Attention spans are contracting, commercials are filtered, messages have a character limit and the competitive landscape is increasingly cluttered. The greatest weapon we have is design. That was the topic of discussion during a recent AMA Baltimore event. At the event, Bates Creative’s Creative Director, Erik Hansen shared ways to think about building brand awareness by design. A term Erik uses to describe this is “Designful Thinking.”

At the end of the presentation, Erik unveiled a box full of books, ones that he has found to be sources of inspiration and motivation throughout his career. Here is the list of the top titles Erik recommends to get you thinking design and to better understand the impact design can have on your organization’s brand.

The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam

The Back of the Napkin will greatly change the way you see the world. It will prompt you to think with pictures, helping you explore new ideas and solve problems in a completely new way.

The Design of Business by Roger Martin

The Design of Business is a book that is sure to get you thinking about how design thinking is the next competitive advantage for your organization.

The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley with Jonathan Littman

Explore lessons in creativity from the folks at IDEO, a global design firm.

Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur

Business Model Generation is described as “a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow’s enterprises.” This book presents tested tools for understanding, designing, reworking and implementing business models.

Change By Design by Tim Brown

Reading Change By Design will help you discover how design thinking can transform and inspire innovation for your organization.

Three Titles by Marty Neumeier:

The Designful Company

The Designful Company is one of many titles by Marty Neumeier. Neumeier presents the new management engine that will transform your organization into a “powerhouse of nonstop innovation.”

The Brand Gap

The Brand Gap is another motivating book by Marty Neumeier. It will guide you through learning how to bridge the distance between business strategy and design.

Metaskills: Five Talents for the Robotic Age

In another inspiring book by Marty Neumeier, he presents five metaskills: feeling, seeing, dreaming, making, and learning. Neumeier uncovers how each metaskill will accelerate your organization to success in the “Robotic Age.”

We hope you enjoy the books and find them to be sources of inspiration for your own career or next business venture. Let us know which ones you find the most beneficial. Which “out-of-the-box” business books would you recommend?

Want to invite Erik to speak about design at your next event or conference? Get in touch with Bates Creative’s Marketing Specialist Amanda Jennison at