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5.0 out of 5 stars Coherent and Accessible
A friend of mine recommended this book as a solid introduction to graphic design. The author, Lisa Graham, covers the principles of design effectively and even throws in some unexpectedly funny explanations that really make the point. For example, the beginning of the Balance chapter is hilarious and made me realize that a page really can make a person feel weird, if it...
Published on Feb. 18 2004

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1.0 out of 5 stars For Beginners
This book is really for beginners. Wasn't what i was looking for! no recommendation to make
Published on Jan. 28 2004 by Genevieve Cauchy


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5.0 out of 5 stars Coherent and Accessible, Feb. 18 2004
By A Customer
A friend of mine recommended this book as a solid introduction to graphic design. The author, Lisa Graham, covers the principles of design effectively and even throws in some unexpectedly funny explanations that really make the point. For example, the beginning of the Balance chapter is hilarious and made me realize that a page really can make a person feel weird, if it isn't designed using the design principles. Once I read that balance chapter, I realized that many of her illustrations also were surprisingly humerous, and reveals what must be a delightful sense of humor.
If you buy this book, keep in mind that the humor is used to support the points Graham makes, and is not the sole focus of the book. This is after all a design book and makes some serious and informative points.
Perhaps what is most effective about this book is the thorough explanations she gives on why a design works and why it doesn't work. This is a refreshing change from many other introductory design books that I looked at where the primary focus of the text seemed to be to show off pretty pictures. Pretty pictures are nice, but WHY do the designs work? WHY don't they work. Basics of Design tells you why, and in such a wonderfully understandable way that you remember, and easily apply what Graham teaches.
Good job Lisa. When are you going to write more books on graphic design? I'll be sure to keep an eye out for more of your work!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Wonderful, Jan. 15 2003
By 
Jeffrey S. Minch (Tacoma, WA USA) - See all my reviews
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I am a complete dunce at design (or at least I was). Whatever the optical equivalent to a "tin ear" is, I have it. In this book Ms. Graham gives step-by-step simple and yet logical and practical instruction on how to make one's designs both attractive and effective. Her writing style often made me feel as if I were being given advice by a "friend in the design business." I began using the principles that she teaches in my web pages and flyer designs before I was even half-way through the book. The improvements that I saw in my abilities were amazing.
This book has (the basics of) everything: typography, contrast, color, flow, emphasis, etc. Most of the books I had examined prior to finding this little gem were nothing more than over-sized "picture books" with writing in the margins, I couldn't bring myself to spend the money on so little information (but they sure were pretty). This book, on the other hand, is mostly text with small, well-selected illustrations, and at the end of every chapter the author gives several "case-studies" of the current topic and walks the reader through each one.
I cannot imagine a better book for someone new to design.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Beginners, Feb. 16 2004
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Coleman Yee (Singapore) - See all my reviews
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Having wasted much time looking through a number of other books supposedly covering the same subject, this book is a welcome relief.
This book covers in adequate detail the essentials and the basic principles of design, including emphasis, contrast, balance, alignment, repetition, flow, the use of images, color, typography, etc. It gives enough explanation with examples for one to get a good grounding on the subject, without getting too technical, keeping the book highly readable. A part of the book also focuses on specific design situations, including logos, flyers, newsletters, resumes, etc.
Perfect for anyone with no formal training in design, but would like to improve his/her understanding of design.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to Understand, Dec 17 2002
By A Customer
This book makes it easy to understand typography and layout. The author gives the reader a good grounding in typography and the basic principles of design, making it easy to improve your own designs and pages. Her explanations makes it a lot easier to pick the right type to go with the image and the topic. My designs have improved after reading this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to Understand, Dec 17 2002
By A Customer
This book makes it easy to understand typography and layout. The author gives the reader a good grounding in typography and the basic principles of design, making it easy to improve your own designs and pages. Her explanations makes it a lot easier to pick the right type to go with the image and the topic. My designs have improved after reading this book.
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1.0 out of 5 stars For Beginners, Jan. 28 2004
By 
Genevieve Cauchy "Miss Ross" (Gatineau) - See all my reviews
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This book is really for beginners. Wasn't what i was looking for! no recommendation to make
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Basics of Design: Layout & Typography for Beginners
Basics of Design: Layout & Typography for Beginners by Lisa Graham (Paperback - June 13 2005)
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