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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine 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
Format: PaperbackVine 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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is an excellent book - but don't buy it as a Kindle Book - although there is a website referenced in the introduction Kindle readers are not allowed to access it according to the very disappointing response from Elsevier publishing who host the site.

The Amazon Kindle team are still trying to come up with a response at the time of writing this review.

The book is comprehensive, stimulating and offers very sensible and practical guidelines for every aspect of graphic design. Highly recommended as a real book or electronic reading device that supports colour illustrations
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 11, 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I believe that one of the key steps to get good at anything is to master its lingo so that you can discuss the subject matter with precision. When you see a bad design, do you have the right words to state why it is bad? Maybe because it has too many off-grid elements? Or maybe because the color scheme lacks the warmth required by the intended message? Or maybe the banner text needs more work on kerning?

This book will teach you the lingo of design. It's comprehensive for an introductory book and the organization of the subject matter is very clear, making it suitable for reference later on. The writing style is accessible, and the book itself is also beautifully illustrated in full color. I have gifted this book to several coworkers, and they all rate the book very highly, often comparing to the classic "Non-Designer's" collection by Robin Williams. In fact, between these two, I personally have started to believe that this one is a better introduction due to its modernness.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. It's one of the few books that I keep in my office.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There have been a number of "for beginners" graphic design books published over the years, but few are as spot on as "White Space is Not Your Enemy: A Beginner's Guide to Communicating Visually through Graphic, Web and Multimedia Design." What Kim Golombisky and Rebecca Hagen do so well is provide an end-to-end overview of the design process--along with plenty of examples along the way--so that even the most inexperienced designer can truly understand the rules of the road to help them meet their particular challenges. The authors never talk down to the reader, nor do they bore with self-important posturing on the art of design. It's a good read--and highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
"White Space is not Your Enemy" is a thoughtfully compiled and presented "beginner's guide to communicating visually through graphic, web & multimedia design". It contains 16 chapters that are beautifully illustrated in full color that give clear examples of the concepts presented by the authors. It is written in clear, easy to understand language that non-designers should have no trouble following. Necessary technical terms are defined & explained as the authors do not assume that the reader already speaks graphic design language. The book can be used as a reference so that the user can jump around to select the chapters they need to read without being forced to read the whole book from the beginning in order to understand the concepts in each section. I especially like the fact that the authors discuss concept creation and brainstorming as part of the design process as non-designers (like me) can often get stuck trying to define their message, let alone expressing it!

Lacking a design background, I found this book to be extremely valuable in explaining the different visual elements of good design layout as well as pointing out common errors that might not help you deliver the message you're trying to craft. Chapter 3: "I Need This Designed Today" is enough reason for many to consider this book as it delivers all the basics for the novice designer under deadline. It is quickly followed up with Chapter 4's Layout Sins: 13 Amateur Errors, which advises the reader about such pitfalls as clutter, negative space, busy backgrounds, bad bullets and a plethora of other no-no's to avoid. Containing valuable information about all aspects of modern graphic design, this book will assist the non-designer in not only managing print projects, but also those that are web based.

A Complete list of Chapters (with subtitles) follows:

1 - What is Design?: Making Visuals & Type Play Nice in Space
2 - Step Away From the Computer: For Research & Brainstorming
3 - I Need to Design this Today: The Works Every-Time Layout
4 - Layout Sins: 13 Amateur Errors
5 - Mini Art School: The Elements & Principles of Design
6 - What is a Grid?: And When Do I Need One?
7 - Layout: Where to Put Your Type & Visuals for Impact
8 - Type: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You
9 - Color Basics: Choosing & Using Color
10 - Adding Visual Appeal: Working with Photos & Illustrations
11 - The Scoop on Infographics: Maximum Information in Minimum Space
12 - Storyboarding 101: Planning Visual Storytelling
13 - Multimedia Components: Sometimes More is More
14 - Designing for the Web: Starring on the Small Screen
15 - Fit to Print: An Overview of Papers & Printing
16 - Conclusion: Now You Know Enough to be Dangerous, Thanks for Stopping By
Glossary
Index
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 6, 2010
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a fun, comfortable little book that includes just about everything you need to know about basic design for web or print.

