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 2005 for the visual communications fields.

BOOK of the YEAR for DESIGNERS

How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your SoulHow To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul

by Adrian Shaughnessy
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
We've never seen a book quite like this. Adrian Shaughnessy has managed to put together a most thoughtful handbook for young designers who want to earn a living by doing expressive and meaningful work, and who want to avoid becoming hired drones working on soulless projects. It's got all the ingredients of a great book -- plus the wit and humanity in Shaughnessy's writing brightens the reading enjoyment. Any seasoned designer has been there. The young up-and-coming design community will be well served to dig in and learn these lessons. It combines practical advice with philosophical guidance to help young professionals embark on meaningful careers.
If you haven't already lost your soul... get this:
How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul
Author: Adrian Shaughnessy

BOOK of the YEAR for Visual Communicators

Designing Effective Communications:
Creating Contexts for Clarity And Meaning How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul

Jorge Frascara (Editor)
Publisher: Allworth Press
Each year, Allworth provides a line of essential books for the graphic designer, creator, communicator and thinker. This one tops the list for some of the most insightful text on communications we've seen. It's actually a great collection of essays from a diverse group of experts on communication design -- challenging the traditional "the medium is the message" theory. Through these essays, the visual communicator will get fresh and thoughtful insight into physical, visual, cognitive, and cultural meanings of messages -- and how to forge complicated concepts into hard-hitting information.
Jorge Frascara -- a renowned authority on communication design -- brings together the essential texts. He's a former president of Icograda, and chairman of art and design at the University of Alberta, he has taught for nearly forty years. He has published more than fifty articles in leading journals, and is the author of the book Communication Design. He lives in Alberta, Canada.
Designing Effective Communications is required reading for anyone who needs to purvey ideas to an audience.

PHOTOSHOP BOOK of the YEAR

Photoshop CS / CS2 Wow! Book

Photoshop CS / CS2 Wow! Book, The (WOW!)

Authors: Linnea Dayton, Cristen Gillespie
Publisher: Peachpit Press
This one was a long time coming... scooped by a host of other Photoshop books, The Photoshop CS /CS2 Wow! Book arrives without a disappointing page! As we've said in the past, this is probably the most spectacular Photoshop book on the market -- full-color photos of professionally designed Photoshop projects -- thicker, more color, and a CD to die for! Photoshop's most important features, including those new to both Photoshop CS and CS2: the integration of Camera Raw, the Lens Correction filter, nonsquare pixel support; Photomerge technology (which allows you to create seamless panoramas from multiple images); the Vanishing Point filter (which allows you to create visual perspective), the ability to place text on paths and in shapes, enhanced file management with the File Browser (CS) and Bridge (CS2); and more.
If you only buy one Photoshop book this year, the Photoshop Wow! Book has got to be the one!

BEST PHOTOSHOP VALUE of the YEAR

The Photoshop CS2 Speed ClinicThe Photoshop CS2 Speed Clinic : Automating Photoshop to Get Twice the Work Done in Half the Time

Author: Matt Kloskowski
Publisher: Peachpit Press
This small book offers the very BEST value per page in the world of Photoshop. Matt Kloskowski takes the fewest words with the most learning power to guide you through the power of Photoshop's automation features. You'll instantly save time, money, and frustration. From effective use of Adobe Bridge to full-scale automation using actions, you'll create smarter actions and batch processing to kick some high energy into your workflow. In addition to standard practices, you'll also discover hidden actions and automation gems that are already loaded when you install Photoshop CS2!
Short on price -- long on productivity, The Photoshop CS2 Speed Clinic makes automating Photoshop do Twice the Work in Half the Time

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK of the YEAR

Digital Portrait Photography and Lighting: Take Memorable Shots Every TimeDigital Portrait Photography and Lighting: Take Memorable Shots Every Time

Author: Catherine Jamieson/ Sean McCormick
Publisher: Wiley
Jamieson and McCormick have looked at digital photography problems of the masses and put together a blockbuster compendium of cures for what ails the non-professional photographer. Spectacular photograph is all about lighting, exposure, and studio-tested composition. After a bit of study, you'll start to see commonplace photographic subjects in a different light -- you'll adjust your shooting in subtle ways others don't see to produce truly professional results. When confronted with situations that scare most shutterbugs, you'll shoot with confidence. Best of all, you'll learn WHY these techniques work rather than cookie-cutter solutions.
If you've got a digital camera, Digital Portrait Photography and Lighting: Take Memorable Shots Every Time needs to be on your bookshelf.

