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Design Basics Index [Flexibound]

Jim Krause
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 28.99
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Book Description

Dec 3 2004 Index
Master the 3 C's of Head-Turning Design!

Cover your basics with the book that covers everything from typography and color to layout and business issues! Jim Krause, author of the popular Index series, guides you through the understanding and practice of the three elements every successful visual design must have:

Components: Learn how to get the most out of the photos, illustrations, icons, typography, linework, decoration, borders and backgrounds you use within your design.

Composition: Practice combining the components of a design in a visually appealing way by using the principles of placement, grouping, alignment, flow and spacing to create a pleasing, cohesive design.

Concept: Utilize the intangible elements of theme, connotation and style to present and deliver your message in a way that will wow your clients every time.

Whether you're a new, mid-level or experienced designer who is brainstorming ideas or finalizing your presentation, this handy-to-use, take-it-with-you book will instruct and inspire you to new heights of creativity.

Frequently Bought Together

Design Basics Index + Graphic Design: The New Basics
Price For Both: CDN$ 45.13

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Product Description

About the Author

Jim Krause has worked as a designer in the Pacific Northwest since the 1980s. He has produced award-winning work for clients large and small, including Microsoft, McDonald's, Washington Apples, Bell Helicopter, Paccar/Kenworth, Northern Trust and Seattle Public Schools. He lives in Bellingham, Washington.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Exactly What You Want from a Baisc Design Book July 21 2008
I purchased 5 books on the topic of basic design and this was the best. The only negative thing was that I bought this retail off a bookshelf, rather than through Amazon (used or new) as I needed it ASAP. However, the extra cost was well worth the money! Although the book is small 4.5" wide x 8" tall x 1" thick (359 pages), it's as the expression goes "Good Things Come in Small Packages".

The book is well-designed, well-illustrated, and very easy to understand. There are plenty of examples to illustrate and accompany the type. These all are attributes that I would expect and received from such a book titled "design basics index".

If you are purchasing any book from the Internet, I would strongly recommend to try and review the book in any local bookstore. In this way, you'll never be disappointed with what you'll receive in the mail. The reason that I say this, is that like everything else (movies, food, and wine) opinions are highly subjective. What someone might rave about, another person might give it a thumbs down - myself included. However, I don't think most people would be disappointed with this great book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Visually exciting, fresh and thought provoking June 15 2007
I loved this. I had never heard of Jim Krause before until I stumbled upon this book on the shelf in Chapters.
He's loaded each chapter with exercises for you to get your creative juices flowing, and utilized his design knowledge throughout the entire layout which makes it that much more pleasing to read.
I'm about to enrol in a college graphic design program and wanted something to boost my motivation and get me started before the program. It's well organized, and covers more than I ever imagined could be possible to know about graphic design.
Doing a quick google on Jim Krause, turns out that he has been in the business for 20-someought years. The book is easily understood in ways that he maps out examples of good and bad design, demonstrates his ideas through illustrations and also provides very insightful commentaries.
I'm stoked to move on to the next instalment of his series (The Complete Design Index). Not until I do the exercises first.
Check this out. You won't be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reference Dec 9 2008
I picked this up at Chapters for around $60 and it worth every penny. I work as a web designer mostly; I use this book as a reference and often re-read sections when I have questions about certain elements of my design. They give a TUN of examples using pictures and text to describe good and bad design (specifically harmony, flow, alignment, emphasis, etc) so for someone who has some formal training in design and respects the principles of design, this book is a great resource. I'm picking up all the other books in the series! :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Desing Basics Index Nov. 10 2011
By Dawn
I LOVE this book. It is in perfect shape, it is interesting and full of quality value. Shipment was quick.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  61 reviews
60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars May be worthwhile for your library. Jan. 16 2005
By Iconophoric - Published on Amazon.com
Experienced designer Jim Krause knows his stuff, and Basic Design Index is far and away the best of his 'Index' books for this publisher. This installment isn't a book that will win awards-- or second looks, even-- for flourishing a lot of trendy styling. There are some great books out there if that's what you are looking for, but this isn't one of them. As the name says, it's about basics, or a classic, professional, practical approach.

