Although not an extensive volume at 240 pages, this full-color book is a practical guide to useful techniques for creating professional graphic design work using CorelDRAW. The material included familiarizes the reader with the basic tools, features, and capabilities of the software, provides guidance on maximizing its potential, and instructs on how to turn good ideas into good designs and prepare the resulting designs for output.
The biggest strengths of the book are the instructions on customizing the CorelDRAW workspace, tools, and templates for a smooth workflow, and the advice on establishing the best practices to achieve specific results for a varied collection of projects. Other strong points are that the included step-by-step instructions, tips, and tricks are paired with practical examples of the typical work you are likely to create or encounter, and that the glossary of terms, the thorough index, and the troubleshooting section of the book are excellent resources for general referencing, cross-referencing, and finding fast and simple solutions to common issues you might need help with, respectively. Also, additional content for the tutorials and a very useful at-a-glance guide with an overview of the main features of CorelDRAW can be readily downloaded from the publisher's website. Likewise, even though the book is published as a paperback, its superior print and binding quality will withstand repeated consultation and use.
There are, however, two reasons why I don't give this book a five-star rating. Firstly, the material contains too many errors, including typos (even in the accompanying illustrations), and inaccurate references to the tools and terminology used, which in turn makes following the otherwise effortless tutorials a very tedious task on account of having to re-check the information and figure out the mistakes in the instructions before being able to obtain the expected results. Secondly, although the book provides a nice introduction to key design concepts (typography, color theory) and terminology (image type, file formats, resolution), the material presented only gets a superficial treatment, as do the tools and features of the software itself, and the scope of the book is partly limited to the creation of marketing and promotional materials of the desktop publishing type, such as business cards, flyers, postcards, brochures, web graphics, and so on. For this reason, I strongly recommend "CorelDRAW X6 The Official Guide" by Gary David Bouton as an excellent companion to this book, as it is a superb in-depth textbook, guide, and reference to the tools, features, and capabilities of CorelDRAW and some additional features of the Graphics Suite for X6 and even a couple of older versions--for anyone new to CorelDRAW, I even recommend it as required reading in order to maximize the usefulness of the material contained in this volume.
In a nutshell, this is a good introductory book on creating professional-looking promotional and marketing materials with CorelDRAW.
--Reviewed by M. E. Volmar