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Designing Programmes 3rd, rev. and enlarged ed. Edition

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-3037780930
ISBN-10: 3037780932
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Lars Müller Publishers; 3rd, rev. and enlarged ed. edition (November 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3037780932
  • ISBN-13: 978-3037780930
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,500,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 7, 2008
Although this edition came out in 2007, much of its substance derives from the original 1964 edition. That sat as close to the Swiss School of typography and Bauhaus era as to our own, maybe closer, and it shows. Much of this text comes across with the same strident certainty of those streams of thought, but without the adolescent braggadaccio. Still, much remains worthwhile to today's designer, so let's start there.

First, as you'd expect, the typography is lucid and legible. Pages have clean, airy layout, and graphics express their concepts with minimal fuss. Typesetting uses a font of the author's own design, a sanserif with warm character. I could fault it for a few things, the digit "8" in particular, and creation of the italic through a simple geometric tilt rather than a rethinking of the emphasis and letterforms. Still it reads comfortably and gives distinctive timbre to the author's voice. Even page numbering is unique without being annoying. Only lack of an index truly mars the book's design.

At the back, exercises with gray or colored gradients suggest useful and playful explorations of many kinds. And, as a computing geek, I applaud many of Gerstner's examples of algorithmic development and combinatorial thoroughness. Some of his tools, based on Fritz Zwicky's boxes but owing equally to Ramon Lull's layered disks, can help anyone break a creative logjam through systematic exploration of a design space.

But, although Gerstner uses the combinatoric tools of the mathematician, he wields them clumsily. For example, p.13 presents a family of related graphic elements, and asserts that the 16 can be combined three at a time in 560 distinct ways.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bottlerocket on December 4, 2007
Gerstner's tome, Designing Programmes has developed a cult-like following and Lars Mueller wisely chose to reprint it. First editions sell upwards of 700-800 and this makes it out of reach for most. I was excited to see this book reprinted.

I have a German edition and have used it as a reference, translating my own to English. This is an area where I am let down; when reading the translation in this edition, it does not flow smoothly and reads ambiguously in parts. A lot of text could have been cut out or better written for a more succinct read.

Another area of disappointment is the picture quality: There are blurred photos, type with jagged edges, pixel edges on some photos, and errant dot patterns. It appears as if the original material was not used to produce this edition, instead scanning in or photographing pre-screened images.

Despite these short comings, I believe it is a valuable book to own for any educator, student or practicing designer. Gerstner takes the reader through a logical and step-by-step process of solution, or program development to design problems.
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