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Customer Review

45 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly good info, poor design, January 8, 2013
This review is from: The Non-Designer's Design Book (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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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 9, 2013 9:33:40 AM PDT
Lora Moore says:
I couldn't agree more! I am also a professional graphic designer, and I am appalled at the examples in this book, the use of junky typefaces, the poor sense of spatial tension and white space application, and the kitchy design elements-from a design perspective, it's horrific. If you are going to show non designers about design then don't teach them how to be even better at being non designers, for no one will ultimately learn what good design is by looking at this book.

Posted on Apr 24, 2013 3:04:04 PM PDT
J. A. Cason says:
I was just referred to this book and was shocked at the cover, too! Thanks for your review; I'll keep looking!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2014 1:21:09 PM PST
You should've seen the first edition cover.
Straight out of American Horror Story.

Posted on Jul 12, 2014 6:45:50 PM PDT
NahYoNah says:
So write your own design book, Mr Expert McQueef.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2014 8:16:55 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 12, 2014 8:18:10 PM PDT]

Posted on Jul 12, 2014 9:14:40 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jul 13, 2014 12:07:48 AM PDT]

Posted on Sep 25, 2014 8:41:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 25, 2014 8:42:08 PM PDT
FurryMoses says:
Aqua (and others) aren't "cutsy" names, they're real names.
Yellow-green is not a color, it is 2 colors. It seems to me that she's just named the colors properly and you are used to "cutsy" color names - like "blue-green"

Posted on Nov 2, 2014 10:31:33 AM PST
Yep, I fully agree. The book is well organized and gives the good sense of common principles of making presentations, focused on the very beginners. However, it do almost nothing with design (with good design).
And Helvetica IS NOT wimpy :)
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