on January 8, 2014
As a full stack developer in startup company I struggled for a long time with basic designs I had to put together. The questions such as how should this page look like or which fonts do I use were painful for a non-designer like me. And then I've stumbled upon this book. After finishing this book, I feel like I've learnt to read once again, this time I can read design - I recognize the concepts, the fonts, why something looks good and something else bad. The most important part, I started getting better with my own designs right away. Unbelievable! Of course, this book is not a substitute for a 4 years degree in design (the author own words), but it is an awesome practical introduction design book, which impact for me was immediate. Couldn't recommend it enough!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2004
IÕm beginning to wonder if Robin Williams ever sleeps. She seems to have a new title out every couple of weeks. This is Ms. WilliamsÕ second offering of this title.
I have long said that the best thing about DeskTop Publishing is that it puts it in the hands of everybody and the worst thing about DeskTop Publishing is that it puts it in the hands of everybody. Some people just donÕt have an eye for design.
The fact is, because of DeskTop Publishing, many people with no formal training in publishing or design end up having to design something. They find they must create an advertisement, a newsletter, a brochure, a business card or a poster. Panic sets in for those who have no idea where to start, or donÕt understand the fundamentals of good design.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, The Non-DesignerÕs Design Book is your Ôrescue in a book.Õ I really like the many before and after examples she shows of web pages, brochures, business cards, etc. There is an amazing example of a tri-fold brochure before and after on pages 106-107, and a newspaper ad on pages 114-115.
She explains the use of typography very nicely, and explains when to use different kinds of typefaces. (Did you know that most people make the type on their home made business cards too big?)
This book is not a big, heavy tome that goes on forever on its topics. ThatÕs a good thing. It keeps things simple and easy to understand. Each topic is covered well and in an interesting manner. Pick it up at Peachpit with your User Group discount!
on April 22, 2004
All programming shops should have a copy of this book available for their team. As all experienced programmers know, we always end up doing some design work, like setting up a "windows form" or a Visio/Powerpoint presentation. This book is simple, straightforward and easy-to-reference so you can double-check if your layouts are optimized for the user.
on March 29, 2004
This is an invaluable reference for everyone. If you are a designer you should read this little book at least once a year. Without a doubt you have forgotten or not used many of the rules and precepts that are in this book. If you are new to design, learn it here and you will be set. The only thing you have to do is not fight your own urge to violate the ideas set out here and you can design print items that rule the world! The best best best book.
on September 29, 2003
There are two types of graphic design book. One is the coffee-table type that looks very nice but is of little use to designers looking for guidance or inspiration. In fact the contents are often so glamorous, that they are disheartening, especially for the beginner.
This book belongs to the other type, the one without the gorgeous layouts, but with the power to inspire. It gives you the tools to make you a better designer.
I've had no formal training as a graphic designer, and though I (luckily) found from this book that I was doing a lot right, my eyes were opened to some other things I'd never thought of, even some quite basic rules about typography. After I read the book (it's the sort of book that you read quickly, with excitement) I wanted to go back and re-design all those things I was disappointed with but didn't know how to fix.
It all seems so obvious now!
This is so good, I've also ordered Robin Williams' more advanced book.