Parker and Berry first discuss essential design concepts such as relevance, proportion, consistency, contrast, restraint, and attention to detail. Next the authors teach you about basic tools for organizing layouts: grids, columns, gutters, headlines, kickers, captions, bullet lists, and pull quotes, to name a few. They delve into the intricacies of typography and font families, highlighting such concepts as type size, alignment, and leading and kerning. Next you learn about the use of white space and about rulers and accents such as borders, boxes, drop shadows, and bleeds. The authors discuss illustrations, clip art, backgrounds, charts, diagrams, tables, and maps and advise you on positioning those elements on a page. There's also a lot of information on selecting, resizing, and placing photographs. A full-color chapter illustrates how to choose color and use spot color, full color, and duotones.
At this point the authors move from theory to hands-on projects--you apply the design concepts that they have already put forth. You learn about the appropriate design, graphic, and text elements for newsletters, ads, catalogs, and other business correspondence. Each chapter in this section offers plenty of illustrations and ends with a checklist of reminders that you can refer to as you design.
Especially useful are chapter 12, which features common design mistakes along with illustrations and explanations of what's wrong, and chapter 13, which highlights redesigns of poorly produced publications. The latter is a before-and-after glimpse of designs of almost all types of publications, from newsletter to survey. These two chapters drive home succinctly and with great visual impact every point of design that the authors have previously discussed. Finally, the appendix offers extra tips on printing in color, and choosing image databases, paper, and service bureaus.
The authors don't refer to the Windows or Macintosh operating systems or to any software programs. The understanding is that you will learn how to use your software tools elsewhere and consult the book for elements of design. That's a reasonable goal, as the authors maintain a clear, concise tone and offer many tips that are tangential but still relevant to the subject matter. For example, the chapter on type has a short sidebar on the difference between kerning and tracking and a longer sidebar on font substitution. All in all, this book functions well as both a how-to manual for beginning designers and as a design reference for more advanced designers. --Kathleen Caster
The New York Times says, "If you can afford only one book on desktop publishing, this is the one." MacWEEK says, "A graphic design primer for anyone who wants to design better-looking...desktop-published printed material." From PC Week, "Looking Good in Print is an excellent and valuable resource."
The fourth edition has been updated to reflect the now-mature desktop publishing world, covering all the commonly used print publishing formats.
The book coaches designers to design with the reader (and readability) in mind, taking advantage of the strengths of the print medium while finessing its weaknesses, and avoiding both common and obscure design pitfalls. -- Book Description