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The Non-Designer's Design Book (3rd Edition) 3rd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
It was perfect for me. The book focuses on design as a means a effective communication rather than just a way to make pretty things, and that works a lot better for my brain. The examples are very clear, and the iterative improvements from one design to the next are so clear that even I can tell that they look better (and understand why). The writing is equally effective and easy to consume. It only took me 4-5 hours for my first pass through this book.
After finishing the book tonight, I set out to improve my resume. 90 minutes later, I'm shocked with the results. I used to think my old one looked fine, but now I can see so many design flaws in it. The new version, well, I'm sure there's still plenty wrong with it, but looks better than anything I thought I'd ever create on my own.
First, I must admit to being a huge fan of the Non-Designer's Design Book and the Non-Designer's Web Design Book. I think they are two of the best books for us designer deficient business people out there. Now, this book does the same thing for presentation design.
Many of the concepts are similar to those presented in the Design Book and the Web Design Book; however, they are reformed to apply to presentation design.
The section titled "Ignore these Rules" is one of the best sections of the book. This section helps you understand the principles behind many "rules" like "Don't read the slides." When you understand the principles, you better understand when the "rule" applies and when it doesn't. Ultimately, you realize that the rules are guidelines and not really rules at all.
For example, if you have a slide that reads, "First quarter profits rise" and you avoid saying these exact words just because they're on the slide, you'll only feeling the pressure of presentation pundits, who, themselves, often err in educating their audiences anyway. I'd rather learn from someone who has given hundreds or thousands of presentations that are not on the topic of "Presentation Skills" than someone who has given almost exclusively presentations on how to give presentations. Robin Williams is not a "Presentation Skills" presenter, she's a design trainer and she knows what really works in real presentations. Robin, thanks for speaking for all of us non-Presentation Skills speakers out here who know that the pundits are often wrong.
All-in-all, this is a must book in the presenter's library.
The color section is unnecessarily confusing, Williams makes up new names for the colors when they already have perfectly understandable color names. For example, she calls yellow-green, lime green, blue-green is aqua, violet is purple, and red violet is violet. Why? They don't need different cutsy names. I have my students use a color wheel and edit their books. Learning the incorrect names now will just confuse them later on.
Also if you are going to write a book about design then you need to prove you know what you are talking about with your examples. The cover? Yeesh. And many of the example designs make me cringe, see page 58 if you want proof. The whole book looks about 20 years old.
On type. There are way too many fonts used in the book. Over 300. There's no reason for that. Designs should have a max of 3 typefaces, 2 is better. And the majority of the typefaces Williams uses are nasty decorative fonts, which should be used sparingly, if at all. Students see all those fonts in the book and want to use them all. No.
I'd also like to swap chapter 9 on type relationships with basic kerning/leading/tracking lesson.
It does have good information and it's written in a way that is very easy to understand. Hopefully the 4th edition will have some improvements.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I needed this for one of my college classes. I received it the very next day and it saves me a lot of money versus having to buy them from my school's bookstore.Published 7 days ago by Shawn McCurdy
It's like it was written by a 3rd grader. Maybe the target audience is 3rd graders. The writing is so simple and childish that's it's offensive. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Moonbeam
One of the most productive books, I've purchased. Will be my creative "Bible." When in doubt, go back to basics and start fresh.Published 13 months ago by Donna A. Bencel