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Graphics Essentials for Small Offices [Kindle Edition]

David Loeff
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

A concise graphics handbook for non-designers.

Do you need to visually present and brand your organization with quality graphic design but lack the in-house expertise to get the job done? Want to learn how short-staffed organizations can design and deliver effective visual communications without investing in classes and high-priced software or hiring an expensive graphic designer?

Most books on graphic design are intended for designers in training or those already established in their careers. If you’re a computer savvy, multi-tasking professional needing outstanding visual branding and lacking the knowledge or personnel to provide it, this graphics handbook is what you’re looking for.

This design handbook won’t make you a graphics expert, but it will help you make expert decisions about when to delegate visual presentation tasks, when to perform them yourself, and when to out-source them.

Inside this concise graphics handbook, you’ll learn the advantages and disadvantages of digital and traditional printing, how to plan your marketing budget, cut your printing costs, and how to avoid costly mistakes. Whether you’re a lawyer learning typography basics, a therapist gaining prepress knowledge, or a trainer improving poor photos, this handbook provides the basics you need without the fluff you don’t.

Learn answers to these important questions:

What is graphic design and what do I need to know about it?
How do I establish a visual identity, or brand, for my small organization?
What do I need to know about typography?
What graphic file formats provide the best web usability and printed results?
How can I make a dull image look better?
What special prepress issues do I need to know about?
Can I use inexpensive software and still get good results?
What do I need to ask my designer or printer to ensure good results?

Contains illustrations, bibliography and glossary.

Editorial Reviews


" ... is a great read for business owners and graphic designers who are looking for an easy-to-read guide that walks them through a general approach towards creating page layouts and other types of printed material." - Michael Jackness,


"A great book for the very beginner who's been designated the person to create graphic oriented documents. A 14-page glossary covers the field, and at a price of around $8.00, it's a bargain." - Stanley Strauss, Burning Bridges Press

Product Details

  • File Size: 1990 KB
  • Print Length: 104 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,045,062 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will answer your questions before they are asked December 29, 2011
Graphics is an essential part of any small business, but it can be very difficult and confusing. This book aims to make it a little easier.

It is tempting to designate one of your employees as the "graphics person," instead of using an outside vendor; it's cheaper, right? Can other employees pick up the slack while the person is learning PhotoShop or InDesign? Will overtime be needed to keep up with the workload? If you do use an outside printer, make sure that they are aware of your budget. It helps no one if they deliver "champagne" graphics when all you have is a "beer" budget.

Come up with some sort of corporate identity manual, which includes your logo (with possible variations) and the colors and print font to be used in your documents. It's acceptable to re-visit the manual from time to time to do any necessary revising, but few things say "unprofessional" like constantly changing fonts and colors from one document to the next. You also need to decide what sort of text alignment will be used; left aligned, or justified. Don't use right aligned text unless absolutely necessary.

When you are designing your page, resist the temptation to get "creative" and fancy. Readability is most important. Use color sparingly. Put the headline right under the picture, and above the body text. Use a serif font instead of a sans-serif font (the book explores the differences between them) for body text. A reader's eyes travel from top to bottom and left to right. Don't try to make the eyes go in some other direction. Learn how to use, or not use, white space. The book also looks at working with images, and photo editing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that didn't come in the box December 27, 2012
What could you possibly learn in a 94 page book? Not much if it's your typical, rambling eBook. But it's not. It's a straight-forward, no-nonsense, nuts and bolts guide. How could it be? Good question. For starters, vocabulary. High end and low end graphics programs have one thing in common: gobbledegook. No printed manual, an unhelpful help menu, incomprehensible menu choices in arcane jargon. How do I know if I want RGB or CYMK? Fixed or variable width fonts? Spot or bleed color? Vector or raster images? Save as jpeg or GIF? I need someone to tell me.

Enter David Loeff. All that crazy vocabulary, he explains, isn't just the made-up tech talk of the day. He delves back into the roots of the ancient art of printing which-- who knew?-- still exists. Not only does he bring us up to speed. He also enables the little graphics guy like you or me to talk to the printer like a pro. Why do I need to? Because for big press runs, press printing is far cheaper than emptying cartridges on an inkjet. He also talks about layout so you and the printer are on the same page concerning your project.

