I'm a branding expert and graphic designer based in Brooklyn, New York. Need help with branding?—Just Get in touch
My name is Arek Dvornechuck and I'm a branding expert who loves to read books about branding and marketing.
What sets a good branding expert apart from a great one?—An insatiable desire to learn!
That's why in this article, I'll share 10 of the best branding books I've come across in my career.
Whether you are just starting out in the world of branding, or you consider yourself a pro, the process of brand development can be overwhelming.
This is because branding is a very broad term that spans across many different areas.
However, my list of books includes everything you need to know in order to create strong brands, from strategy, through design to marketing and more.
So let's get started with probably the most popular and most talked about book—The Brand Gap.
BrandGap by Marty Neumeier is a great, high-level overview of what branding is all about.
Neumeier boils branding down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to digest.
The book covers the fundamentals like brand promise, brand story, brand experience, and more.
I recommend BrandGap to anyone who wants to learn the basics of branding.
It's an essential primer that clearly explains key concepts and ideas.
The book is written in an engaging and conversational tone too.
Some key topics covered include:
BrandGap gives readers a rock-solid branding foundation to build upon. I refer back to it often even after many years in the branding business.
Hello, My Name is Awesome by Alexandra Watkins is a fun, practical guide to naming brands and products.
Coming up with a great name is one of the most important branding decisions you can make.
This book shows you how to do it right—it's loaded with naming tips and exercises.
I used the step-by-step process myself to name two of my startup brands.
Watkins brings a scientific approach to naming.
She advises readers on how to:
If you're planning to name a new brand, this book is mandatory reading.
In Start with Why, Simon Sinek explains how great brands are built on purpose and mission rather than products and services.
Your "why" is the belief or cause that drives your organization.
This thought-provoking book opened my eyes to the power of defining your brand's purpose.
Sinek provides countless examples of inspirational leaders and brands that start with why.
Knowing why you do what you do is crucial for authentic branding.
I regularly refer to this book when helping brands articulating their:
To sum up—"Start with Why" provides a blueprint for getting crystal clear on your purpose.
Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout is a marketing classic.
It's mandatory reading for anyone involved in branding or marketing.
Ries and Trout stress the importance of carving out a distinct position in the mind of customers.
This book will teach you how to differentiate your brand in a crowded market.
You'll learn how to zero in on the key differences that set you apart from competitors.
I don't think I've applied more branding concepts from a book than Positioning.
Key concepts covered include:
It's a game-changer in terms of how you view competitive branding.
Donald Miller takes a practical approach to marketing and branding in Marketing Made Simple.
He boils down big ideas into simple how-to lessons around:
I love how actionable this book is—the short chapters make it easy to jump to quick branding wins.
It's a great book for do-it-yourselfers and small business owners getting started with branding.
Some concrete tips it covers includes:
The book lives up to its name—pick it up if you want straightforward branding advice.
Jim Everhart has worked with some of the world's top brands.
In Brand Vision, Everhart shares his strategic approach for crafting brand visions.
Your brand vision is your guiding star - where you are going and why it matters.
I make all of my branding clients go through the visioning exercises in this book.
This book provides a results-driven framework for defining your vision, including:
It ensures you begin projects with a solid vision in place to inform decisions.
Dim Sum Strategy offers a comprehensive dive into brand strategy, positioning, and more.
In the book, Peter Wilken explores branding best practices to help you build distinctive brands.
If you're looking to go deeper on brand strategy, this book delivers.
Wilken provides frameworks, models, and tools on:
I love how clearly Dim Sum Strategy connects brand strategy to business strategy.
This is vital in applying branding strategically vs. only aesthetically.
As the title suggests, Logo Design Love by David Airey is a must-read book on logo design.
Airey gives readers incredible insights into:
The book includes interviews with world-class designers like Michael Bierut, Von Glitschka, and Lindon Leader.
Airey provides a peek inside their creative approaches to logo design.
This is by far the most helpful book I've come across on the topic of logo creation.
It will inspire you to reach new heights with your logo designs.
Branding In 5 & 1⁄2 Steps delivers an in-depth overview of all aspects of branding.
The book provides actionable advice, tools, and templates for building brands.
Topics covered include brand strategy, brand identity, brand communications and more.
I recommend Branding in 5 1/2 Steps to new brand managers.
It gives a comprehensive crash course on the branding process.
Michael Johnson boils the branding process down into (you guessed it) 5 1/2 key steps:
The content is practical yet thorough at the same time.
Designing Brand Identity dives deep into creating logos, color palettes, typography, imagery, and branding elements.
Alina Wheeler is the authority when it comes to brand identity design.
This book is all about brand identity—packaged into one gorgeous resource.
Some identity topics covered include:
If you want to take your brand identity skills up a level, study this book.
It's also an amazing reference guide for brand designers to have on hand.
Those are 10 of the very best books on branding and marketing in my opinion.
Each provides incredible value in their own unique way.
I make a point to re-read and refer back to these books regularly.
They contain timeless branding advice and wisdom.
So pick up one or more of these books if you want to become a branding expert too.
Shoot me an email—which ones impact you the most!
I'm always open to adding more great branding books to my reading list.
I'm a branding expert and graphic designer based in NY. I specialize in the development of brands: brand strategy, identity & web design. Need help with your project?—Get in touch