Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
Promising title, but devoid of meaningful content
on October 28, 2014
I purchased and reviewed this book when a student of mine (who turned out to be a top performer) complained that, "It's a cover and some pictures and nothing in between. It doesn't explain anything."
Sadly, I have to confirm her analysis. As a design instructor, I'll say flatly that this book simply does not contain what you need to know to understand the fundamentals of design.
This book is not a design text at all, but rather a collection of student art exercises (not design exercises, as the book title would imply).
The chapter outline does list a smattering of the fundamental concepts of design. But the book is devoid of any content, visual or verbal, that clearly explains the concepts it does mention.
Further, the book is missing many critical basic concepts, especially those developed in the last couple of decades (which is odd given the title). As such, it was long out of date the moment it was printed.
As such, it does nothing to prepare a student to make informed decisions in the discipline of visual design.
If you just want to look at some pictures of interesting student art projects, this book might be worth the $20. Even then, there are much better books.
But, if you want even a basic primer in the discipline of visual design, you'll need to look elsewhere.
If you were uninformed when you started this book, you'd be uninformed when you finished.
Visual design and its parent discipline, communications design, are in the midst of an explosive and exciting revolution of understanding.
But this book is not a window into that body of rapidly evolving knowledge.