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Books I Frequently Use In My Design Process

books in black wooden book shelf

You may or may not know this about me, but I truly love books and printed products. I love the textile feel of them all the different ways projects can be customized in just 2D format. Posters and billboards are great ways to get messages out to the public and I love how creative designers can get within that format. For me, I always loved books. I’m slowly (or not depending on if you ask my bank account) building my own library of resources for design and marketing. 

These are the books that I am constantly referring back to for tips and strategies or just overall awesome examples of great design practices. Here is my big list:

Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team, 4th Edition

This is my bible. This was required reading in college years ago and I still crack open this bad boy every few weeks when I’m stuck in my process or needing inspiration. It’s a great source for anyone who is looking to dive directly into the branding and identity with an easy and friendly reference. I can’t get enough of this book and it is definitely my favorite resource!

Practical Content Strategy & Marketing

This book was a super useful tool for me when I first got started in my freelance business. Not only did I use it for my own business, but I still use this for my clients too. There are some great interactive pieces in this book and there’s even a digital course that accompanies the book. I would highly recommend any of Julia McCoy’s work and would recommend this workbook for any budding marketer.

The 1-Page Marketing Plan

This was another book that I immediately bought when I started my business. This is especially helpful because I know that not every nonprofit has the time or ability to sit down and crank out a full marketing plan. This is the book that will help you tick off that marketing to-do list. It’s a must for any new nonprofit!

Do Good Design

This was also another book that was recommended to me during college. This is a great book for any one that has to design collateral for nonprofits or other businesses. This book illustrates the power that a designer can hold and how they can help build a nonprofit up. It’s a must read for nonprofits and the designers who help them.

Literally anything in the A Book Apart series

I know nonprofit leaders rarely have time to read in their free time (if you get it). This series is for any kind of creative who is looking to do good in their work and the community. These short and sweet books are a great resource to refer back to over and over again. With a variety of subject matters that can help make your nonprofit more inclusive and accessible. They’re also illustrated in such fun ways that these books make learning easy. Here are some of the books on my shelf:

  • Design For Real Life
  • Accessibility For Everyone
  • Responsible Responsive Design
  • Cross-Cultural Design
  • Color Accessibility Workflows

These are the books that help me the most in my mission to provide ethical marketing and design to nonprofits and social enterprises. I’d love to hear any suggestions of books I may have missed or ones that you found helpful! Comment with what books help you most with your nonprofit branding journey!

Are you ready to start your ethical branding journey? Let’s chat!

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