9 Best Branding Books You Should Read

9 Best Branding and Identity Design Books Of All Time

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Branding is more than just a logo, it’s the whole practice of building your brand, from more visual elements as logos, symbols, naming to philosophical aspects as a brand message, values, and brand personality.


On this list you will find the best guides and resources about branding perfect for brand and identity designers, the best books to get introduced into a brand design perfect for design students, and complex theory about selling and branding for advanced brand theories, so let’s start with the 9 best branding books.


Branding In Five and a Half Steps written by Michael Johnson is considered a classic in brand design and it’s a must-read book for brand and identity designers as you can use this book as a practical guide with analysis and explanation from iconic logos, adverts, rebrand, and the best branding projects.


With this book, you will receive expert insights on branding, and thanks to Michael Johnson’s passion you will find this book with great narrative with outstanding writing. Once you will read this book you will understand the important part that storytelling and empathy play to create a good branding project.


  • Expert analysis
  • A large variety of icons, logos, and branding projects
  • Outstanding write


  • Tittle can be confusing

Author: Michael Johnson

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Book Of Branding written by Radim Malinic founder of London-based Brand Nu Agency is a must-have book for those designers running a branding studio as it’s a complete guide on how to own a brand and identity design agency from refining contracts, how to present strategies to clients and dealing with disappointments among other tips.


With an informal writing style and beautiful illustration along the process of a branding project from real cases, this book is easy to read while getting tons of useful information about the working process of a branding studio and detailed advice and tips from real projects.


  • Real case study
  • A detailed process of a branding studio
  • Easy to read
  • Beautiful illustrations


  • It could have more case studies

Author: Radim Malinic

Publisher: Brand Nu Ltd

Purple Cow by Seth Godin is a classic and must-read book about marketing and branding, and nowadays is still a useful book with interesting insights about branding and marketing, as the main premise is that if you want to make your brand stand out from your competitors you should take risks and make your brand look different and eye-catching.


With this book you will want your product to be a “purple cow”, taking risks to make your brand memorable, avoiding safe options that will make you invisible in a crowded and competitive environment, and the philosophy of this book can be really useful for graphic designers to help them be competitive in the graphic design industry and apply this method to their works.


  • A classic book in marketing
  • Stand out from the crowd philosophy
  • Easy to read and get the concept
  • You don’t need marketing knowledge to understand this book


  • Can be repetitive as it follows the same premise “be different”

Author: Seth Godin

Publisher: Penguin Books


If you are looking for a great resource about an identity design process, Identity Designed written by famous designer David Airey it’s a must-have book as it will show the secrets of design work giving you a visual side of branding with great insights and analysis.


This book explores 16 different projects from a wide range of industries and sectors to give you a clear walkthrough of a branding project presenting you every step of the designer and client process with creative problem solving, and with this book, you will understand that to create a powerful design you only need to include the necessary elements, as the saturation of elements dilute the message.


  • Great analysis and insights
  • Great projects from world-class agencies
  • Beautiful design


  • Could have more projects

Author: David Airey

Publisher: The Quarto Group


Designing Brand Identity written by Alina Wheeler is one of the best books about branding you can read right now as it is the best resource to understand the fundamentals of branding as the name suggest is an essential guide about branding and toolkit very useful by graphic designers and branding teams to create memorable brand identity projects.


With this book you will understand the branding principles, theory, and practicalities from learning concepts as brand architecture and how to mage assets, you will find these concepts really well explained and followed with illustrations, apart from the theory you will find more than 40 case studies on important brands like Coca-Cola or Mozilla.


  • The best guide for branding
  • Great and large case studies
  • Useful insights


  • Can be overwhelming at the beginning

Author: Alina Wheeler

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

If you are a branding theorist looking for a book that expands on the philosophy of selling with unique insights and fascinating analysis you should take a look at Brand New: The Shape of Brand to Come by Wally Olins an industry legend that analyses how branding and globalization have evolved together and they have influenced each other.


In this book, you will find how selling and branding have become a more complex philosophy because of the evolution of technology and consumer needs, and psychology. If you want to understand the deeper streams of branding strategy you should take a look at this book, but if you are a beginner graphic designer looking for a more easy-to-read book you should take a look at other books on this list.


  • Expert insights on branding
  • Predictions about brand strategy
  • Expands the philosophy of selling


  • Only for expert branding theorists looking for a complex read

Author: Wally Olins

Publisher: Thames and Hudson

If you are a graphic design student looking for a guide about branding, Creating a Brand Identity by Catharine Slade-Brooking is the best book to get introduced to branding giving you everything you need to know to create a brand identity project making this book perfect for students.


This book is perfect to learn about branding as it has useful exercises to help graphic design students to understand branding principles and theory as consumer psychology, execution of a brand identity, or how to deliver branding campaigns with visual references and great examples.


  • Perfect for design students
  • Useful exercises and visual references
  • Good tips and definitions


  • Not for more advanced graphic designers

Author: Catharine Slade-Brooking

Publisher: Laurence King Publishing


Building a Story Brand written by Donald Miller is the best book to understand the importance of narrative and story-telling in branding to achieve brand success. Donald Miller is the CEO of StoryBrand and has experience on this idea and how a brand should be built with a prism of a story to connect with your audience.


Donald Miller makes emphasis the importance of talking clearly and effectively about your brand, with this book you will learn the way you should talk about your brand with a seven-point approach that covers the story points, and with this book you will understand how to convey your brand message from interesting insights, consumer psychology and why people buy things.


  • How to convey a brand message
  • Good writing style
  • The importance of story-telling in branding
  • Useful information and insights


  • Can be repetitive at some stages

Author: Donald Miller

Publisher: HarperCollins

The Brand Gap wrote by Marty Neumeier is a perfect book to learn brand-building theory and principles and how to create charismatic brands, showing you the essential steps in the brand-building process and definitions to understand it, and definitely, you will learn how to bridge the gap between brand strategy and design with this book.


Marty Neumeier says that if you want to create a memorable brand you need to ask three questions, Who are you? What do you do? and Why does it matter? apart from interesting theory and useful information about the branding process, in this book, you will also find a 22-word brand glossary making this book a great resource for brand and identity designers.


  • A great resource for branding and brand marketing
  • Clear and simple concepts about brand
  • Branding best and worst practices
  • Great design and style


  • Can get outdated in some parts

Author: Marty Neumeier

Publisher: New Riders



In this post, you will see the best guides on branding learning how to build a successful brand and identity design project with step-by-step processes perfect for beginner graphic designers or design students and more advanced reads to expand your knowledge on Branding and find new inspiring ideas.


Hope you find this post useful and help you to find the branding book you were looking for.

9 Best Branding Books Every Graphic Designer Should Read

If you found this post useful you might like to read these posts about Brand Design Inspiration.


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