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White Space is Not Your Enemy: A Beginner's Guide to Communicating Visually through Graphic, Web and Multimedia Design Paperback – March 11, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0240812816 ISBN-10: 0240812816 Edition: 1st

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White Space is Not Your Enemy: A Beginner's Guide to Communicating Visually through Graphic, Web and Multimedia Design + Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students + Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (March 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240812816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240812816
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a lavishly illustrated and 'well finished' book that will repay careful study...Useful and inspiring." - I-Programmer


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This is a very well written, well organized, very engaging book.
M. Wolf
While I do have a background in art--it was not in graphic design so this book has provided me with a lot of valuable information.
V. Hutson
Even if one happens to know everything in this book, a renewal of some of this knowledge is probably in order.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Newman VINE VOICE on December 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
About three quarters of the way through this book I looked at my wife and said "You know the only difference between this book and the graphic arts classes I took in college?" She of course answered "What? you managed to finish the book?" (Yeah, that's the support I get, I did get a degree in another field but that is a different story.) The right answer was that in college we spent hours doing project after project, then spending hours doing peer reviews, which were invaluable. But everything else from several years worth of graphic arts classes could be distilled out and put into this book. Literally this book is a bachelors degree's worth of information in a book, minus the years of hands on experience.

Now this is not to say that you can replace graphic arts degree with just this book. But this book will give you a great overview of Graphic Design and I can see it being a great help to a beginning web designer or newsletter publisher.

This book has very high quality, both in construction and design. The paper is thick and glossy and the layout is wonderful. I have never seen such a great collection of inspiring design examples. Page after page is visually arresting, and the points and ideas are beautifully illustrated. The writing is great, clear and engaging.

I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a resource to help on design projects or, like me, looking for a refresher. Absolutely the best graphic design text I've seen.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By V. Hutson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is one of the best books I have found on graphic design. The authors have provided a wealth of information and beautiful examples that guide the reader in the process of designing for print, web, or multimedia. While I do have a background in art--it was not in graphic design so this book has provided me with a lot of valuable information. I also like how the authors have kept the chapters short and to the point. The book contains a total of 16 chapters that cover a wide range of material. Below I have listed the chapters I found the most useful based on my own experience and knowledge--but the book contains a lot of other valuable material that covers brainstorming, the elements & principles of design, color basics,infographics, storyboarding, multimedia components, designing for the web, and printing.

Here are some of the chapters I found the most useful:

1. Chapter 3: I Need to Design this Today. It includes "the works-every-time-layout" that, like the name implies--would work every time. This quick recipe will come in very handy for quick designs.

2. Chapter 4: Layout Sins. It includes "the 13 Amateur Errors," which covers a variety of typical errors made by many of use that do not have a graphic design background.

3. Chapter 6: What is a Grid? This provides a useful way to help organize your design.

4. Chapter 7: Layout. This covers where to put your type & visuals for impact.

5. Chapter 8: Type. Once again since my art background did not include graphic design I have been winging this area for most of my life. The authors provide a great foundation and good recommendations on what to do.

6. Chapter 10: Adding Visual Appeal. This chapter deals with working with photos and illustrations.

In short, the authors have packed a ton of valuable information in the 273 pages of this book. Their examples are beautiful and the whole book is very visually appealing. Excellent book!
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By M. Jensen on December 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off I should state that this book is a solid and generally informative read. Is it a five star blockbuster and must have for any designer in any field? Not in my opinion.

What's good in this book is the logical flow of information. There are some gold nuggets in the early chapters especially. As someone working in the web design field I can appreciate the realistic viewpoint of the "works every time layout". All of the basics are covered in this book as advertised. Later chapters do have some good information as well, but seem to lose steam.

What's not good in this book is the fact that it loses momentum. Again, it's a good book, I just wanted more. More in depth analysis of why a layout works and why it doesn't. There is some of this in the early chapters and it is done very well, however I really wanted more than is presented. Also some chapters seemed to be going through the motions for me and I found myself skimming them out of annoyance. Lastly, some of the advice presented to web designers is questionable, i.e. designing for 800px by 600px is not a good practice as only a very small percentage of internet users have this monitor size. The advice given to learn to design websites in flash as opposed to HTML is potentially life threatening.

Other than that it is a solid book and I would probably buy it again if I had the chance (I just wouldn't read all of it). Good yes. Five star, "my mind is swelling with knowledge", "lets go forth and design" good... no.
3 stars may be a reaction to all the careless 5 stars out there I admit it, but still I stand by it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Julia James VINE VOICE on June 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"White Space is Not Your Enemy" does a good job of covering the very basics of graphic design. It could be a good textbook for a Graphic Design 101 class, or a serviceable primer for a small business owner with no design background who wants to create his or her own promotional materials. It doesn't achieve enough depth to be useful to someone with even a basic foundation in graphic design.

I do some in-house design for the small school where I work, as well as a bit of web design. I'm certainly not a designer -- I do the design work because when you have five employees and a small budget, someone's gotta do it. I've picked up design basics over the years, mostly through paying attention to what I like, and also from talking to others in similar situations. I have no formal design background at all. This book reinforced what I already know, and "concretized" some things for me, but didn't really teach me anything new.

This is also very heavy toward print design, despite the sub-title emphasizing non-print media. Yes, much of what's applicable to print is also applicable to the web, and they do a good (if somewhat boring) job of explaining CMYK color vs RGB color, as well as resolution needs, and outlining the things any designer needs to be aware of, but I was expecting something with a little more emphasis on electronic and new media.

All in all, this would be a perfectly fine book to get you started if you just need to quickly pick up the basics of design. My only real complaint about it is that, somewhat ironically, the text is a little too small for comfortable reading (I don't wear, or need, glasses). My dad would probably be so frustrated with the text size, especially against the coated paper, that he'd give up on it.

If you're looking to dive a little deeper, as I was, or if you're looking for inspiration, look elsewhere.
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