T-Shirts and Suits – a creative business guide

‘T-Shirts and Suits: A Guide to the Business of Creativity’ is a practical handbook for creative entrepreneurs to refer to and find information, examples from successful creative businesses, and practical tips about using powerful business ideas in a creative context. It’s a creative business guide for entrepreneurs in the creative industries and creative economy.

It is available as a paperback, eBook and Audiobook. It has been published in translations in nine countries around the world.

“Clear and concise with a lovely clean design.
T-Shirts and Suits is a great mixture of theory, practice and inspiration.” – Fiona Shaw. Capsica Publishing


Full-colour paperback (112 pages)
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See more reviews and comments about the this creative business guide.

Also published in translations in Belarus, Chile, China, Colombia, Lithuania, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and Ukraine.

Here’s what it says on the back of this leading creative entrepreneurship book:

Successful creative enterprises integrate creativity and business. T-Shirts and Suits offers an approach which brings together both creative passion and business best practice.

Written in an engaging and jargon-free style, the book offers inspiration and appropriate advice for all those involved in running or setting up a creative business.

Marketing, intellectual property, finance, competition, leadership – and more – are included in this guide.

Examples of best practice are illustrated in eleven ‘Ideas in Action’ sections featuring a range of creative businesses and organisations.


creative business guide in paperback, ebook and audiobook formats

The book condenses over twenty years’ experience of working in creative enterprises, combined with learning from clients and from business school.

This creative entrepreneur book is a creative industries guide written especially for creative businesses and cultural enterprises by an experienced specialist creative industries consultant with a background in the creative and digital sector.

This well-designed and attractive creative enterprise toolkit provides information about marketing, financial management, raising finance, limited companies, organisational structures, copyright, trade marks, patents, leading people, personnel management, business planning, business growth, strategic marketing, viral marketing, competitive advantage, business strategies, success, profitability, licensing income, business feasibility, project management, quality, forces of competition, market segmentation, strategic focus, saying no, intellectual property rights, internal analysis, environmental analysis, pareto analysis, continuing professional development, and much more.

‘TShirts and Suits: A Guide to the Business of Creativity’ has been translated and published in several countries. David Parrish has also written a ‘Creative, Cultural and Digital Industries Guide’, the toolkit publication ‘Designing Your Creative Business’ and various articles, book chapters and blog series. He can be commissioned to write other books, guides, handbooks, articles and blogs to support effective business development in the creative industries worldwide.

This creative entrepreneurship book addresses creative business setup, business growth and is relevant to creative businesses at all stages of development. It’s a creative business guide for all creative entrepreneurs to read and use.


What they say about ‘T-Shirts and Suits: A Guide to the Business of Creativity’

“T-Shirts and Suits gives a brilliant insight to the dynamics between ‘creatives’ and the more formal requirements of business. It then goes further than most books by showing how creative talent and commercial needs can combine to build successful business. Lots of real world practical examples make this a most interesting read and a must have book.”
– Adrian Maguire

“This common sense, accessible book is a comprehensive guide to establishing, growing and leading a creative business. It hits all the right buttons in all the right ways.”
– Paul Smith. Arts and Business.

“A very useful and stimulating book, and a much-needed companion for would-be entrepreneurs in the creative industries.”
– Dag Kjelsaas Hotvedt. Akerselva Innovasjon, Norway.

“More than just a great read, T-Shirts and Suits is a valuable tool for anyone embarking on, or surviving, business in the creative sector.”
– Diane Earles. Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.

“Owning this guide is equivalent to having a professional adviser on call.”
– Anne McInerney. UK Trade and Investment (UKTI)

“Clear and concise with a lovely clean design. T-Shirts and Suits is a great mixture of theory, practice and inspiration.”
– Fiona Shaw. Capsica Pubishing

“Really useful, motivational and colourful for creative people and beyond! You can dip in and out and it reads like a creative mind.”
– Patricia van den Akker. Cultural Industries Development Agency.

“We both read this over the same weekend, which you can’t say for many management book, and we found it both inspirational and practically useful – particularly essential when working in creativity when sometimes people think the inspiration on its own will be enough.”
– Ronnie Hughes and Sarah Horton. A Sense of Place.

“David’s book is great! It’s accessible and provides information that can be dipped into as and when it’s needed by nascent entrepreneurs.”
– Lorna Collins. National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship.

“T-Shirts and Suits demystifies the ins and outs of building a business in the creative industries by providing a practical guide for creative entrepreneurs that uses case studies to illustrate best practice.”
– Alexander Schischlik. UNESCO.

