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The Non-Designer's Design Book Paperback – September 7, 2003

ISBN-13: 078-5342193855 ISBN-10: 0321193857 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 2nd edition (September 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321193857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321193858
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

So you have a great concept and all the fancy digital tools you could possibly require-what's stopping you from creating beautiful pages? Namely the training to pull all of these elements together into a cohesive design that effectively communicates your message. Not to worry: This book is the one place you can turn to find quick, non-intimidating, excellent design help. In The Non-Designer's Design Book, 2nd Edition, best-selling author Robin Williams turns her attention to the basic principles of good design and typography. All you have to do is follow her clearly explained concepts, and you'll begin producing more sophisticated, professional, and interesting pages immediately. Humor-infused, jargon-free prose interspersed with design exercises, quizzes, illustrations, and dozens of examples make learning a snap-which is just what audiences have come to expect from this best-selling author.

About the Author

Robin Williams is the author of more than 20 best-selling and award-winning books, including The Robin Williams Mac OS X Book, The Non-Designer's Design Book, The Non-Designer's Type Book, and Robin Williams Design Workshop, and Web Design Workshop. Through her writing, teaching, and seminars, Robin has influenced a generation of computer users in the areas of design, typography, desktop publishing, the Mac, and the World Wide Web.


More About the Author

Robin Williams is the author of dozens of best-selling and award-winning books, including Robin Williams Mac OS X Book, The Little Mac Book, The Non-Designer's Design Book, Robin Williams Design Workshop, and Web Design Workshop. Through her writing, teaching, and seminars, Robin has influenced a generation of computer users in the areas of design, typography, desktop publishing, the Mac, and the World Wide Web.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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It is very easy to read and understand.
Jude Lobe
I was never sure why my designs always looked off, especially when dealing with fonts, but i feel this book was a great start off point.
Ellis
I recommend reading this in addition to The Non-Designer's Design Book.
Stacy Munn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A. R. Greenlee on August 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
For someone new to design and design principles, this was a very welcome surprise! Yes, I know there are those who take exception to aspects of this book (different opinions about typefaces, wincing at the "dogmatic" ["patronizing"] views expressed, etc.), but these seem to be minor whinings compared to the solid foundation laid down here in clear, concise prose, with helpful accompanying illustrations. Now -- whenever I read someone else's book on desgin or layout -- I cannot help but see or hear Robin's four points: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity (C.R.A.P.). For example, in one book, the author advises using "assymetry" (non-centered) rather than "symmetry" (centered) for text. What I saw in the accompanying illustration was Robin's preference for left or right Alignment. She says such alignment looks more "professional" (sophisticated). Oddly, the other author thought "centered/symmetrical" alignment looked TOO professional (stodgy), and thus advised against it. Whatever the reason, they both agree on the outcome, but I prefer Robin's take on it.

The same goes for her discussion of "Proximity." I have read several desgin books that show "good" design samples, with no discussion of why the designs shown are good. But when I analyze them now with Robin's simple idea of "Proximity" in mind (i.e., keeping related things together), I can arrive at my own understanding of why a desgin "works."

And, although the "whiners" will wince once again, I like her reiterated advice about not being a "wimp" -- especially when it comes to Contrast, her favorite desgin principle.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By V. Maciulski on May 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm beginning to wonder if Robin Williams ever sleeps. She seems to have a new title out every couple of weeks. This is Ms. Williams' second offering of this title.

I have long said that the best thing about DeskTop Publishing is that it puts it in the hands of everybody and the worst thing about DeskTop Publishing is that it puts it in the hands of everybody. Some people just don't have an eye for design.

The fact is, because of DeskTop Publishing, many people with no formal training in publishing or design end up having to design something. They find they must create an advertisement, a newsletter, a brochure, a business card or a poster. Panic sets in for those who have no idea where to start, or don't understand the fundamentals of good design.

If any of this sounds familiar to you, The Non-Designer's Design Book is your "rescue in a book." I really like the many before and after examples she shows of web pages, brochures, business cards, etc. There is an amazing example of a tri-fold brochure before and after on pages 106-107, and a newspaper ad on pages 114-115.

She explains the use of typography very nicely, and explains when to use different kinds of typefaces. (Did you know that most people make the type on their home made business cards too big?)

This book is not a big, heavy tome that goes on forever on its topics. That's a good thing. It keeps things simple and easy to understand. Each topic is covered well and in an interesting manner.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bink on May 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is basically the nuts and bolts to good design. If you are not interested in reading about theory and want to jump into designing correctly or you want to improve your designing skills IMMEDIATELY, this is the book to buy. Many design choices (mistakes) are addressed and explained in simple English. You are able to enhance business cards (for ex.) without reading a complete chapter. This book offers instant results. This is definitely one that should be in your collection whether for small business needs or a designing career.

I'm giving 4 stars instead of 5 only because I wish the author would have given a bit more suggestions.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Humphries on May 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am a professional programmer by day that has always wished he had the skill to be able to design things. I can tell when something is off, can tell when something is aweful, as well as can tell when something is great. What I can't do is tell how to change something aweful to great.

This book breaks it down for you in four different concepts. It helps you analyze designs and pick apart them piece by piece. This is exactly what I was looking for. I am grateful for this book.

Very highly recommend it if you are a Design Newbie, like me :)

I also recommend getting "Robin Williams Design Workshop", too. That extends and builds upon what you learned (though may need some other books that talk about other topics more in detail like color and fonts). I am currently going through that one. I like it, I do not have to be ignorant to this world.

Many programming and design thought processes are the same when attacking problems, so if you are a programmer, you should be able to digest this information and still tickle your artistic side!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Naweko San-Joyz on March 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm a self-publisher and create my own marketing materials. After reading Robin William's book, I re-did and entire marketing kit and the transformation was remarkable.

Before, for creative design inspiration, I looked at marketing design books that basically showed professional brochures. Williams gives you the tools you need to dissect those professional marketing materials so that you can go and create your own outstanding package.

In four simple steps, she explains how to use the elements of design: proximity, alignment, repetition and contrast. Read this book and you will never look at marketing materials the same, ever. Before, I just did "what looked pretty" on paper. Now I create sophisticated prints that deliver a clear message.
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