Books for Design Agency Founders

This is a collection of books that have had a profound impact in my professional career.

They cover a range of topics from how to explain complex design concepts to client, to how to draft proposals and command higher fees.

I recommend you read these in the order they are laid out here, left to right, top to bottom.

The links are all Amazon affiliate links.

Pricing DesignSee on Amazon
Pricing Design
Dan Mall

Short and sweet. You can read this one over a venti cappuccino. It introduced me to the concept of value-based pricing.

The Lean StartupSee on Amazon
The Lean Startup
Eric Ries

A seminal classic of tech entrepreneurship. Introduced the term MVP to the masses and does a great job at democratizing design thinking.

The Business of ExpertiseSee on Amazon
The Business of Expertise
David C. Baker

A great guide for consultants who sell their expertise as a premium service.

Creative Strategy and the Business of DesignSee on Amazon
Creative Strategy and the Business of Design
Douglas Davis

Douglas gives creatives a crash-course on business jargon and how to talk to clients confidently, in business terms.

The Win Without Pitching ManifestoSee on Amazon
The Win Without Pitching Manifesto
Blair Enns

Invaluable advice on how to turn your creative business from an order taker, paid by the hour one, to a highly valuable expert.

SprintSee on Amazon
Sprint
Jake Knap, Braden Kowitz & Dan Bittner

Human-Centered Design condensed into a 5-day handbook.

Vetting Bad Design Clients

Bad clients can be horrible for your agency. They ask for too many revisions and good luck trying to get them to pay you.

Learn how to identify bad clients on the first call with my free checklist.