By Emily Taing
Being a creative is hard. You are constantly being asked to think up great ideas, and then go back to the drawing board until the client is happy. Although there is no replacement for first-hand knowledge and experience, I have found myself constantly referring to these five books throughout my career. They have been essential in my understanding of the creative industry, helped inspire me to bring creativity to life, and taught me how and why great work works. So if you work in the advertising/creative business or are interested in learning how the creative mind works, grab a hard copy of these books and start reading.
1. The Advertising Concept Book by Pete Barry
"Without a great concept you have nothing but mutton dressed as lamb." –Pete Barry
How do you write a great ad? Read this book and find out. One of my favorite things about "The Advertising Concept Book" is the simplicity of the content. Pete Barry breaks down all of the barriers and illustrates via pencil sketches the reason why the most famous ads of all time were successful.
2. Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads by Luke Sullivan
“The human brain is wired to hunger for story. Discover the stories behind a brand and tell them in a way that will get people’s attention”–Luke Sullivan
When I started reading this book, I was pleasantly surprised by how dead-on Luke was at describing a career in advertising. It's entertaining, funny, and has very valuable tips and good advice on how to make it in the advertising world.
3. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
“The first problem of communication is getting people's attention.”― Chip Heath
Why do some ideas just work? This book does a great job of explaining why some ideas thrive while others go unnoticed. With a wide variety of case studies and research to back them up, the Heath brothers break down the critical elements of a sticky idea and challenge the reader to break down the essence of the message, go back to core advertising principles, and execute them in a memorable way.
4. It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be by Patrick O'Neill
“Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have. Without having a goal it’s difficult to score.”–Patrick O'Neill
This humorous book helps you open your mind to the endless possibilities in the advertising world. Full of thought-provoking quotes like, “The person who doesn't make mistakes is unlikely to make anything," O'Neill provides unique insight and lessons not only the world of advertising, but outside of advertising as well.
5. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
"Venturing out of your comfort zone may be dangerous, yet you do it anyway because our ability to grow is directly proportional to an ability to entertain the uncomfortable." -Twyla Tharp
In this book, Twyla Tharp shares her secrets on how to make creativity a habit. It's full of great quotes, anecdotes, 30 simple exercises, and most important, very useful advice for any creative. This is a great guide for anyone who needs techniques for finding new ideas and getting out of a creative rut.
Do you use books to help find inspiration? What books get your creative juices flowing? Share in the comments below!