“I first read this book before I started my business, and struggling with the pros and cons of working for myself. It really helped me make the decision to go for it. David has incredible insight into a developing and running a creative business and this book is written in a truly readable format. Everyone already or wanting to run a creative business should own a copy of this book and READ it, I still keep dipping into mine whenever I feel like giving up or am struggling with an aspect of the business – an answer usually lies within and helps me get back on track. Brilliant!”
– Susan Comer. (Amazon review)

“This book provides an extremely practical and useful guide for anyone looking to start or improve their creative business.
I found the book to provide a useful outline of important factors to be aware of in business, and found that points were cleverly linked and demonstrated appropriately towards the creative industries as opposed to making a wider and less specific point which wouldn’t be as useful.
The book also provides useful and insightful case studies to demonstrate and back up the theory and important points raised in each chapter. This helps to understand points better and link them to how your business could benefit or be affected by what is mentioned.
All in all, a very useful guide which acts as a useful thought provoker which gives inspiration and good ideas.”
– Richard Wilde (Amazon review)

“This is a thoroughly enjoyable and essential book for any creative business. T-shirts and suits manages to combine ‘creativity’ and ‘business’ in a practical, easily digestible format. When I first read it, I couldn’t put it down (I read it from start to finish in about three days!) and now I use it for quick reference all the time.”
– Alison Coward (Amazon review)

“This book can help anyone in business, whether a creative person or not. It is written in easy to understand language whilst covering the mechanics of running a business in detail. I am experienced in some areas of business but still learnt new things. I have also passed it on to beginners who have found the terminilogy and case studies a great help and are now speeding ahead with their businesses.
This all in all is a great read, and coupled with the website will be of great help to business people looking for a book that is different from the rest.”
– Peter Burke (Amazon review)

“For anyone looking to set up a creative business or for those already in the sector, this book is a must! Business issues are split into easy to digest, bite sized chunks and David’s knowledge of the Creative Industries allows him to highlight specifics that generic business advice can sometimes overlook. A concise and practical guide.”
– Jane Stuart (Amazon review)

“Cannot recommend this book enough. Its practical but concise approach to the offering of solutions to the everyday issues faced by Creative businesses is a must for budding entrepreneurs. It truly does offer a balance between business and creativity.”
– Anthony Byrne (Amazon review)

“If you are venturing into the creative industries with your business or your company already operates in them and you need some support and guidance, T-shirts and Suits is a must-have book. Its dual approach shows you how to combine the flair of your creativity with the practical aspects of business management to help you maximise your achievements. It provides information, advice and examples, giving you a platform for the success of your creative enterprise. If you are serious about your business, make it your business to get this book.”
– Colin Jones (Amazon review)

“I started my own business in Graphic Design under 2 months ago and having recently read this book it has put a lot into perspective. Not only for the future but tips and advice for the present, it has made things a lot clearer on the market and how to prepare for any changes and also the legal aspects which is something which has always been a blur throughout the whole process. After reading the book and taking in what is relevant to me at the moment, I am excited about a rebrand and constructing a new strategy. And also knowing I have this book in the future will undoubtedly put my worries at ease on expansion. This is a book that will constantly be relooked at as my business expands and will always prove useful.
Not only a great read, but definately an essential guide through all steps of business, anybody thinking of starting up in the creative industry MUST get this book!”
– Jon Dunnington (Amazon review)

“I would most definitely recommend this Book to people of all Industries, as this can help change perspectives of people working in a wide range of Companies. (particularly those sporting Suits & Loafers!)
The amount of information and stories from first-hand experience makes this one of the best books out there for entrepreneurs to get a great idea as to what obstacles they could encounter, as well as ways to ensure they avoid mistakes and naivety.
The Case Studies really show just how much experience and success Mr. Parrish has had through his exciting career, and indicates just how rapidly the Creative Sector is expanding – and how much you need to be on-the-ball in order to succeed.
Collaborations and working with companies from a variety of sectors is one of the key points in being successful, something David taught me, which has paid off well in my line of work.
This book is a must-have, especially for the ambitious creative people looking to start up their own lucrative company.”
– Ryan Cullen (Amazon review)

“Rating anything as a “five” is a bit of a departure for me as I can usually think of something I would do differently/ improve. Not so in this case.
The book takes a creative look at business and challenges some of the thinking around marketing, finance, competition and leadership. It draws on some of David Parrish’s own personal experience.
The book is well structured. Each chapter is written in a clear fashion, has a key point summary and is followed by “Ideas in Action” where real examples of creative business are described and analysed.”
– Andy Walkden (Amazon review)