier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE BRAND GAP is the first book to present a unified theory of brand-building. Whereas most books on branding are weighted toward either a strategic or creative approach, this book shows how both ways of thinking can unite to produce a "charismatic brand"-a brand that customers feel is essential to their lives. In an entertaining two-hour read you'll learn:

* the new definition of brand
* the five essential disciplines of brand-building
* how branding is changing the dynamics of competition
* the three most powerful questions to ask about any brand
* why collaboration is the key to brand-building…


Book cover of The Contagious Commandments: Ten Steps to Brand Bravery

Robin Landa Author Of Advertising by Design: Generating and Designing Creative Ideas Across Media

From my list on creative advertising, art direction, and typography.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Distinguished Professor in the Michael Graves College, Kean University. I’ve written over twenty books about advertising, graphic design, branding, personal branding, creativity, and drawing. On May 17, 2022, Routledge will publish my new book, Strategic Creativity: A Business Field Guide to Advertising, Branding, and Design. I’ve won numerous awards for my design, writing, and research, including awards from the National Society of Arts and Letters and the National League of Pen Women. In 2015, I received the Human Rights Educator award, 2016 Kean Presidential Excellence award for research, 2013 Teacher of the Year, and the Carnegie Foundation lists me among the great teachers of our time.

Robin's book list on creative advertising, art direction, and typography

Robin Landa Why did Robin love this book?

You can find the latest international advertising news and views at Contagious.com and you can find what makes advertising contagious in this book. Contagious is a global resource for the marketing industry and this book encapsulates their secrets. It’s a must-read for any strategist, creative, producer, or marketing pro. What I admire about The Contagious Commandments' approach is they emphasize thinking about the intersection of creativity, technology, and behavioral psychology, and never forgetting that the ideas you generate should not only positively impact the brand but society as well. 

By Paul Kemp-Robertson, Chris Barth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Contagion may alarm doctors but marketers thrive on it. Some concepts are so compelling you have to share them. But what makes an idea so infectious you can't keep it to yourself? And how can brands produce these kinds of ideas intentionally rather than by chance?

Contagious, the globally renowned intelligence resource for the marketing industry, is dedicated to identifying and interrogating the world's most exceptional creative trends. And in The Contagious Commandments, Paul Kemp-Robertson and Chris Barth condense this valuable research into ten strategic takeaways for your own marketing revolution.

Taking inspiration from disruptive campaigns from the likes of…


Book cover of The Mental World of Brands

Daryl Weber Author Of Brand Seduction: How Neuroscience Can Help Marketers Build Memorable Brands

From my list on to help you understand the mind of your customer.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was young, I was fascinated with how the mind works; how all of our thoughts, feelings, memories, decisions, and actions come out of this lump of flesh in our heads. I studied consciousness, psychology, and neuroscience both at university, and on my own for decades. Once I started working in marketing, for many of the biggest and best brands in the world, I realized that marketers tend to have deep misconceptions and misunderstandings for how the mind actually works. My goal is to bridge the gap between all of the knowledge we have about the brain, and how that could be helpful to brands and marketers. 

Daryl's book list on to help you understand the mind of your customer

Daryl Weber Why did Daryl love this book?

This book goes even deeper into the neuroscience of brands, and how consumers make their decisions using mental models. This is a bit more academic, but can give a deeper and richer understanding of the processes at play in the unconscious mind when it comes to consumer decision making. 

By Giep Franzen, Margot Bouwman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Mental World of Brands provides a compelling new startpoint for developing new and better relationships between brand and consumer. It asks: how does the brain work? How does it form memories and associations, and how can we make best use of this knowledge to leverage brands and protect and expand market share?

The book shows how awareness is generated, how people put meanings to brands, and the importance of memory, emotion and language. It also discusses the use of brand research, not just as a separate academic area, but as an important part of the brand representation process.

*…


Book cover of Brand Hijack: Marketing Without Marketing

Jason Falls Author Of Winfluence: Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand

From my list on word of mouth marketing.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jason Falls is an award-winning marketing strategist, author of three books, and host of two marketing-related podcasts. He has been listed as one of the most influential voices in the world of social media and influencer marketing.

Jason's book list on word of mouth marketing

Jason Falls Why did Jason love this book?

This was the book that inspired me to switch careers. Wipperfürth details the rise of brands like Doc Martens, Napster and Pabst Blue Ribbon, all of which were WOM success stories. But he did so before the practice of word-of-mouth was openly practiced and promoted by agencies and consultants around the world. Still, you can see the brilliance behind the power of turning your brand over to your customers and how engineering that can happen.

By Alex Wipperfürth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A guide to successful branding without typical marketing practices introduces the concept of consumer-driven, or word-of-mouth, branding, in a practical guide that addresses such challenges as media saturation, consumer evolution, and the erosion of image marketing. 50,000 first printing.


Book cover of The Hidden Power of Advertising

Daryl Weber Author Of Brand Seduction: How Neuroscience Can Help Marketers Build Memorable Brands

From my list on to help you understand the mind of your customer.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was young, I was fascinated with how the mind works; how all of our thoughts, feelings, memories, decisions, and actions come out of this lump of flesh in our heads. I studied consciousness, psychology, and neuroscience both at university, and on my own for decades. Once I started working in marketing, for many of the biggest and best brands in the world, I realized that marketers tend to have deep misconceptions and misunderstandings for how the mind actually works. My goal is to bridge the gap between all of the knowledge we have about the brain, and how that could be helpful to brands and marketers. 

Daryl's book list on to help you understand the mind of your customer

Daryl Weber Why did Daryl love this book?

The Hidden Power of Advertising opened my eyes to a whole new way of understanding brands and marketing. He makes a compelling case for how advertising works at an unconscious level, and how marketers mostly ignore this powerful and hidden side of brands. He shares powerful, eye-opening studies done directly on advertising campaigns, and uses real-world examples to give practical advice that’s far from the usual marketing advice. 

By Robert Heath,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The way advertising works is not so transparent after all. Advertising does have some sort of hidden power which enables it to influence us without our realising it.

The Hidden Power of Advertising presents a radical new challenge to traditional thinking about the way consumers interact with and process brand communication. For over 70 years the universal assumption has been that advertising is only effective if it consciously persuades consumers to choose a particular brand. In such circumstances attention is critical, which is why most of the advertising industry's creative resource is focused on achieving the highest possible levels of…


Book cover of Branding: In Five and a Half Steps

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

From my list on visual branding.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

David Airey 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.

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…


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