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Graphics Essentials for Small Offices Paperback – April 2, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

" ... is a great read for business owners and graphic designers who are looking for an easy-to-read guide that walks them through a general approach towards creating page layouts and other types of printed material." - Michael Jackness, GraphicDesign.com


 

"A great book for the very beginner who's been designated the person to create graphic oriented documents. A 14-page glossary covers the field, and at a price of around $8.00, it's a bargain." - Stanley Strauss, Burning Bridges Press
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 102 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461052130
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461052135
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,802,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Lappen VINE VOICE on December 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
Graphics is an essential part of any small business, but it can be very difficult and confusing. This book aims to make it a little easier.

It is tempting to designate one of your employees as the "graphics person," instead of using an outside vendor; it's cheaper, right? Can other employees pick up the slack while the person is learning PhotoShop or InDesign? Will overtime be needed to keep up with the workload? If you do use an outside printer, make sure that they are aware of your budget. It helps no one if they deliver "champagne" graphics when all you have is a "beer" budget.

Come up with some sort of corporate identity manual, which includes your logo (with possible variations) and the colors and print font to be used in your documents. It's acceptable to re-visit the manual from time to time to do any necessary revising, but few things say "unprofessional" like constantly changing fonts and colors from one document to the next. You also need to decide what sort of text alignment will be used; left aligned, or justified. Don't use right aligned text unless absolutely necessary.

When you are designing your page, resist the temptation to get "creative" and fancy. Readability is most important. Use color sparingly. Put the headline right under the picture, and above the body text. Use a serif font instead of a sans-serif font (the book explores the differences between them) for body text. A reader's eyes travel from top to bottom and left to right. Don't try to make the eyes go in some other direction. Learn how to use, or not use, white space. The book also looks at working with images, and photo editing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book does a fairly good job of covering the basics, which makes it a good place to start for someone without the time and/or money to take a graphic design course. It's no substitute, but if you've got to get started quickly, it can help you avoid some novice mistakes. It suits its stated purpose well.
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Format: Paperback
What could you possibly learn in a 94 page book? Not much if it's your typical, rambling eBook. But it's not. It's a straight-forward, no-nonsense, nuts and bolts guide. How could it be? Good question. For starters, vocabulary. High end and low end graphics programs have one thing in common: gobbledegook. No printed manual, an unhelpful help menu, incomprehensible menu choices in arcane jargon. How do I know if I want RGB or CYMK? Fixed or variable width fonts? Spot or bleed color? Vector or raster images? Save as jpeg or GIF? I need someone to tell me.

Enter David Loeff. All that crazy vocabulary, he explains, isn't just the made-up tech talk of the day. He delves back into the roots of the ancient art of printing which-- who knew?-- still exists. Not only does he bring us up to speed. He also enables the little graphics guy like you or me to talk to the printer like a pro. Why do I need to? Because for big press runs, press printing is far cheaper than emptying cartridges on an inkjet. He also talks about layout so you and the printer are on the same page concerning your project.

There's also some discussion of the role of the SoHo (Small office/ Home office) graphics person and a helpful bit on planning your project. There's a very brief discussion on programs-- MS Publisher (included with some versions of Office), Serif PagePlus (low end programs) up to Quark XPress and Adobe InDesign. After reading this book I went and bought Photoshop Elements 11 (which just came out as I write this review). The paperback is very inexpensive and excellently done. The eBook includes some inside color. Both are very easy to use due to Loeff's brilliant layout: words in the glossary in the back are bolded in the text, and defined in both places.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was given a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I have done more reading since Christmas than I have in the last 10 years.
I have not read this book yet. I have it for reference at the moment. This has been an interest of mine, I just have not had the time to get there, yet.
I am, however, very grateful for the free books from Amazon.
tam
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Format: Paperback
This is a great starter book for those who have been assigned the tasks of creating graphic oriented documents for a small office or small business. It is well written and covers topics critical to learning the basics of graphic design. Loeff states the book is not a step-by-step. Instead, the book is meant to serve as a reference guide for the principles of graphics.

He starts the book with "How the written text is arranged, its size, color and weight constitutes the graphics component of communication." Loeff goes onto pack 76 pages full of concepts, techniques and easy to understand terminology, including a 14 page glossary in the back of the book.

The difference between typefaces and fonts, leading, kerning, photo editing and desktop publishing are all covered in the book. Loeff also provides some good principles of design such as page layout with good comprehensibility versus poor, layouts that follow reading gravity are more comprehensible, readers can be annoyed by too many characters in a line of body type and space consists of filled space (text and graphics) and empty or white space.

One of the two drawbacks about the book is that the principles of design would have been easier to read and follow if Loeff would have used bulleted lists. The second downfall of the book is that it just ends without suggesting to the reader what they should do next to keep learning. It would have also been nice to have some background on the author included in the book.

Nonetheless, it would make a great first book on graphic design and someone with enough know-how to be dangerous, will also find it very helpful. It covers all of the basics in a quick and easy manner for those people that already have every minute of the day filled with work and now have to try to fit in a new mailing or designing a new brochure for the company or non-profit agency.
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