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Design Elements: A Graphic Style Manual Paperback – April 1, 2007
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Design Elements is the best primer on graphic design I've encountered. It starts out with 20 rules for good design, while readily admitting that rules are meant to be broken, once you fully understand them and can break them *deliberately*. It goes on to cover the topics of form & space, color, typography, images, and layout. Finished examples are combined with simple thumbnail "studies" that illustrate the concepts quite well and provide you a springboard for playing around on your own. The textual portions are concise and well-written.
I heartily recommend this book for anyone seeking a serious, concise overview of all the major elements of graphic design - whether you're a student or a seasoned professional looking for a good reference book/refresher. Yes, there are books out there that cover each of these topics in much greater depth. But for what this book attempts to do, it does amazingly well.
Ok, the book was not perfect. My technical communication background is the source of my quibble with the author's choice to use a light gray type in the body text against a white page. When the reader struggles with the difficulty of the read, there is a reduction in the transfer of information. It is as if to say, look only at the color because all the information is in the graphics - yet there was good information presented in the body text.
However, samara provides some quick and easily accessible information where he uses the correct body text contrast and bigger visuals; including his 20 rules and basics of typography. I would moreso recommend ellen lupton's the new basics of graphic design and thinking with type as introductions but you can't really beat the value of this book at under $20
This book might contain useful information except that I can't read the damn thing. The typeface is extremely small, and it's light-gray on white. Some of the visual examples have captions with type that is less than 2mm high. Even with perfect vision you need a magnifying glass!
I've learned a little from this book from squinting, but I have to admit that this book is just too frustrating. I've been on Amazon probably since it opened, and this is going to be the first book I return.
I have been creating various media that involve graphic design; including web design, print material, graphics for video, etc., for about three years now. Like many other people, I am 100% self taught. I have never been to graphic design school or taken classes in the field. So I don't know the basic fundamentals of Graphic Design & color treatment, and often find myself struggling with creativity and coming up with ideas.
This book lays out the fundamentals really well. One of the nice things about this book is this; all of the examples are modern illustrations that you see in the real world today that reflect really good design. Not some hokie, boring examples that you see in a lot of other books. I have a lot more that I want to say but I will keep it short. I will say this; if you are like me a self taught web designer, print developer, or work with graphic design in any other capacity and struggle with ideas and creativity, YOU GOTTA GET THIS BOOK!!! This book is definitely opening new doors of creativity for me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great primer on design that clearly explains a wide variety of design topics and pushes one to actually think about and gain a deeper understanding of the topics at hand rather... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Norman D. Plume
The other 1-star reviewers are right. This book is unlegible. Reading just a couple of paragraphes gave me big headache and sore eyes. Read morePublished 14 months ago by H. Hai
Ive been in graphic design since 2004 and I can honestly say this is a must have. I consulted with my 4 design profs and each agreed it was one of the best all in one design books... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Nathan Cowles
Great textbook, but riddled with so many typographical errors it's unbelievable. One single run of spell check would have fixed most, if not all, of them. Read morePublished on April 26, 2014 by Jon Brandt