- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Allworth Press; 2 edition (March 15, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1581157622
- ISBN-13: 978-1581157628
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 8.1 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Elements of Graphic Design 2nd Edition
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"Student or professional, if you need the 'simple' basics - or want to get more 'complex' basics - if you don't know the necessities of successful graphic design, - or have forgotten them in the complexity of today's overwhelming possibilities, here is the book for you. It's by a guy who has quite a track record of speaking to both." Ed Fella, AIGA medalist, former Detroit commercial artist, Professor at CalArts' graphic design program.
"This book explains what I try to get across to my designers: how to make all parts of a design work together. My offoce has a big library and this is the book I hand over when breakthroughs are needed." Matteo Bologna, CD and founder of Mucca Design, NYC
About the Author
Alex W. White is the author of The Elements of Logo Design: Design Thinking, Branding, and Making Marks, Listening to Type: Making Language Visible, and Advertising Design and Typography. His books are used by professionals and as university texts the world over. He is chairman emeritus of the Type Directors Club and has taught graphic design and typography for thirty years at Parsons School of Design, Syracuse University, and the Hartford Art School. He is the chairman of the graduate program in design management at the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. He holds an MFA in Advertising Design from Syracuse University and a BFA in Graphic Design from Kent State University.
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Part history, part primer, this book is a great general introduction to the basics of graphic design. The large number of illustrations are accompanied by ample explanation of why those illustrations or pictures were included and what purpose they have in the greater design lexicon.
The author clearly has a firm grasp on typography, space, symmetry (or lack thereof) and pacing and is able to get those things across in a manner that is both technical and accessible. If you've never read any design book, you won't find yourself confused by obscure, unexplained terminology.
You would expect a book about graphic design to be well designed and indeed, this book is well designed. The only gripe I have (hence the 4 stars, not 5) is the chapter that gets into the hardcore history of design, starting with cave paintings and Sumerian cuneiform. This chapter feels cluttered and a little overwhelming, but the amount of information (which is pretty staggering) is at the same time fascinating. As an historian and journalist by trade, this chapter was probably the most interesting to me simply to see the track of graphic design concepts throughout history.
Bottom line: Excellent first design book and a good resource to have on your shelf, even if you're a seasoned expert.
Specifically, the book's treatment of shapes, composition/layout, typography and color helped me formalize my thinking when coming up with new design concepts for our company's web site / web application. It has also piqued my interest in other design fields and graphic design as a whole.
The book is accessible for the layperson and serves as an excellent foundation for further exploration in design.
Even though he comes from a previous design generation, much of his astute commentary is still valid in midst of the current revolution of cognition-based design.
White's vocabulary is different to that used in 21st century cognition-based design instruction, but many of his concepts are validated by modern fundamentals.
I recommend this book highly.