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Designing Visual Language: Strategies for Professional Communicators (Part of the Allyn & Bacon Series in Technical Communication) Paperback – December 26, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0205200221 ISBN-10: 0205200222 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 455 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; First Edition edition (December 26, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0205200222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0205200221
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,287,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

More often workplace writing and document design takes a backseat in a company's mission/product. This book offers strategies and tools for document design of ALL types. Readers will extend to visual design the approach they assimilate in their writing and editing. It focuses on the kinds of situations and practical documents that employees encounter daily, with a special focus on audience, purpose, and context of the message. Topics include: perception and design; visual analysis; extra-textual design; pictures, and more. Writers and editors who design documents. Part of the Allyn & Bacon Series in Technical Writing, edited by Sam Dragga, Texas Tech University.

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Customer Reviews

Unfortunately, "Designing Visual Language" merely scratches the surface of this discipline.
Austringer
Color is mentioned in a subsidiary manner towards the supra graphical analysis and as a casual element in other chapters but nothing of note.
Jadepearl
I won't get much money though because it's so poorly bound that it looks much more used than it really was.
Anthony A Aardvark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Austringer on January 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book serves as a very general introduction to visual design, but it doesn't have much "meat" to it. Specifically, it might tell the reader to do something, and it might explain why the reader should do something, but it provides no references to all the research and studies that back up the theory.

That's perfectly fine for people who want to just get some general concepts, but it's completely unacceptable for advanced college students (especially at the masters or PhD level) or those who are truely interested or experienced in this area.

If you want a truly definitive book on design theory--especially with respect to paper (and to a lesser extent online) design theory--you MUST get Karen Schriver's "Dynamics in Document Design: Creating Text for Readers" book. It is THE definitive document design theory book for people who want not only the theory, but also the research and references to go digging deeper.

Unfortunately, "Designing Visual Language" merely scratches the surface of this discipline. I can only recommend this book for beginners/novices/undergraduates, and I would do so hesitantly at best.

Also, be aware that this book is not representative of the Allyn & Bacon series in Technical Communication. Some of their other books are quite good/useful--though occasionally lightweight on references.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Anthony A Aardvark on May 20, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was required for a graduate course in visual communications. The book is written in a style of chest-puffing academic balderdash that renders it useless and unreadable. Crummy paper and truly ugly illustrations add to the miasma. I usually keep classroom texts but I'm selling back this one. I won't get much money though because it's so poorly bound that it looks much more used than it really was. Poor unlucky student who buys it.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Matthew V. Smith on September 11, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The content of this book is not bad, but the actual quality of product is horrendous.

I have had this text for about a week and the pages have already become unbound. Some of the pages look like they were printed on a photocopier running out of ink. The text is fine, but the graphs look terrible. One would think that a book about design would have put more thought into their own design and production run.

My gripe is simply that this book is too much money for the truly piss-poor physical quality. $76 for a book whose binding became unglued in the first week? $76 for a text whose pages look like they were printed on with an empty toner cartridge? This is a sick joke! Designing Visual Language is a piece of junk and Allyn & Bacon should be ashamed of themselves for having no quality control.

Addendum...
I'm wondering why people have not found this review helpful. Is it because they want to buy a book that is poorly made? If so, I invite you to buy the book. Unless Allyn & Bacon make some serious changes, you'll soon think, "Maybe his review WAS helpful after all!" but by that time you'll be out $76.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was helpful for my MA in Technical Communication. This was a required read. There were a lot of useful updated examples in the book.
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