The first chapter, "What is Design?,"has this excellent list of things design ought to do:
* capture attention
* control the eye's movement across the page or screen
* convey information
* evoke emotion

The authors go on to lay out the rules, explain how and when to break the rules, demonstrate basic layout errors with plenty of great examples, provide a "mini art school" that explains things like focal points and perspective, and go into detail about matters of color and type.

There's a basic never-fail layout, details on researching a project and preparing a storyboard, and an introduction to multimedia. Infographics, printing, and photos are also touched on.

All of this useful stuff is presented in a friendly, clear style with lots of illustrations. There's a wealth of practical information, hints and tips,a nd just enough philosophy to make it interesting to read.

There are even assignments for each chapter. If you want to use this as a textbook, you can download the instructor's manual and a bunch of other useful stuff at the supporting website, [..]. The secret code is in the book.

This is a book about design. It doesn't teach you to use the software or computer languages you'd need if you wanted to design a website, or how to draw, or any of the other skills a working designer needs to have. Don't think you can grab this book and go make yourself a website or even a business card without any further knowledge. If you've got those tools and skills, though, or have hired someone who's got them, then this book will give you all the basic stuff you need to know to make your work look good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
This book has pretty much all of the nuts and bolts you will need if you are a beginner and what to try your hand at creating your own designs. I have a marketing background and part of my responsibilities at my job include creating print materials. A lot of times companies will assume that if you have a marketing background you automatically have graphic design ability. While I do have an eye for aesthetics, I have never been to art school and all my skills have been self taught.

Texts like this have helped me immensely. It's beautifully illustrated and organized, and by the end of the book you should feel pretty confident in creating your own pieces. It helps you with figuring out *where* to start in creating your designs. I do think it would have been nicer to explain areas like typography a bit deeper because font can make or break how effective your message is, but it's still got invaluable information that you can refer to over and over again.

The best part about it after finishing this book is that you look at print and digital media in a new way. You become more attuned to pointing out design flaws in everyday life along with design brilliance.

Is this the only graphic design text you will ever need? Not at all, but it should always remain part of your collection of reference texts, if only because it's very nice eye candy. Thankfully this book's got beauty AND brains!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 20, 2010
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am not a professional designer, but I have done a ton of freelance work over the years and consider myself an "intermediate". My initial impression is like other reviewers who say that this book is for beginner to intermediate. Surely an advanced person could learn a few things, but may not want to justify the expense.

I love how the book is beautifully designed, and easy to read and to learn from. Pictures and diagrams highlight all the lessons.

You are getting basic design concepts, the work flow process of designing, ways to make specific layouts that work well. Before and after shots of why some things look better (like changing the photo). Creating and choosing appropriate photographs is well covered. The authors go into details about commercial printing that I never understood before. Commons mistakes, described as "sins", are explained and shown. The book covers printed work, videos, animations, web pages, etc.

It really taught me in areas I am weak. I can't believe how much information they are teaching so succinctly and yet thoroughly. This book is basically a semester or two of graphic design, combined with work tips from experienced designers. If you compare this book with a graphic design textbook and class, you'll find it's a bargain and definitely worth the read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2010
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As a stay at home/homeschooling mom I'm probably not the intended target for this book however I've gotten so much out of it! I'm into both paper and digital scrapbooking, not to mention family newsletters and helping friends print flyers etc. I think we've all suffered through looking at bad design be it online or in print and I don't want to be one of those responsible for it!

I loved the full color detailed photos on almost every page, the straight forward and humorous tone used by the authors... one of my favorites " We think people who center everything and clutter all four corners probably need therapy. Symmetrical balance is comforting, like having a blankie. But your design shoud not make people want to nap"

Great resource which I know I'll be going back to time and time again for tips, if I can pry it out of my husband's hands that is!
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