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Geometry of Design, Revised and Updated (Design Briefs) 2 Rev Upd Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1616890360
ISBN-10: 1616890363
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kimberly Elam is chairperson of the Graphic and Interactive Communication Department at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. Her books Geometry of Design and Grid Systems have become standard reference works for students and practicing designers.
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Product Details

  • Series: Design Briefs
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 2 Rev Upd edition (August 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616890363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616890360
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.5 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should be required reading for all design students. Very well written with great illustrations. More design students -- and teachers as well -- need to be aware and familiar with the geometric principles behind, well... everything! Geometry is not just a way to mathematically analyze spacial relationships from works of art or architectural structures, but integral to the study of human interaction with, well... everything! Artwork on a wall, images and type on a page, digital interfaces, furniture in a room -- geometry is the heart of all understanding of the world around us and how we relate to it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was very strange. It DOES appear that the geometric considerations it talks about are accurate, and apply to the pieces discussed in the book, but for almost every single one I found myself thinking "Noooo. No way. Totally reaching to make a point." Then there would be a page overlaying the structure it was describing which did, indeed, form connections as the text described.

If you are an artist, especially a student artist whose critiques often result in criticism of layout or arrangement, I would recommend this book. If you spend some time reading this, and really work on applying what it talks about, you'll see a difference in how your art is received. Even if you're an artist who is generally pretty good at layout, I'd recommend this to you as well just to help crystallize some concepts and maybe inspire some change in focus.

I'm only giving this four stars because it feels like this book is missing something, but I can't quite put my finger on what. I absolutely felt like I came away having learned something, but there's this persistent feeling like there was some next step it didn't quite reach. I'll come back and edit/add a comment if I figure out what it is.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an elegant introduction to the topic of ratio & proportion as they correlate to beauty. If its purpose is to convey a deeply rooted esteem and sense of appreciation for the geometry of design, it accomplishes this superbly. This book is an excellent addition to the library of a web developer or designer.
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Designers and artists will be intrigued by Kimberly Elam’s visually rich investigation of proportion, form, and composition. I tend to draw intuitively, placing elements in a picture where they seem to “fit”. My ability to illustrate was definitely sharpened by my years in design school working with grid systems and analyzing the composition of posters and page layouts. Kimberly Elam’s book echoes that experience by closely examining everything from a Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chair to a Toulouse-Lautrec poster. She relates the forms in design, architecture, and art to naturally occurring forms such as a Nautilus shell or a pine cone. The author’s ability to explain complex concepts in an understandable way makes this book approachable, useful, and fun. I am fascinated by Ms. Elam’s use of transparent overlays that allow the reader to see the structure of the work under examination. Judging by the fact that the book has been published in nine languages, apparently other readers are fascinated as well.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting book. It won't teach you how to use grids and such for your own art... but it will help you learn to analyze existing art... including your own. Ms. Elam writes in a simple clear way that is backed up with strong design examples.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reveals fundamentals of design that are not readily apparent. Very interesting for anyone who would like to know more about graphic arts and why some patterns and object relationships are appealing and some are not. Paper and printing are of good quality.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was helpful for understanding the Golden Mean and other systems, various ways to use the systems, and for seeing how some great prints, paintings, and furniture was designed. Illustrations with overlays specifically show the geometry of the objects, and they are fascinating.
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Format: Paperback
The book seemed full of promise. I purchased the first edition shortly after it's release directly from the publisher. Unfortunately I was appalled. The book has been aimed at the common beginning reader in the area of design. The idea of vellum overlays to show constructive schema unused for a few years, seemed ideal, but which must have been difficult for the printers (as not all my overlays aligned well. Not to mind—the author appeared to have no compunction in not having her overlays match the underlying base drawing.even if correctly aligned. Webs of lines crisscross the analysis but often end up with as many misses than hits (and even the hits are dubious as they often describe minor insignificant points.. The importance of a particular intersection. Another, problem was any the lack of serious defence of the propositions put forward. Many quotes of famous designs, or general descriptions of each example, mostly without any attempt to justify which proportional/geometric system was used and why it worked as a cohesive system. There is little theory or pragmatic discussion of the process of analysis and what it's aims are. There are significant egregious analysis solution put forward that are highly debatable. That the Golden Mean is found in the Parthenon has been debunked by multiple authors with multiple papers with highly detailed drawings and actual measurement that confirm the structure was constructed on a series of module starting with the (see Mark Wilson Jones 2000, 2001) Many of the analysis are complete on photographs which are notoriously inaccurate! Accuary is essential to prove any sort of intention by the designer/artist/architect. The very short intro draws from a diverse group of people many of which are very flawed.Read more ›
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