DESKTOP PUBLISHING BOOK of the YEAR

InDesign Type : Professional Typography with Adobe InDesign CS2InDesign Type : Professional Typography with Adobe InDesign CS2

Author: Nigel French
Publisher: Adobe Press
We've needed this book. We've needed it since the debut of Adobe's InDesign. What better team for the task of teaching great typography in InDesign than Nigel and the Adobe training team. If you know good typography -- you still have to muddle through the rigors of the software to make it happen. Now, this first book devoted solely to that goal brings you into finely tuned focus on everything typographic. Not only does it cover the whys and the hows of good typography, but uses practical examples for InDesign's type features for everything from optical kerning to OpenType.
InDesign Type : Professional Typography with Adobe InDesign CS2 is what you need need for producing beautiful type in Adobe InDesign

WEB DESIGN BOOK of the YEAR

CSS Cookbook, 2nd EditionCSS Cookbook, 2nd Edition

Author: Christopher Schmitt
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Chris has been on the DTG BEST list before. His latest update to the CSS Cookbook once again ranks on top of the web design collection. CSS theory is not easy; yet all web designers need to know it through and through. To get the real scope and technique of CSS, the Cookbook fills the bill. The best part are all the practical examples with CSS code recipes that you can use immediately to format your web pages. Arranged in a quick-lookup format for easy reference, the second edition has been updated to explain the unique behavior of the latest browsers. With topics that range from basic web typography and page layout to techniques for formatting lists, forms, and tables, CSS Cookbook, 2nd Editionis the one book you must have companion, regardless of your experience with Cascading Style Sheets

MOST CREATIVE WEB BOOK of the YEAR

Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web DesignTranscending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design (Voices That Matter)

Authors: Andy Clarke, Molly E. Holzschlag
Publisher: New Riders Press
Where ever you find ground-breaking creativity and advanced thinking, you're likely to find Molly Holzschlag -- and her books have appeared in the DTG BEST circle before. Teaming up with Andy Clarke for Transcending CSS is yet another milestone in the new possibilities for creative design on the web. As someone who understands the complexities of the web-nouveau, author and designer Andy Clarke offers visual designers a progressive approach to creating artistic, usable, and accessible sites using transcendent CSS. Here, you'll discover how to implement highly original designs through visual demonstrations of the creative possibilities using markup and CSS. You'll learn to use a new design workflow, build prototypes that work well for designers and all team members, use grids effectively, visualize markup, and discover every phase of the transcendent design process, from working with the latest browsers to incorporating CSS3 to collaborating with team members effectively, and much more.
If you like designing the coolest web sites that "WOW" the web surfer, you'll need to dig in to Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design

BEST WEB DESIGN VALUE of the YEAR

1 Hour Web Site: 120 Professional Templates and Skins1 Hour Web Site: 120 Professional Templates and Skins (Bible)

Authors: Michael Utvich, Ken Milhous, Yana Beylinson
Publisher: Wiley
We rank this with the best for the beginner. Why? Because of the CD-ROM packed with cutting-edge, professionally designed Web site templates you can put into service immediately. But it's not just about beginners. All web-page-crafters will benefit from this book, because the templates not only make for an instant web site -- but deconstructing them offers a unique education in the most up-to-date page construction techniques. The book dissects each template (all one hundred and twenty of them!) and shows you how to customize for your own use -- or your client's use! The predesigned Web templates and skins make the entire process a smooth ride for fledgling designers-no professional expertise required! The
1 Hour Web Site: 120 Professional Templates and Skins is probably the best value on the market for beginning web designers.

Best This concludes our Best Books of 2006 entry for the year. Now we start reading, using and evaluating books for 2007 -- and may your 2007 be the best ever in every regard.

Don't forget to see last year's "BEST OF 2005" books which are still in print, and important examples of the very best in learning! Thanks for reading... Love and best wishes to you all...

Fred Showker

Editor / Publisher, DT&G Magazine

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