After reading Seth Godin's Purple Cow, one question continued to visit me. If the design is the marketing, how do you improve your design skills?
I sent this question to Seth and he was kind enough to reply. Read Before and After -- a magazine for graphics design. Its tips and tutorials have improved and polished my design skills.
About a year ago, just by chance, I stumbled upon another book that shows how to use vision to improve your design. Although, this vision is seen with your mind's eye. Visioning, by Lucia Capacchione, is a method for finding the dream that lives in your heart and translating it into the world of three dimensions.
I've used this method to build new products or to first create an image and then let the words flow. In short, you create a collage and then view it, repeatedly. It's visual affirmations for the right side of your brain and it fosters your ability to think in pictures. At work, I have several images posted to the wall that I see every day, several times a day.
To build his kingdom, Walt Disney used a similar technique called "Imagineering" -- it blends whimsy, imagination and art with the discipline of engineering.
Dr. Capacchione describes The Ten Steps to Visioning.