There's also some discussion of the role of the SoHo (Small office/ Home office) graphics person and a helpful bit on planning your project. There's a very brief discussion on programs-- MS Publisher (included with some versions of Office), Serif PagePlus (low end programs) up to Quark XPress and Adobe InDesign. After reading this book I went and bought Photoshop Elements 11 (which just came out as I write this review). The paperback is very inexpensive and excellently done. The eBook includes some inside color. Both are very easy to use due to Loeff's brilliant layout: words in the glossary in the back are bolded in the text, and defined in both places.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a great starter book for those who have been assigned the tasks of creating graphic oriented documents for a small office or small business. It is well written and covers topics critical to learning the basics of graphic design. Loeff states the book is not a step-by-step. Instead, the book is meant to serve as a reference guide for the principles of graphics.

He starts the book with "How the written text is arranged, its size, color and weight constitutes the graphics component of communication." Loeff goes onto pack 76 pages full of concepts, techniques and easy to understand terminology, including a 14 page glossary in the back of the book.

The difference between typefaces and fonts, leading, kerning, photo editing and desktop publishing are all covered in the book. Loeff also provides some good principles of design such as page layout with good comprehensibility versus poor, layouts that follow reading gravity are more comprehensible, readers can be annoyed by too many characters in a line of body type and space consists of filled space (text and graphics) and empty or white space.

One of the two drawbacks about the book is that the principles of design would have been easier to read and follow if Loeff would have used bulleted lists. The second downfall of the book is that it just ends without suggesting to the reader what they should do next to keep learning. It would have also been nice to have some background on the author included in the book.

Nonetheless, it would make a great first book on graphic design and someone with enough know-how to be dangerous, will also find it very helpful. It covers all of the basics in a quick and easy manner for those people that already have every minute of the day filled with work and now have to try to fit in a new mailing or designing a new brochure for the company or non-profit agency.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book to start with.
This is a great start book for people getting used to office. I would recommend it to anyone as a starting point.
Published 11 months ago by stu
1.0 out of 5 stars Graphics Essentials for Small Offices
This book read far too technical, and offered little help in the ways that I was expecting it to. It was mainly just a bunch of information stuffed into a "book", and no real... Read more
Published on December 26, 2012 by Alyssa Greatbanks
1.0 out of 5 stars It reads like a classroom
It will be interesting to those that like classroom textbooks. I prefer to learn by doing and figure things out.
Published on December 21, 2012 by Mustang Fyant
4.0 out of 5 stars Solidly covers the basics.
The book does a fairly good job of covering the basics, which makes it a good place to start for someone without the time and/or money to take a graphic design course. Read more
Published on October 22, 2012 by KarynH
5.0 out of 5 stars Books from Amazon
I was given a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I have done more reading since Christmas than I have in the last 10 years.
I have not read this book yet. Read more
Published on September 21, 2012 by tam sheppard
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to Graphics
I have a brief knowledge of graphic design and use of graphics and I thought it was a good explanation of graphics.
Published on September 21, 2012 by Scott B.
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but a little dry
The book is handy as a fallback where you are starting out from nothing. The technical information is good. But for design ideas or for inspiration it falls down. Read more
Published on July 9, 2012 by Emer O'Siochru
Are you the owner of a small business? Do you blog regularly? Do you have a website? If you answered yes to any of the aforementioned questions, Graphics Essentials for Small... Read more
Published on August 8, 2011 by speak4languages
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Basics for the Busy Nonprofit Worker
During the last several years my work in the non-profit sector has put me in contact with a number of organizations having twenty or fewer employees or a mix of employees and... Read more
Published on June 12, 2011 by Christina
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More About the Author

Author, David Loeff (like Leff) also writes and designs business publications. A long time fan of science fiction and fantasy, he enjoys books that explore social as well as scientific themes, including those by Jack Vance and Frank Herbert.

"Whatever inspires a sense of awe is what I like the best. Whether that comes from the Arabian Nights or from popular science writing makes no difference. It's the mysterious that matters."

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