DT&G: Design, Type & Graphics Magazine in conjunction with The Design & Publishing Center, The Designers' Bookshelf and the Graphic-Design Network have selected the following as the best products in 2004 for the visual communications fields.

Best of 2004

Logo, Font & Lettering Bible

- the most significant book for using type in graphic design -- has got to be this blockbuster from Leslie Cabarga! This book has got to be required reading for anyone who designs logos, packaging, posters, covers, web sites or any visual communication! DTG Editors said:
      "This book needs to be on every visual artist and graphic designer's desktop, and in the labs of any art or design school worth worth attending."
      When you consider the very mission of this web site, you have to ask what book is most worth buying to advance the skill set most essential to all those in visual communications, graphic design and other creative endeavors? We arrived at the conclusion that our focus is all about two essential elements that makes for true greatness. Most importantly, ideas and creativity. Secondly, but equally important, is responsibility. These two books reflect the ultimate in those values and goals.

Best in Photoshop & Image Editing

Commercial Photoshop with Bert Monroy
      Bert Monroy is recognized as one of the true masters of digital graphics -- and an acknowledged master of Photoshop. This book brings together the best of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and shows you how it's really done!

Al Ward's Photoshop Productivity Toolkit
      This was selected a BEST because it brings an astonishing amount of power to the user through the clever and well documented Actions included on the CD-ROM -- hundreds of them from the Actions Expert himself, Al Ward.

Best in Digital Photography

Digital Photography Hacks
      Noted digital photography expert Derrick Story brings you the very best Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools -- and takes you way beyond the standard fare of most digital photography books. If you have a digital camera: RUN, don't walk to get this one!

Best in Graphic Design & Publishing

Goodbye Gutenberg by Valerie Kirschenbaum
      This is probably one of the most stunningly visual books we've seen in the Design Bookshelf in some years. There's really nothing to compare. We would call it a visual masterpiece, and offers hours and hours of thought provoking images and content for beginners and pros alike!

Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design
      Steven Heller's sparsely illustrated book on design culture and history brings a collection of fiercely observant essays that will hit a nerve with the members of the design community. It's not eye-candy. It's not a quick shot-in-the-arm -- but rather a presentation of the stuff real graphic designers should ponder.

Best in Web Design

Defensive Design for the Web
      This excellent book by 37signals, Matthew Linderman, Jason Fried, completes the circle in the maturation of the web. Building web sites is not enough. Learning and using CSS is not enough. Now we have to make sure it works and keeps on working. Defensive Design for the Web offers guidelines for preventing errors and problems that plague the amateur web sites of the world. If you design for the web, you'll be needing this.

BEST for ALL Computer Users

Spam Wars by Danny Goodman
      We've reviewed maybe a dozen spam books this year. It would seem that not only is spam creating all sorts of new software ventures; like anti-spam software and back-up companies -- but spam book authors as well. But as an avid spam-fighter in the user group community, I can attest that this book is the best to buy for knowing everything there is to know about spam, what it is and how to deal with it. Give it as a gift, but read it yourself first! Better yet, buy two.

We the Media by Dan Gillmor
      You need only to read my November 60-Second Window to understand how important the contents of this book are. For the first time, bloggers have been awarded press credentials to cover the national political conventions -- and herein, Gillmor presents the story of the grassroots media revolutions. Great stuff!

BEST for Macintosh Computer Users

The CULT of MAC by Leander Kahney
      This book book from Wired News reporter Leander Kahney, explores the quirky world of serious Mac fans -- it's a beautifully designed, four-color book that brings the Mac community to life! If you want to fill up on all the history and cool aspects of being a Macintosh user... then this is the one.
      NOTE: We received "Revolution in the Valley" by Andy Hertzfeld too late to get into this years running... however, we suspect it will be a BEST for 2005, and perhaps you should look into it now.

This concludes our Best Books of 2004 entry for the year. Now we start reading, using and evaluating books for 2005. And may your 2005 be the best ever in every regard.

Thanks for reading... Love and best wishes to you all...

Fred Showker

Editor / Publisher, DT&G Magazine

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