Customer Review

60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars May be worthwhile for your library., January 16, 2005
This review is from: Design Basics Index (Flexibound)
Experienced designer Jim Krause knows his stuff, and Basic Design Index is far and away the best of his 'Index' books for this publisher. This installment isn't a book that will win awards-- or second looks, even-- for flourishing a lot of trendy styling. There are some great books out there if that's what you are looking for, but this isn't one of them. As the name says, it's about basics, or a classic, professional, practical approach.

The book has many exploratory exercises or practice projects for the designer. Throughout it, Krause shows layouts produced using a basic set of photographic, header and body copy elements. He walks us through what works from these finished layouts, and what doesn't, and why. Design books usually show you the single way a piece saw print. This book's mock layouts suggest the multiplicity of ways components A, B, C and D could have been combined; there are, helpfully, more "don't" examples here than "do's". Krause also shows subtle ways to create flow in a layout, the creation of good relationships between objects on a page, and the things that can creep into work and sabotage it by working at cross purposes to clarity and unity.

Design Basics Index could function well as a supplemental book for those in a graphic design program. I have many years of design behind me, and I like to keep the book close by as a touchstone or a pocket source of friendly little reminders. As a resource, it manages to make some design bells go off for me most times I pick it up. That's the best endorsement I can give the book.

If you are a design master, or an avowed design martian, and feel convinced you can't learn anything from a book of this sort, you are probably right. To each his/her own. But for me, it fills a small niche very neatly.
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