Graphic Design: The New Basics (Anglais) Relié – 1 mai 2008
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Through visual demonstrations and concise commentary, The New Basics shows students and professionals how to build interest and complexity around simple relationships between formal elements of two-dimensional design such as point, line, plane, scale, hierarchy, layers, and transparency. The New Basics explains the key concepts of visual language that inform any work of design from a logo or letterhead to a complex web site. It takes a fresh approach to design instruction by emphasizing visually intensive, form-based thinking in a manner that is in tune with the latest developments in contemporary media, theory, art, and technology. Colorful, compact, and clearly written, The New Basics is the new indispensable resource for anyone seeking a smart, inspiring introduction to graphic design and destined to become the standard reference work in design education.
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Zooming out, if you are looking to this book for cohesive, practical guidelines for implementing these "New Basics", look no further than the back cover where you'll find the chapter names listed, each of which represents a basic graphic design element. Then go out and analyze some award-winning designs with these chapter titles in mind. The example designs reproduced in the book seem to be mostly a showcase for the works of the authors' students. I found many of them quite pleasing, and since they made it into the book, I assume they are "good design". Based on what I learned from the text, I can't really say.
Also, I found some of the type so small as to be unreadable, which for experienced designers, I found surprising. Not high on my list, obviously. I expect a title and/or subtitle to deliver on its implied promise. Perhaps I totally misunderstood the intent of the book, but I expected something that would weave these so-called new basics into a whole, provide direction, and help me produce better designs. Maybe that happens over the course of time in class, but I didn't see that happening in the book.
If you're looking for guidance and direction, I don't think this is the book for you. It wasn't for me.
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 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.
When I learned about this new book written with Jennifer Cole Phillips I pre-ordered it immediately. Now that I've read it, I'm thrilled with their effort and am eager to use it as the text in my Graphic Design 1 class.
This book provides current examples that both illustrate classic principles of Graphic Design and explore the edges of current design thinking. I appreciate the use of student examples rather than just using professional, commercial work. There are plenty of annual reviews of commercial work by publishing houses such as Rockport. The student work tends to take more risks and be more provocative. It will provide more room for discussion, debate and inspiration in a classroom setting.
While not extensive, the text in the book is concise and well-written. Paired with the bountiful examples, it makes the subject accessible to graphic design students or to anyone interested in learning more about design on their own.
The book introduces enough about typography to whet one's appetite for more (check out "Thinking with Type" for that) and introduces basics about Motion Graphics ("Moving Type" by Matt Woolman was and still is great for learning more - it is out of print now but still relevant if you can find it.)
Princeton Architectural Press should be commended for producing such a quality book at such and affordable price.