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The Elements of Graphic Design (Second Edition) Paperback – 15 Mar 2011
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"White sets out key concepts of space, unity, page architecture, and typography for the benefit of other designers, art directors, and students ... A clear introduction; recommended for anyone learning or reviewing graphic design." --Library Journal
“Alex W. White provides one of the clearest and most thoughtful introductions to graphic design that I’ve read. This book is also one of the few to really demystify the idea and use of white space in design—a topic that at once confuses young designers and causes seasoned clients to curl their lips with disdain. Read and learn.”
—Alexander Isley, Lecturer at Yale Graduate School of Art, past President of AIGA NY
“The Elements of Graphic Design’s first edition has been one of the most useful books on the details of design and effective visual communication. The second edition is certain become a standard in every design studio library.”—Sharon Werner, founder of Werner Design Werks
“An expert educator, Alex W. White has purified the fundamentals of graphic design into a vigorous and all-embracing book. No matter what stage of your design career, this second edition of The Elements of Graphic Design is, or ought to be, required reading.”—Kevin Smith, AIGA awards recipient, Professor at Parsons, The New School for Design
About the Author
Alex W. White is a designer, lecturer, and author of six books including Thinking in Type: The Practical Philosophy of Typography, Advertising Design and Typography, and the previous edition of The Elements of Graphic Design. He teaches graduate graphic design students at Parsons, the New School for Design, and has taught at FIT, the Hartford Art School, the City College of New York, Syracuse University, the University of Illinois, Kent State University, and the State University of New York. White speaks throughout the world on enhancing creativity in the service of the message and understanding how design affects targets' needs. He is also the chairman of the Type Directors Club and served as the jury chair of TDC49.See all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It's fairly basic stuff, and I had an intuitive grasp of most, although not all, of it. If you're looking to learn it, this is a great book to do it.
The only problem?
The graphic design within the book itself is EXTREMELY busy and distracting. This may be a personal thing, but I found the fact that the borders of each page were absolutely LITTERED with examples of the concepts being discussed to be irritating and made it harder to focus on the information itself.
The information is solid, simply presented, and fantastic for a beginner. IF they can get over the poor graphic design present within the book itself.
I did like the book, and found it useful, but I'd rather have seen the information presented in a more forthright manner and perhaps the examples on one side of the book rather than being clustered around the information itself and ALSO taking up another page for full sized pictures of design. It doesn't flow, and quite often there's little harmony.
Ironic, but I'd still recommend it.
Part history, part primer, this book is a great general introduction to the basics of graphic design. The large number of illustrations are accompanied by ample explanation of why those illustrations or pictures were included and what purpose they have in the greater design lexicon.
The author clearly has a firm grasp on typography, space, symmetry (or lack thereof) and pacing and is able to get those things across in a manner that is both technical and accessible. If you've never read any design book, you won't find yourself confused by obscure, unexplained terminology.
You would expect a book about graphic design to be well designed and indeed, this book is well designed. The only gripe I have (hence the 4 stars, not 5) is the chapter that gets into the hardcore history of design, starting with cave paintings and Sumerian cuneiform. This chapter feels cluttered and a little overwhelming, but the amount of information (which is pretty staggering) is at the same time fascinating. As an historian and journalist by trade, this chapter was probably the most interesting to me simply to see the track of graphic design concepts throughout history.
Bottom line: Excellent first design book and a good resource to have on your shelf, even if you're a seasoned expert.
Even though he comes from a previous design generation, much of his astute commentary is still valid in midst of the current revolution of cognition-based design.
White's vocabulary is different to that used in 21st century cognition-based design instruction, but many of his concepts are validated by modern fundamentals.
I recommend this book highly.