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Book Review: The Non-designer’s Design Book, Second Edition
One of the books I strongly recommend for non-designers like me is Robin Williams' "Non-Designer's Design Book". It is a must for dummies who want to have a career on graphic designing even without the formal education. The book is a good primer for novices and amateurs to help them produce layouts that can catch attention.
The Book provides a practical introduction to the basic principles of design, which makes it more appropriate for those who need to put together a media material such as a presentation, a newsletter or a flyer, but doesn't have the degree or even the background in design.
Written in a pamphlet-sized, 200-page book, the author explores designs for the printed page.
Robin Williams has put into this book the basic principles of good design and typography. It explains step-by-step the concepts and methods to help aspiring graphic artists to begin producing more sophisticated, professional and attention-grabbing pages right away.
The book is written in a relaxed manner--- full of humor and free of graphics jargon usually found in other books. To help readers produce great materials instantly, Williams has infused her book with exercises, quizzes, illustrations, and dozens of examples to make learning a snap.
She gamely discussed the concept of layout around four (4) basic design principles, namely: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity. Each of these has its own chapter with several examples that can be done even in the comforts of your home.
The typography section, on the other hand, explains the principles of Concord, Conflict, and Contrast. The three (3) principles have been based by Williams on typefaces by style, weight, shape, and spacing.
Totally clueless on graphic design, I wanted to have knowledge, even if the most basic, on the good and bad of designing. This book definitely provided me with the basic technical ability to do so. Suggestions on creating one-page designs for simple newsletters, brochures, or business cards have been an eye-opener for me. Also, it has given me helpful and useful insights on the world of layout.
Mind you, the book does not make you an instant expert and professional designer who is capable of producing sophisticated works of art. For this, you really need to have a formal degree to achieve this.
However, if your goal is to be able to have the ability to produce easy and decent media pieces, this book can help you on that department. Maybe someday I can venture into the graphics design business.
Provide yourself the time to read the book and do the exercises. It will definitely help you improve your designs. I know mine did.
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