NSC’s Top 5 Books for Creative Entrepreneurs

Reading time: 1 min

We’re all about developing our knowledge here at NSC, and we love a good book.

So I’ve compiled a list of my favourite books that I’ve found both practically useful and inspirational in my design work.

Read on, and always be learning:


# 5 Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy

In all honesty, I initially bought this book after watching Mad Men, which was inspired by the life and practices of Ogilvy himself (the man, the legend!), and I was keen to find out more about the basics of advertising, and see if the TV series really was an accurate portrayal of life in advertising in the 60s.

I wasn’t disappointed, the book explored topics useful for all creative and business-led professions: image and brand, originality, employees, research, and ultimately, how to capture an audience.

This information is gold-dust for employees throughout a company in any industry or sector, with valuable insights that can be easily adapted for different organisations.

Quick quote: “Big ideas are usually simple ideas.”
Click here for the full sketchnotes.
Buy the book here.


#4 101 Things I Learned in Business School by Michael W. Pries with Matthew Frederick

This book really helped fill my knowledge void on business basics.

I believe that designers, or anyone in a creative profession, also needs to have at least a basic understanding of the logistics of running a business.

Covering finance, employees, management, merchandising and strategies for businesses, this one truly was a Bible of business basics.

Quick quote: “When overwhelmed, try doing fewer things, but doing them better.”
Full sketchnotes here.
Buy the book here.


#3 Creative Strategy and the Business of Design by Douglas Davis

The sheer volume of information crammed into this book is simply astounding.

Everything from explanations of business terminology to best practices for developing and following processes, this is an absolute platinum mine of information.

One of my top parts of this book has to be ‘10 Ways to be Sensationally Successful at Your Job’ - fantastically useful commandments for any role.

It’s never too late to adopt these top tips!

Quick quote: “Think how they think, to do what we do.”
Buy the book here.


#2 Bigger than This by Fabian Geyrhalter (@_finien_)

This book delves into the humanity of brands, which is fundamental to the success of any business, product or service.

There must be a story for customers and potential customers to believe.

Fabian Geyrhalter provides a comprehensive overview of what makes a good brand, in simple, easy-to-understand terms and phrases, without compromising on the inspirational and practical aspects of the book.

Quick quote: “The why and the how are winning over the what.”
Browse the full sketchnotes here.
Buy the book here.


#1 Brand Intervention: 33 Steps to Transform the Brand You Have into the Brand You Need by David Brier

This one has to be my number one book for designers looking for more info on building brands.

I totally blitzed through this book, fascinated, and was writing my nudenotes like a man possessed!

This book is simply all meat, no fat or filler.

Interestingly, David messaged me after I posted my nudenotes of the book, and we had a chat about what I thought of his book via video - check it out below.

Quick quote: “Your brand is not what you do, it is what your customers get that changes their life for the better.”
Buy the book here.