Are you looking to invigorate and grow your creativity to be more effective and powerful? Creativity is the ability to recognize, manipulate and reshuffle elements to create novel expressions. These five (six actually) books that have been extremely helpful in building my ability to be creative and effective as a designer by showing previously unknown elements and strategies for working creatively. I hope you find these recommendations helpful!

Full disclosure: Each of the links to purchase these books are affiliate links which means if you purchase the book after clicking the link, I'll get a small kickback. However, these are excellent books that continue to inspire me and my design team each day.

The Design of Everyday Things

by Don Norman

This is a classic in the User Experience industry, but it stands the test of time. Don's fantastic narrative-rich book helps designers frame and think about the end user. It's an inspiring and creativity invigorating read that provides lots of helpful perspective for deeper more meaningful design solutions.

Buy on Amazon

Creativity: The Flow and Psychology of Flow and Invention

by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Legendary psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi reveals what leads to legendary creative moments so that this knowledge can be used to enrich people's lives. He explains why creativity needs to be cultivated and is necessary for the future of our country, if not the world.

Buy on Amazon

Deep Work (Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)

by Cal Newport

While this isn't a design-focused book, Cal does an amazing job laying out the importance of focus and clarity of thought for the new generation of workers called "knowledge workers". The author provides principles that designers can put into practice to improve their focus and the quality of their design solutions.

Buy on Amazon

Creativity Inc

by Ed Catmull

Ed comes from a Pixar background...which we all know is deeply creative. The evidence is in every aspect of their animated feature films. This book provides lots of inspiring stories that fuel designers with information to keep moving forward, even when it seems hopeless.

Buy on Amazon

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

by Austin Kleon

Great artists don't copy, they steal. Austin unpacks the idea that there is nothing truly new, but only new remixes and recombinations of elements. Our ability to be creative is really limited by our ability to freely remix and experiment in playful and uninhibited ways. This book provides excellent ways of thinking about creation that will put the wind in your creative sails.

Buy on Amazon

Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad

by Austin Kleon

Cultivating deep creativity takes work and focus. In this book, Austin gives ten substantial ways that you can put into practice starting on the first page. If you're looking for techniques and strategies for building your creativity, these then strategies are both inspiring and acheivable.

Buy on Amazon

Always Learning

Creativity thrives on the information and experiences a person has available to them. One of the keys of creativity is to never stop learning. Each of these books provides a unique and inspiring viewpoint that can be just the kind of spark you need to keep design solutions flowing.

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