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Design Basics Index Flexibound – December 3, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jim Krause has worked as a designer in the Pacific Northwest since the 1980s. He has produced award-winning work for clients large and small, including Microsoft, McDonald's, Washington Apples, Bell Helicopter, Paccar/Kenworth, Northern Trust and Seattle Public Schools. He lives in Bellingham, Washington.
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Product Details

  • Series: Index
  • Flexibound: 360 pages
  • Publisher: HOW Books; 1 edition (December 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581805012
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581805017
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jim Krause has worked as a designer in the Pacific Northwest since the 1980s. He has produced award-winning work for clients large and small, including Microsoft, McDonald's, Kodak, Cingular Wireless, Washington Apples, Levi Strauss, Paccar/Kenworth, and Seattle Public Schools. Jim Krause has written over a dozen books on design, creativity, and digital photography. His books are widely popular, are on sale around the world, and several have been translated into multiple languages.

Krause's latest books are Visual Design and Color For Designers--both published by New Riders. These two books are the first two titles in New Rider's Creative Core series.

When Jim Krause isn't working on books, he can usually be found racing his motorcycle, riding a bicycle, hiking, reading, enjoying a really good cup of espresso, or looking at birds through a pair of binoculars.

Customer Reviews

Overall a great book and would recommend to those who are beginning to design.
Adriana A.
There is always those days in which you get stuck, this book is great to help you out or even to just help you see things from a different perspective.
Maria Villafane
The book is very well organized, and written in a way that makes it easy to remember the concepts that Krause conveys.
Patrick Kendall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Iconophoric on January 16, 2005
Format: Flexibound
Experienced designer Jim Krause knows his stuff, and Basic Design Index is far and away the best of his 'Index' books for this publisher. This installment isn't a book that will win awards-- or second looks, even-- for flourishing a lot of trendy styling. There are some great books out there if that's what you are looking for, but this isn't one of them. As the name says, it's about basics, or a classic, professional, practical approach.

The book has many exploratory exercises or practice projects for the designer. Throughout it, Krause shows layouts produced using a basic set of photographic, header and body copy elements. He walks us through what works from these finished layouts, and what doesn't, and why. Design books usually show you the single way a piece saw print. This book's mock layouts suggest the multiplicity of ways components A, B, C and D could have been combined; there are, helpfully, more "don't" examples here than "do's". Krause also shows subtle ways to create flow in a layout, the creation of good relationships between objects on a page, and the things that can creep into work and sabotage it by working at cross purposes to clarity and unity.

Design Basics Index could function well as a supplemental book for those in a graphic design program. I have many years of design behind me, and I like to keep the book close by as a touchstone or a pocket source of friendly little reminders. As a resource, it manages to make some design bells go off for me most times I pick it up. That's the best endorsement I can give the book.

If you are a design master, or an avowed design martian, and feel convinced you can't learn anything from a book of this sort, you are probably right. To each his/her own. But for me, it fills a small niche very neatly.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. on February 7, 2005
Format: Flexibound
A beautiful, practical book--full of passion and inspriration. I love design, and have practiced and taught it for a long time. I have several books that cover parts of what I think is important about design, but this is the first that seems to cover everything under one roof--and in a way that is both elegant and up-to-date, far-reaching and concise. The author does not make many (if any) proclamations or "rules" about design--he seems more interested in describing parameters and then encouraging the reader to find their own visual voice. (He also seems more interested in teaching design than showing off--a rare thing amount current how-to books.) But the best thing about this book, the thing that really sets it apart, is the section on concepts near the end. Experienced designers all know that Concept is King, and yet how many basic design books even talk about the subtleties of theme and concept? Very few! In this book, concept is addressed quite elegantly, quite beautifully and in plain, approachable language. I wish that I could give every new designer a copy of this book (along with Idea Index and Color Index--I keep a copy of each on my desktop).
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Salmons on March 16, 2006
Format: Flexibound
I am a military journalist, deployed to Iraq. I also have the privilege of designing a unit publication. This book is a wonderful survey of design for all levels -- whether it serves as a refresher for veterans, or a basis for beginners.

The pliable plastic cover is thicker than expected and, subsequently, super durable (and waterproof to boot!); and the books slim profile allows it to easily survive trips in suitcases, cargo pockets, or even the sands of Iraq!

The pages are filled with amazing tips and exercises, which can be used personally or, in my case, to teach my troops new skills.

I use it for inspiration and as a "why and wherefore" for my design decisions.

One of the best design books I own, apart from its great on-the-go transportability!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Random Reviewer on December 5, 2005
Format: Flexibound
This is an absolutely fantastic book on design basics and principles. Filled with samples. It's not the type of elaborate samples that you see in some design showcase books (I personally don't find those types of samples all that helpful anyhow) but more realistic samples for the high-volume designer. And lots of notes on what's good and bad about different examples. Great discussions of principles etc. This was a particularly good book for me because I learned design on the job. I've been working in graphic design for nearly 10 years, but I didn't have formal training in it. And although I've picked up on some of these principles over time, it was great having them spelled out. And the book's an easy read (not overly wordy) and everything's categorized so neatly (emphasis, flow, alignment, etc.). It must have taken forever just to create so many little samples! I highly recommend this to someone new to design, but even someone who's been designing for ages can find this a great reference. I know I will! I checked this out of the library and can't wait to get my own copy!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By cnpitbull on March 20, 2006
Format: Flexibound
This book provides a plethora of layout ideas on which to build on or manipulate, spawning an array of ideas when in a creative rut. It also provides the do's AS WELL AS the don'ts of design which I find to be extremely helpful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Cleaves on December 19, 2006
Format: Flexibound
This book is full of great examples, well-thought explanations and good practice problems. It is very well-organized and is full of ideas and examples that will get the beginner's graphic design mind going.
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