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Before & After: How to Design Cool Stuff 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I like this book because it involves you in the decisions. The first part of the book explains the knowledge you need to be able to really see and use graphic elements. It begins with designing without rulers and the empty page. It explains how to use color. It makes sense out of understanding typographic characters and fitting type styles to your design. An example of how the book involves you is "How to find the perfect color." It begins with finding the colors in a photograph. It ends with a discussion of five different color choice designs with good reasons why the customer might chose any one of them
I like this book because it shows creative methods you can use. The second part of "Before & After How to Design Cool Stuff" is about techniques such as getting several images out of one photo, putting the reader's eye where you want it, and combining photos and captions to tell your story. It includes techniques you can use to create unique covers and pages, business cards and a post card, or even a web site or a welcome page.
I also like the projects that make up the third part. These projects show the evolution from the idea or product that existed before to the designs that result after. These projects can help you to design a theme, a story-style brochure, a pocket size brochure, a panoramic booklet, a web site, or a presentation.
Read "Before & After How to Design Cool Stuff" for an overview of, and an appreciation for, the ideas and techniques that are in it. Then, when you are about to begin your next project, refer to this book.
John McWade is in a class by himself. No one else even comes close.
Whether you are an experienced designer, or someone just trying to figure out how to start on your first design project, you absolutely cannot go wrong with this book, or with any of McWade's other books.
Does it matter that most of the topics in this book have already been covered in his magazine? Not at all. Even though I still have all the back issues, and refer to them on a regular basis, the fact is that this series of books makes it easier to find the topics I want to review, and so these books are way more than worth the price when I'm looking for a quick burst of inspiration.
Even if I'm not actively searching for "inspiration," just opening his books and paging through them, the clean design produces an almost zen-like state in my mind, and I immediately feel a wave of confidence flowing through me, reminding me that design *can* be fun, and that I *can* design something that's at least as good as the well-known designers I've worked with and admired for years.
Buy these books. Study what John McWade wants to show you.
If you want to become a good designer (or an even better designer), nothing will be of more help to you than studying the design techniques and ideas of John McWade.
Definitely worth picking up and reading. I read it cover to cover in one afternoon and it is next to the computer whenever I design.
It does not go heavy into the technical reasons why things were, it just explains how to make things look good and very clearly and easily.
Will you become the greatest designer ever? Probably not, but is it useful as a design resource, absolutely.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book! Lots of photos to give you a visual of what their referring to.Published 3 months ago by M. Hansen
If there's one book on design you purchase, make it this one! From small format websites to brochures, CD cover art and more, John McWade gives you just the knowledge you need,... Read morePublished 9 months ago by CAMILLVS
I buy any book by John McWade. His experience and his tips on design are amazing. He's helped me become a better designer.Published 13 months ago by Rama Persaud
I purchased John McWade's BEFORE & AFTER: HOW TO DESIGN COOL STUFF, BEFORE & AFTER: GRAPHICS FOR BUSINESS, and BEFORE & AFTER: PAGE DESIGN, and I love all three books! Read morePublished 13 months ago by C. Mortimer
I have learned more real-world design thinking and nuts and bolts design from John McWade's books and website than I did in school. OutstandingPublished 14 months ago by Karim McCall
A very well informed and motivational read. Definitely an insider's perspective. I learned a lot and am inspired. Very well done.Published 20 months ago by Emily Mather
Great book, because it offers solutions that I will actually employee. This book is a great resource for any designer library.Published 20 months ago by AC