The book has many exploratory exercises or practice projects for the designer. Throughout it, Krause shows layouts produced using a basic set of photographic, header and body copy elements. He walks us through what works from these finished layouts, and what doesn't, and why. Design books usually show you the single way a piece saw print. This book's mock layouts suggest the multiplicity of ways components A, B, C and D could have been combined; there are, helpfully, more "don't" examples here than "do's". Krause also shows subtle ways to create flow in a layout, the creation of good relationships between objects on a page, and the things that can creep into work and sabotage it by working at cross purposes to clarity and unity.

Design Basics Index could function well as a supplemental book for those in a graphic design program. I have many years of design behind me, and I like to keep the book close by as a touchstone or a pocket source of friendly little reminders. As a resource, it manages to make some design bells go off for me most times I pick it up. That's the best endorsement I can give the book.

If you are a design master, or an avowed design martian, and feel convinced you can't learn anything from a book of this sort, you are probably right. To each his/her own. But for me, it fills a small niche very neatly.
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very solid 5 stars Feb. 7 2005
By Michael J. - Published on Amazon.com
A beautiful, practical book--full of passion and inspriration. I love design, and have practiced and taught it for a long time. I have several books that cover parts of what I think is important about design, but this is the first that seems to cover everything under one roof--and in a way that is both elegant and up-to-date, far-reaching and concise. The author does not make many (if any) proclamations or "rules" about design--he seems more interested in describing parameters and then encouraging the reader to find their own visual voice. (He also seems more interested in teaching design than showing off--a rare thing amount current how-to books.) But the best thing about this book, the thing that really sets it apart, is the section on concepts near the end. Experienced designers all know that Concept is King, and yet how many basic design books even talk about the subtleties of theme and concept? Very few! In this book, concept is addressed quite elegantly, quite beautifully and in plain, approachable language. I wish that I could give every new designer a copy of this book (along with Idea Index and Color Index--I keep a copy of each on my desktop).
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, durable, enjoyable March 16 2006
By Joshua Salmons - Published on Amazon.com
I am a military journalist, deployed to Iraq. I also have the privilege of designing a unit publication. This book is a wonderful survey of design for all levels -- whether it serves as a refresher for veterans, or a basis for beginners.

The pliable plastic cover is thicker than expected and, subsequently, super durable (and waterproof to boot!); and the books slim profile allows it to easily survive trips in suitcases, cargo pockets, or even the sands of Iraq!

The pages are filled with amazing tips and exercises, which can be used personally or, in my case, to teach my troops new skills.

I use it for inspiration and as a "why and wherefore" for my design decisions.

One of the best design books I own, apart from its great on-the-go transportability!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic design resource Dec 5 2005
By Random Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
This is an absolutely fantastic book on design basics and principles. Filled with samples. It's not the type of elaborate samples that you see in some design showcase books (I personally don't find those types of samples all that helpful anyhow) but more realistic samples for the high-volume designer. And lots of notes on what's good and bad about different examples. Great discussions of principles etc. This was a particularly good book for me because I learned design on the job. I've been working in graphic design for nearly 10 years, but I didn't have formal training in it. And although I've picked up on some of these principles over time, it was great having them spelled out. And the book's an easy read (not overly wordy) and everything's categorized so neatly (emphasis, flow, alignment, etc.). It must have taken forever just to create so many little samples! I highly recommend this to someone new to design, but even someone who's been designing for ages can find this a great reference. I know I will! I checked this out of the library and can't wait to get my own copy!!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must have for any Graphic Designer March 20 2006
By cnpitbull - Published on Amazon.com
This book provides a plethora of layout ideas on which to build on or manipulate, spawning an array of ideas when in a creative rut. It also provides the do's AS WELL AS the don'ts of design which I find to be extremely helpful.
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