- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Pearson Education; F First Edition edition (January 25, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1566091594
- ISBN-13: 978-1566091596
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.3 x 10.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 97 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,002,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Non-Designer's Design Book: Design and Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice F First Edition Edition
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From the Back Cover
This book is for the secretary laying out an office newsletter, the entrepreneur designing her own advertising, the student wanting a better-looking term paper, or the professional creating a lasting impression with a new client. As a book of general design principles, it doesn't matter what computer one is using, or whether one is using a computer at all - the principles and terminology of good design remain the same.
Robin assumes that readers simply want to know how to make pages look better. She equips them with the four basic concepts used in virtually every well-designed job. Dozens of real-world examples enliven the text and demonstrate that Robin practices what she preaches: Good design does indeed capture the reader's attention.
In the second half, the focus is on type, specifically the problem of combining multiple typefaces. Robin demonstrates that in page design, as in life, a relationship is established that is either concordant, conflicting, or contrasting.
Each chapter is conveniently summarized, and there are practical design exercises, optional quizzes, and bibliography. Throughout the book, readers are encouraged to feel at ease in the often confusing world of graphic design.
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Overall, I think that it is a very good book. It's a little pricey (although most graphic design books tend to be) for what you get but I don't regret purchasing it. If you're a non-designer, and want to learn more about graphic design, then you will benefit from this book.
Definitely a quick read, it covers the foundations of good layout and typography. Each "rule" gets its own chapter, with plenty of examples. It would have been nice, however, if the chapter on "Color" had actually used color images! The entire book is in black & white, so this was a bit of a drawback. Not a fatal flaw, but rather a conscious effort to save printing costs that wound up detracting from one of the chapters.
What I did learn were some obvious techniques and concepts that I needed to understand. The book helps you "notice" good design, and better yet, understand WHY it's good design. You'll also become more conscious of your designs, how to create them, and how to fix them when they're wrong, rather than just playing around with it until it "looks right".
If you're new to designing - no matter what the medium - you'll be well-served by this book. For the price, it's certainly tough to beat.
Williams's approach to teaching is based in principles (like, "Pick an imaginary line running down the page and relate all your visual elements to it."), which she then supports with example after example. It matches my learning style precisely. Once I've grasped the principle, I can apply it again and again, as indeed I have in the past year and a half since I read this book. It serves as a solid foundation for the rest of the series, especially the "Non-Designer's Type Book," which should be the second of her books you read, in my opinion.
I couldn't have accomplished in my job what I have without this book's help. It's not a reference book, but an essential introduction to sound design principles, which, once grasped, stick with you forever.
On the other hand, she completely knocked my socks off by condensing most of graphic design's principles in a few, very clear and straight-forward concepts: the CRAP principle (even the acronym is memorable!).
If you're a newbie to graphic design, or even if you're a seasoned artist, this is a great book. I only recommend you don't forget your Prozac...
Albeit what was said above, I didn't hesitate to buy her other book, 'The Non-Designer's Type Book', which I now regret.
If you're confident in your learning skills, I recommend Roger C. Parker's 'One Minute Designer', although not as mnemonically-centered, much more thorough and brilliant.
i found this book to be straightforward, simple, quick to read, and very useful. the same day i got it, i was able to use the principles to improve the design of my web page immediately in significant ways! my only beef with the book is that it didn't take me far enough. i would have liked to get a lot more of the same! someone who has some background in graphic design would probably not get too much out of the book, but i would reccomend it to those without any formal training as a good starting point.