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Paperback The Non-Designer's Design Book: Design and Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice Book

ISBN: 1566091594

ISBN13: 9781566091596

The Non-Designer's Design Book: Design and Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. For nearly 20 years, designers and non-designers alike have been introduced to the fundamental principles of great design by author Robin Williams. Through her straightforward and light-hearted style,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Resource for the Non-Professional

Robin has written a simple book on design and typographic principles. Her intended audience is the secretary or admin, the church volunteer, the small business owner, the student, or anyone who is occasionally faced with the prospect of designing the written word. Her advice will not make you a professional, nor is it intended to replace a formal education, but will give the novice insight on what works and why. I don't often use phrases like "life-altering" or "eye opening", but this book deserves them. The concepts taught can be used for a newsletter, flyer, brochure, term paper, church bulletin, letterhead, or resume. She includes plenty of good examples as well as bad ones, and little quizzes throughout the book. It's a small book that can easily be read in a weekend, but what you learn will stay with you forever. The first half of the book is dedicated to CRAP (contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity), four principles that, onceunderstood, will turn your so-so document into something that people will want to read. And once you learn CRAP, you'll seeit everywhere (she calls this the Joshua Tree Principle). You'll understand why this magazine article is so visually attractive,while that newspaper ad has no appeal at all. The second half of the book focuses on typefaces (fonts), which so many of us love to collect. She describes the six maincategories and, more importantly, teaches us how to successfully mix font styles within a document (yes, even you can successfullymix three or more fonts on a page, once you know how). I've been so impressed by Robin's style of writing and the information she reveals that I've purchased two more of her books(The Non-Designer's Web Book and Robin William's Web Design Workshop), and plan to purchase more.

Sensible and Practical Advice for Layout and Typography

Robin Williams provides a practical introduction to the classical principles of design in this pamphlet-sized book. Her discussion of layout is organized around four basic design principles: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity. Each is presented in its own chapter with plenty of you-can-do-it-at-home examples. The typography section explains the principles of Concord, Conflict and Contrast, based on Williams'classification of type faces by style (Oldstyle, Modern, Slab Serif, Sans Serif, Script and Decorative), weight (Light, Bold), Shape (Narrow, Wide), and spacing. A discussion of color is notably absent; the roots of this book in early grayscale Macintosh computing show through.Williams's book should hit the mark for amateurs creating one-page designs such as simple web sites, brochures or business cards. Set aside an hour or two to read it and do the exercises, and your designs should improve immensely. Mine have.

Serious design for anyone -- not just beginners!

Don't be fooled by the title -- ­"The Non-Designer's Design Book" is a serious book that can be useful to anyone. In a slim volume, this book distills to the very essence principles that seasoned design professionals use. This is NOT Design for Dummies, it's Design-for-Wannabe-Designers, and it's not kidding.Writer Robin Williams delivers a powerful design seminar in fun-book disguise. Her tone is light, encouraging, and creative, and her information is killer. I've read many books on this subject, and I learned many things in "The Non-Designer's Design Book" that have never even been approached in other books.Williams begins with the basics, using examples and redesigns to illustrate design principles that will teach you how to make an effective newsletter, brochure, business card, or advertisement every time. She then moves into more complicated subjects such as typography (no kidding ­-- I've never read anything about typography in any other book) that will serve to further refine your design projects.This book is not for the casual reader -- it is guaranteed to revolutionize the way you see, think about, and design any print media. Williams has written a clever, incisive lesson on design, while managing to be entertaining and encouraging. This book should undoubtably be a part of your complete designing education!

Read this book before you publish anything!

If you pick up this book looking for that on-the-edge-physical comedy that made Robin Williams one of the worlds most famous comedians, boy have you got the wrong Robin Williams! This author is one of the leading authorities on visual design and presents her information in a clear, concise, no-nonsense (well almost)kind of way. Her book is a valuable resource even for people who think they are familiar with aspects of design or have been told that they, "have a good eye," so don't be dissuaded by the title. As an experienced journalist, the book brought back a lot of my earlier newspaper layout training. It put into plain language the principles for which I had no name other than, "that just doesn't look right." The principles of proximity, alignment, repetition, and contrast are highlighted and expounded upon in each section. I found the section on typography to be extremely interesting and I find myself looking for examples of contrasting type all around me now. Visual examples of weak design and what can be done to make the design better are on nearly every page, and make the subject matter very clear. The author maintains that most beginning mistakes in design are tied to mistakes in Contrast Repetition, Alignment, or Proximity (C.R.A.P). That sounds about right. If you are going to publish any document (print or electronic) this should be the first book you read before you do.

Primer on typography & design

This is an excellent way to learn and understand basic design and typography principles. It is written for the newbie and all the concepts are presented in a clear, consise format. After reading the book, one should have a better understanding of design fundamentals and apply them to print and web projects. This book will also show you how to spot good design from bad -- all Robin Williams says are tried and true design concepts that have been around for ages -- in this day and age of ostentatious design, it's refreshing to go back to the old school.
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