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"The non-designer's design book"

15 March 2008 | admin | Design

For me the most important characteristics of a book are its clarity - ability to be read in several  times, on the run, and inclusiveness - the amount of useful information per text volume. My favourite books are capacious and easy to understand. r_williams.jpg

In my personal rating of graphic design books the very first place belongs to a great book by an American Robin Williams under a flippant name "The non-designer's design book". Here is a link to Ozon, though they don't have it in stock there (however, Yandex has a plenty of links to a digital version). The author presents understanding of basic visual design rules, gives useful advice for designers and anybody involved in visual communications.  

Though the books illustrates the rules with examples from magazine design, I guess it will be especially useful for computer specialists. Each of us can remember some examples when the implementation of a powerful graphic package or a fancy layout couldn't guarantee quality communication and  aesthetics.  

In the first part of the book the author illustrates with some convincing examples the importance of obeying the Four Golden Design Rules: 

  • proximity;
  • contrast;
  • right alignment ;
  • recurrence;

It's already a pleasure - to see how the author turns lame objects into good ones. But what is more important - this skill is gradually transferred to the readers and is strengthened as they re-read the book.  

The second part is completely dedicated to the basics of font layout. By the way, the same publishing house has published a book by the same author "The non-designer's font book", where this topic is discussed in detail. 

What skills do you acquire? Even without artistic abilities you will be able to create decent digital models. For me personally getting to know simple rules of the book means that I was able to evaluate the visual model of a page or an ad as "good"  or "lame" before. Now I am able to say why it is lame and what needs to be done to make it good. It obviously made the process of communication with graphic designers much more effective by increasing the quality and persuasiveness of my remarks. Well, if you don't consider such skills useful, there's probably no point in reading the "Non-designer's book" for you. To the rest of you I highly recommend it.   

The book I have is printed on the paper of relatively low quality, however the layout is great and the translation is good as well - which is quite rare these days. 

Please, share your favourite graphic design books in the comments. 

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