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Graphic Design Manual: Principles and Practice Paperback – October 1, 2001
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There's a nice little intro by Armin Hoffman, where he touches on some of the core elements to visual design (dots, line, contrast, letters). After that, it's approximately 150 pages of black & white form studies. You get out of it what you put into it, I suppose.
Also, the price of this book is a little ridiculous. It's a basic softcover with black & white printing coming in at less than 200 pages.
This gets at the essence of what motivates Hofmann's thinking and teachings. Design is about problem solving and Hofmann's work is a clear and beautiful expression of the design process, at its most basic.
The book describes the relationships of the dot and the line within a wide range of compositions that explore balance, hierarchy and rhythm.
A classic guide for motion media students/teachers and graphic designers alike. Beautifully illustrated, this book implicitly follows the strong methodologies established at the Basel School of Art.