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10 books that will boost your creative knowledge

lady reading a book whilst sitting on the bed

Today’s lifestyle is so heavily based on digital technology and in reflection neglects the traditional education of reading books. Reading about creativity is one of the best ways to inspire yourself, learn from people’s success or mistakes and develop your own knowledge base.

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” Confucius

We could not recommend more buying a physical book – not only to build on your knowledge but it keeps your brain healthy! It is so easy to read a blog post, article or passing comments online, however, the distractions take away the ability to digest everything we have just read. There are so many incredible books out there about creativity, Amazon has a whole library full – we have curated 10 of our favourite books to help get you started on your journey.


Personal Creative Branding, by Jurgen Salenbacher

Jurgen Salenbachershares his unique personal coaching method designed to develop creative thinking and innovation. In five succinct chapters, he explains how our success in exploring change relies on our ability to think creatively.

An invaluable professional resource, Creative Personal Branding is a fascinating and very practical tool for anyone interested in positioning themselves in the creative economy.


Steal like an Artist: 10 Things nobody told you about being creative, by Austin Kleon

Don’t reinvent the wheel – everything has been done before but learn how to give it your personal touch through creativity. You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourselfSteal Like an Artist is filled with new truths about creativity: Nothing is original, so embrace influence, collect ideas, and re-imagine your own path.

A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist will put readers directly in touch with their creative side.


Jack’s Notebook, by Gregg Fraley

Gregg Fraley is an innovation consultant for some big names. This book is about how he teaches problems solving skills and how to turn ideas into actions.

If you are trying to move ahead in your career, attempting to solve a problem or an entrepreneur looking for ways to make the most of restricted resources, this book is for you.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“The way to happiness lies not in mindless hedonism, but in mindful change.” New York Times Book Review

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous studies of “optimal experience” have exposed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of awareness called flow. The book teaches you how we can find genuine happiness and considerably improve the quality of our lives.


The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme to help you achieve success, confidence and happiness, by Prof Steve Peters

An incredible book to help you understand your and others behaviours and actions to life. This is an excellent book for UX designers, it will help you to understand how people may think and how environments can affect the way you think. The book will do this by giving you an understanding of the way in which your mind works and how you can manage it.


Think Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman

An international bestseller that will change the way you make decisions. Author Steven D. Levit describes this book as ‘A lifetime’s worth of wisdom’ 

Why is there more possibility we’ll believe something if it’s in a bold typeface? Why do we think a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer rests in the two ways we make decisions: fast, intuitive thinking, and slow, rational thinking. This book exposes how our minds are influenced and provide you with practical techniques for slower, smarter thinking.


Creative Confidence by Tom Kelly & David Kelly

A powerful and inspiring book from the founders of IDEO, the award-winning design firm, on unleashing the creativity that lies within all of us. Companies frequently assume creativity and innovation are of the ‘creative characters’ but this book shows you that each and every one of us is creative.

David and Tom Kelley distinguish the principles and strategies that will allow us to think outside the box in terms of how we approach and solve problems. ‘Creative Confidence’ is a book that will encourage us to be more productive and successful in our careers.


Start with Why, By Simon Sinek

In business, it doesn’t matter what you do, it matters WHY you do it.

Simon Sinek describes the framework required for businesses to move past knowing what they do to how they do it, and then to ask the most powerful question-WHY?


Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Well, let us be honest! He is a legend

Isaacson provides an excellent account of Jobs’ professional and private life. Formed from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson conducted with the man himself, his family members and key colleagues from Apple.


It’s Not How Good You Are, its How Good You Want to be, By Paul Arden

This is a designers bible for the talented and timid alike to help make the unthinkable thinkable.

The world’s top advertising legend, Paul Arden, shares his experience on problem-solving, reacting to a brief, communicating, making mistakes, and creativity through a collection of quotes, facts, pictures, wit and wisdom.

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