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The Non-Designer's Design Book (3rd Edition) [Paperback]

by Robin Williams
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 22, 2008 0321534042 978-0321534040 3
A lot has happened in the world of digital design since the first edition of this title was published, but one thing remains true: There is an ever-growing number of people attempting to design pages with no formal training. This book is the one place they can turn to find quick, non-intimidating, excellent design help from trusted design instructor Robin Williams. This revised classic--now in full color--includes a new section on the hot topic of Color itself. In The Non-Designer's Design Book, 3rd Editio n, Robin turns her attention to the basic principles that govern good design. Readers who follow her clearly explained concepts will produce more sophisticated and professional pages immediately. Humor-infused, jargon-free prose interspersed with design exercises, quizzes, and illustrations make learning a snap--which is just what audiences have come to expect from this best-selling author.

Frequently Bought Together

The Non-Designer's Design Book (3rd Edition) + The Mac is Not a Typewriter, 2nd Edition + Adobe InDesign CS6 Classroom in a Book
Price for all three: $59.74

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robin Williams is the author of dozens of best-selling and award-winning books, including The Non-Designer's D esign Book, The Non-Designer's Ty pe Book, The Little Mac Bo ok, Robin Williams Mac OS X B ook, Robin Williams Design Works hop, and Web Design Worksh op. Through her writing, teaching, and seminars, Robin has influenced a generation of computer users in the areas of design, typography, the Mac, desktop publishing, and the Web.

Product Details

  • Series: Non Designer's Design Book
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 3 edition (February 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321534042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321534040
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 3.9 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro to basic design principles! April 2, 2008
By Ted
I started reading this book yesterday afternoon because I wanted to spruce up my business card. The author's introduction & explanation to basic design principles was clear, easy to understand, & illustrated with plenty of visual examples. I've always been a hobbyist designer, initially relying on MS Publisher templates to put things together but then gradually started making my own designs from scratch over the years, so I thought my initial design for my business card was pretty good. But as I read through this book, the author gave several examples of amateur mistakes, many of which I was guilty of. But then the author also gave examples of how to fix these mistakes by employing the design principles she explains. This is probably one of the most useful books I've ever purchased!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Robin has packed in a ton of experience and design principles into this easy to read book. Unlike some other books drone on and convey little, each page of this book seems loaded with tips and techniques that you can put into practice. For example, I learned more about type design from a single chapter in this book than from an entire book on type (Thinking in Type) that I had purchased simultaneously.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly good info, poor design January 8, 2013
By J. Wolf
Format:Kindle Edition
I am a professional graphic designer and I use this book to teach Desktop Publishing for a 2-credit college course. The book is the best I've found, not too much information but covers the important parts. But it does leave a lot to be desired.

The color section is unnecessarily confusing, Williams makes up new names for the colors when they already have perfectly understandable color names. For example, she calls yellow-green, lime green, blue-green is aqua, violet is purple, and red violet is violet. Why? They don't need different cutsy names. I have my students use a color wheel and edit their books. Learning the incorrect names now will just confuse them later on.

Also if you are going to write a book about design then you need to prove you know what you are talking about with your examples. The cover? Yeesh. And many of the example designs make me cringe, see page 58 if you want proof. The whole book looks about 20 years old.

On type. There are way too many fonts used in the book. Over 300. There's no reason for that. Designs should have a max of 3 typefaces, 2 is better. And the majority of the typefaces Williams uses are nasty decorative fonts, which should be used sparingly, if at all. Students see all those fonts in the book and want to use them all. No.

I'd also like to swap chapter 9 on type relationships with basic kerning/leading/tracking lesson.

It does have good information and it's written in a way that is very easy to understand. Hopefully the 4th edition will have some improvements.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a presentation book that fills the void March 2, 2010
Most presentation books focus on how to present as a presenter and how to "not design" powerpoint slides. This book finally provides the non-designers out here, myself included, how to build great looking slides that also enhance the presentation.

First, I must admit to being a huge fan of the Non-Designer's Design Book and the Non-Designer's Web Design Book. I think they are two of the best books for us designer deficient business people out there. Now, this book does the same thing for presentation design.

Many of the concepts are similar to those presented in the Design Book and the Web Design Book; however, they are reformed to apply to presentation design.

The section titled "Ignore these Rules" is one of the best sections of the book. This section helps you understand the principles behind many "rules" like "Don't read the slides." When you understand the principles, you better understand when the "rule" applies and when it doesn't. Ultimately, you realize that the rules are guidelines and not really rules at all.

For example, if you have a slide that reads, "First quarter profits rise" and you avoid saying these exact words just because they're on the slide, you'll only feeling the pressure of presentation pundits, who, themselves, often err in educating their audiences anyway. I'd rather learn from someone who has given hundreds or thousands of presentations that are not on the topic of "Presentation Skills" than someone who has given almost exclusively presentations on how to give presentations. Robin Williams is not a "Presentation Skills" presenter, she's a design trainer and she knows what really works in real presentations. Robin, thanks for speaking for all of us non-Presentation Skills speakers out here who know that the pundits are often wrong.

All-in-all, this is a must book in the presenter's library.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I needed December 26, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a software developer, and I have always felt sort of oblivious to anything involving aesthetics. I've been fortunate to work with good designers, but I decided it was time to learn a bit for myself. I asked a designer colleague for a book recommendation, and she suggested this one.

It was perfect for me. The book focuses on design as a means a effective communication rather than just a way to make pretty things, and that works a lot better for my brain. The examples are very clear, and the iterative improvements from one design to the next are so clear that even I can tell that they look better (and understand why). The writing is equally effective and easy to consume. It only took me 4-5 hours for my first pass through this book.

After finishing the book tonight, I set out to improve my resume. 90 minutes later, I'm shocked with the results. I used to think my old one looked fine, but now I can see so many design flaws in it. The new version, well, I'm sure there's still plenty wrong with it, but looks better than anything I thought I'd ever create on my own.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This is the perfect book for someone who knows what looks good but has no clue why. I am learning a lot. Thanks!
Published 4 days ago by Fairma
4.0 out of 5 stars Non-designers design book review
This book was an easy read. I was required to read it for a master's class and it was very simple and straightforward. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Breanna Ratkevic
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for non-designers
The book is very nice to people who doesn't know concepts of design. Design applies in every aspect of life, it could be a boost for your professional career.
Published 26 days ago by Cristian
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books about presentations I ever read
One of the best books about presentations I ever read

It is really very good book. Many useful advises and business examples.
Published 28 days ago by Victoria
5.0 out of 5 stars Designers Must Get This Book
Even if you don't know much about design, you will after reading this book. I wish more people would read it so they understand the basics of good design. C.R.A. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Edward C. Renz
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for novice designers!
This is a fantastic book for novice designers. It clearly explains the four basic design principles with lots of examples. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amy C Meadows
5.0 out of 5 stars The structure and concepts of graphic design
Teaches the basics of good visual communication and graphic design better than anything else I've ever heard or read. Ms. Williams' style is straightforward, and personable. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Galamander
5.0 out of 5 stars Designing on higher level
The author managed to help me rearange my toughts and started thinking properly. My designs are now much better and I can reach the goal much, much easier, faster and better. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Petar Petrenko
3.0 out of 5 stars Was a required textbook, overpriced, for very little information....
Was a required textbook, overpriced, for very little information. Served it purpose of selling teachers, but offering little to students.
Published 2 months ago by Jeff Babl
5.0 out of 5 stars Book for a class
Fairly clear and conscience. Explains the ideas of technical writing well and the examples and multiple examples of the same problem help a lot.
Published 2 months ago by Sam Moore
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