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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Current and In-depth Foundation, Reference, and Inspiration, Oct. 13 2011
This review is from: Graphic Design: The New Basics (Paperback)
Although I am new to graphic design, I have a long past working in arts, craft, and design - notably glass and photography - and for the most part, I am self taught. As a new comer to university design education, I have been nothing short of shocked by the mindset that is required to properly accomplish project goals and learn a lot of these necessities. Many people can create a compelling piece of visual communication, no matter their skill level, but can you accomplish very specific goals with very limited elements of design? How can you show me a strong static/motion contrast with just lines and/or dots? These foundation exercises have been extremely intriguing as it is such a new way of thinking, but it has also been extremely difficult stepping outside of my normal ways of thinking.

A single teacher is going to have a hard time breaking hardened design theory and practice - or bad habits, one could say - and I found books to be the answer. Since then, I have slowly been hording a huge selection of graphic and design books. Seriously, a LOT of them including a majority of the well known/iconic ones - I have a lot to compare to. Amidst my struggles, I thankfully found Armin Hoffman's "Graphic Design Manual", and it has been integral to my development and learning.

As I have been moving through my second year, Hoffman's book continues to be my number one source for inspiration when having to work with very constricting and basic design elements. However, there is a point where it can't help anymore. Being an introductory book from the 60's, it is most certainly dated. It can give you a mindset, but it does not put you in any contemporary position to move forward with developing concepts. It is a 1960's Swiss graphic design foundation textbook: if you know anything about graphic design, you know what that means, why that is good, and why that is limiting.

This is where this book steps in. In a sense, this is an updated, more in-depth and varied version of Hoffman's book. It presents a lot of the same concepts with slightly more aesthetic-focused examples from present day, not just the minimalistic style loved by the Swiss. The writings are more in-depth and personal, and the information covered is extremely vast and informative. The examples are diverse and inspirational, and the color printing is fantastic - especially for this price. A side note, I always found design books cost way too much money and often are not worth their pricetag. This book is completely reasonable and is worth every penny and more: an admirable and unseen trait amongst textbooks today.

The only thing I could say about this book that would be totally doable for Lupton and Philips in the next edition: try and use some of these more basic examples like those in Hoffman's book! A lot of the examples in this book show much more than what you are trying to use them for, which can be very distracting. That sort of simplicity show in Hoffman's book is the only way to get a fresh brain rooted in a lot of these basic design concepts and theories. That and the organization could be a little better in the way the book progresses - however that is difficult due to the immense amount of information that is presented.

In short: if we made graphic design basics into a film, Hoffman would hold down the black and white, grainy, analog classic, while Lupton and Philips are a modern Technicolor, providing a colored, digital, high definition and artificial post-processed transfer. Both attempt at telling the same story, both have their positives, and both have their shortcomings. Like the Wizard of Oz, you can't get by with just one, so I recommend anyone looking for something like this to purchase both - only then can you best fill in the gaps present in each text.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just plain awesome, Oct. 28 2012
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This review is from: Graphic Design: The New Basics (Paperback)
This book gave me a better understanding on graphic design. I took interactive multimedia at Algonquin college , and this book has helped me out allot.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Shipping, June 29 2013
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This review is from: Graphic Design: The New Basics (Paperback)
I got this book and 2 other design books, all packaged nicely and they all came together! I thought I was going to get these books all on several shipments, but Amazon was able to bunch all 3 books together. Very happy with the shipping and costs. Thank you!
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Graphic Design: The New Basics
Graphic Design: The New Basics by Jennifer Cole Phillips (Paperback - April 1 2008)
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