5 books about the influence of design in marketing

Alexandra Maksimova

October 11, 2022

Books. The sum of the author’s knowledge about a subject, a source of wisdom and inspiration. Some even might say that books are worth their weight in gold, as they help the person learn the information quickly and with relative ease. 

Books are an enjoyable pastime, a great investment into your value as a specialist and individual, or even start a specific career path from scratch.

The marketing and design teams at green pixel sat down to discuss some of their favorite books about marketing (and importance of design in marketing) and some of the books that have benefited their development as professionals. 

Without further ado, here is the list of the top 5 books for design and marketing:

1. All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World (by Seth Godin) 

The first book on our list is about stories and how to craft and deliver compelling storytelling to your audience that will make them purchase the product or service you are selling, no matter the price range.

The focus shifts from the approach traditional marketers take - describing product features and benefits - and switches to telling the story, creating a mental picture in the eyes of the person your ad is targeting.

Seth Godin also talks about the shifting nature of the business environment - explaining that the world of business and marketing is inauthentic and full of deception and lies, making telling good stories even more difficult.

And as the author correctly put it, “This is a powerful book for anyone who wants to create things people truly want as opposed to commodities that people merely need.”

2.The Long and the Short of it: Balancing Short and Long-Term Marketing Strategies (by Les Binet)

The second book in the list talks about the difference between long and short-term marketing content, as well as provides scientifically-proven data on how to go about them - which strategies are worth investing in and which are not. 

Moreover, the author explores how campaign results can change and develop over time; therefore, judging them purely based on the immediate results is foolish. 

Branding, Les Binet argues, is much more long-term than what the immediate metrics can show modern marketers.

3.Creating a Brand Identity: A Guide for Designers (by Catharine Slade)

The third book, like the one by Les Binet is about branding and brand identity. 

The book argues that creating a brand identity is a complex and layered process. The author, as outlined in the book title, wrote this book for a very specific audience - people in the fields of design, and those who’s engaged in desing marketing:

• Graphic Design

• Branding

• Brand Management

• Advertising

• Marketing

• Communications

The author, Catharine Slade–Brooking brings up the importance of design and includes a multitude of helpful exercises that go into creating brand identities:

• Defining the audience

• Analyzing competitors

• Creating mood boards

• Naming brands

• Logo design

• Client presentations

• Rebranding

• Launching a new brand identity

4. How to use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and (every once in a while) change the world (by Michael Bierut)

The author, Michael Bierut, also works in the sphere of graphic design (some of his clients are: the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Yale School of Architecture, the New York Times, Saks Fifth Avenue, and the New York Jets), and makes his work much more interesting and relevant for the designers as highlighting the importance of graphic design in marketing particularly.

This book is a bit less focused on the technicalities and how-to’s for design marketing strategies, neither than the previous ones. However, it is still interesting to read because of the fascinating background and experience of the author.

The insight into the world of design and marketing from such a well-known professional is helpful to those who are just starting to grasp the philosophy and art of design.

5. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration (by Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull)

Last but certainly not least on our list is a book by Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull - Pixar’s co-founder and president.

This book talks about something that every professional in the field of design faces daily - creativity and originality. The book takes the reader behind the curtains of some of the biggest and greatest movies of all time (think Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, WALL-E, and Inside Out). It teaches the reader valuable lessons about performance, cultivating great ideas, and authenticity in work. 

Moreover, the book goes deeper into talking about Ed's life (one of the authors), his dream of creating the first-ever computer-animated movie, and how he found Pixar in 1986. 

The bulletproof philosophies that Ed preached speak for themselves, which allows the reader to understand exactly why Pixar is as successful as it is:

• Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or create something better.

• If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead. 

• It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them.

• The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them. 

• A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.

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