With creativity, ideas are born. Solutions are found. Concepts are fully developed. It truly is the number one skill a designer can possess. Creativity is not solely an inherited trait. It’s a skill that develops from nourishment and that evolves over time. “In recent years more evidence that creativity and creative thinking skills can be taught, learned and practiced has appeared,” comments Thomas Vogel in his book, Breakthrough Thinking. Professional designers carve out time from their busy schedules to bolster their creativity by running through exercises, participating in lessons and actively learning about other designers’ work because they realize that maintaining creativity takes dedication and practice.
Some of our favorite designers compiled their methods for fostering creativity into books, podcasts and exercises. This collection contains 15 top-selling resources from leading designers including Stefan Mumaw, Jim Krause, Von Glitschka, Robin Landa and Denise Bosler.
Explore this well-rounded collection for boosting creativity.
15 Creativity Books and Resources for Fueling Ideas
Discover the road to productivity and success by keeping your creative juices flowing daily. Cultivating Creativity by Maria Fabrizio adheres to the idea that creativity requires ample momentum – if you stop, you’ll stall. In order to get the creative inspiration you need to do your design work well, it’s important to establish daily creative routines. Create every day, and you’ll be able to keep creating every day – it’s as simple as that. Lean on this helpful companion and guide to creative inspiration and you’ll be able to take your creativity, and design work, to new heights.
Gather tips for throwing design caution to the wind, while also maintaining effective communication so your message is heard. Learn how to be strategic when using (or choosing not to use) the rules of graphic design to create stimulating original designs. In addition to creative inspiration, you’ll also discover sections specifically devoted to helping you design posters, logos, websites, advertising, publications, and more.
by Robin Landa
In graphic design, creative thinking skills are undoubtedly important, but oftentimes the importance of critical thinking skills is overlooked. In Nimble by Robin Landa, discover how to develop a creativity that is strategic, and able to cross platforms, industries, or sectors. Find a creative thinking process that allows you to generate scalable ideas that are both sticky and stretchy. Learn how to keep your creative inspiration strong and develop a flexible mind ideal for visual communication, digital marketing, or social media.
by Mary Zalla
We all work hard to produce great, creative, and potentially effective solutions. But we often don’t pay as much attention to how we share these solutions with clients. It would be nice if the best work always sold itself. Sometimes it does – but unfortunately, most of the time, it doesn’t. Getting the best, most creative work produced requires real influence. In this audio download, Landor’s Mary Zalla talks about the crucial steps to getting clients on board with your design.
by Thomas Vogel
Breakthrough Thinking by Thomas Vogel is a guide to developing effective creative thinking skills, and applying them to challenges in the competitive business environment. Whether you struggle with creative inspiration, problem-solving, or just want to further shape your creative thinking process, discover techniques and exercises that will help you develop a more flexible thought process.
by Andy Stefanovich
Andy Stefanovich, founder of the creative agency, Play, is committed to injecting creativity and design innovation into businesses around the world. He’ll share his creativity-based business approach, showing you how innovation and creativity relate to your role in the business and helping you develop your own creative mindset.
Being creative on demand is, well, demanding. In this series of OnDemand Webcasts, you’ll find the tools you need to keep your creative inspiration fresh. You’ll be ready to kick-start creative thoughts within a matter of minutes, speed up your creative ideation process and come up with the most efficient methods for maximizing group creative output.
Do you constantly look outside yourself for inspiration? Designer Von Glitschka will explain how to cultivate a high level of personal creative inspiration that has you thinking creatively on command. You’ll learn practical methods for fostering your creativity, as well as simple strategies for idea generation.
by Stefan Mumaw
Want to be more creative on demand? Callahan Creek Creative Director and Creative Boot Camp author Stefan Mumaw will whimsically illustrate time-tested strategies for generating quality ideas quickly and provide the blueprint to repeatable idea harvesting. From comedy improv rituals to problem design remedies, you’ll walk away with your head shrinking, mind spinning and medicine bag brimming with all the tools necessary to become an idea witchdoctor.
by Stefan Mumaw
In this OnDemand Webcast, Reign Creative Director and Caffeine for the Creative Mind co-author Stefan Mumaw provide a seven-step plan for learning how to generate monster ideas. Don’t settle for routine thoughts and stale solutions, crank up your ideation and learn how to boost the quantity and quality of your concepts.
The key to creative inspiration is getting your ideas down on paper! Keep variety in your brainstorming with this mixed three-pack of field notes. From Aaron Draplin comes the Field Notes Mixed 3-Pack to help you get your ideas down no matter when or where they strike. It includes one graph, one ruled, and one plain paper notebook, each with 48 pages and a craft paper cover. You never know when you’ll feel inspired, so tuck these handy notebooks in your back pocket and you’ll be ready to jot down your million dollar ideas on-the-go.
Designers can often struggle to find creative inspiration because of tight deadlines and demanding workloads. So if you want to perform your best, then you need to exercise your creativity! Creative Workshop helps you do just that.
Packed with 80 unique creative thinking exercises that cover all kinds of media and time ranges, you’ll easily find exercises you can incorporate into your very limited free time.
by Stefan Mumaw
Creative Boot Camp is a 30-day creative training program that will increase the quantity and quality of your ideas. The book begins by exploring what creativity is and isn’t, how we can train ourselves to improve our own ideation, and what steps we need to take to generate more ideas and better ideas for our creative selves, our creative projects, our creative businesses, and our creative lives.
by Stefan Mumaw & Wendy Lee Oldfield
Caffeine for the Creative Mind teaches that we should make it a habit to jumpstart your day with more than just your morning coffee and start feeling the creative buzz. Get ready to start generating ideas in greater quantity and quality.
by Jim Krause
D30 is a workout book. In addition to dozens of readily applicable tips, tricks and informational tidbits, D30 contains thirty exercises designed to develop and strengthen the creative powers of graphic designers, artists and photographers in a variety of intriguing and fun ways. What will you need to begin? Not much. Most of the book’s step-by-step projects call for setting aside and hour or two, rolling up your sleeves and grabbing art supplies that are probably already stashed somewhere in your home or studio—things like pens, drawing and watercolor paper, India ink, paints, scissors and glue. Digital cameras and computers are also employed for several of the exercises but—and this should be welcome news to those readers who spend their days looking at computer monitors—the majority of the book’s activities make use of traditional media to illuminate creative techniques and visual strategies that can be applied to media of all sorts.