The Design Bookshelf
is proud to announce the Best Books of 2007
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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 2007 for the visual communications fields.
BOOK of the YEAR
Meggs: Making Graphic Design History
This book is our unanimous decision for BOOK OF THE YEAR in the graphic design field because it fills two important functions for anyone in visual communications. First, it is a warmly written and thoroughly enjoyable reading of the biographical information about graphic designer, professor, historian, and author Philip Baxter Meggs. You may not have heard of him in circles of the graphic design ivory tower, but Philip Meggs has influenced literally tens of thousands of the brightest designers in the field -- and will continue to do so through his writings for decades to come. Secondly, this book gives the visual communicator a look into the inner workings of what it takes to be a great designer. That's all we're going to say here -- you should go and read our FULL REVIEW, or better yet, just go buy it:
The Practical Guide to Information Design
You'll need to read our full review of this book
to understand the scope of its coverage. This book was selected because it literally spans a necessary void not covered by any other book seen in the past several years. Author Ronnie Lipton is an experienced expert in the communications field and a veteran of graphic design, publishing, writing and editorial production. Her broad expertise takes anyone involved in communicating a message across the divide between writing and visually presenting information. It is truly one of those milestone books that anyone in the visual communications field is obligated to read, learn and understand.
Adobe Photoshop CS3: Up to Speed
Ben Willmore brings you this must-have guide digging deeply into the heart of Photoshop CS3! We select this book for ALL Photoshop users because of its excellent coverage of what you need to know, and its superb organization to help the reader get to the exact information quickly. This is so important in today's production environment. Ben Willmore's style is intuitive, crystal clear, and in-depth. Few other writers bring this kind of clarity to software books. Additionally, this is not just another monkey-see/monkey-do book. Ben wrote it for a specific purpose, and it rather than merely filling pages (like the books from some of the other supposed "Photoshop experts") he fulfills the mission of the book beautifully.
Digital Photographer's Notebook: A Pro's Guide to Adobe Photoshop CS3, Lightroom, and Bridge
2007 saw an explosion of books all aimed at the digital camera and digital photography field. Much like desktop publishing in the late 1980s, everyone seems to be an expert on digital photography. Kevin Ames' rises above the din of supposed experts to provide a focused yet thorough understanding of Adobe's suite of digital photography applications -- the ones the true photographer needs to learn. With this book, the photographer will learn Photoshop CS3 (including the Camera Raw plug-in), Lightroom, and Bridge. You'll learn what these powerful applications can do; which one is best for a given task and how the applications come together to allow you to work efficiently.
DESKTOP PUBLISHING BOOK of the YEAR
Last time we had Robin in this list she said she was going out of the computer book writing business. Of course she didn't, thank goodness, and this book now combines all the best for desktop publishers in divine Robin Williams' style! We love Robin, and you will too! Her Non-Designer's book series has more than 700,000 copies in print, bringing decades of experience and straightforward, lighthearted style to define the principles that govern good design and type as well as the logic behind those principles. This is both a beginners training manual, and a veteran's refresher course wrapped into one. Whether you are a Mac user or a Windows user, a type novice or an experienced graphic designer, you will find inspiration and direction for the design quandaries and conundrums you are sure to encounter! This book should be required reading for anyone entering the world of desktop publishing. (Also see our previous review)
The CSS Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks, and Hacks
There were a number of great web design and web business books out this year, but none really quite matched the real utility of Rachel Andrew's Practical guide on CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). While it's not a step-by-step technical training manual, it can be used both as a tutorial and read cover-to-cover or as a handy and practical reference book to common problems, solutions and effects. You can get a good idea of the magic you can learn in Rachel's Web Design Tutorial: How to build tabbed navigation in CSS published earlier this year. We also liked the book, and continue to use it, because of Rachel's Question and Answer format -- addressing real world problems with real-world solutions. With this book, web designers can truly separate content from presentation.
New Vintage Type: Classic Fonts for the Digital Age
Steven Heller AND Gail Anderson say Retro is the new modern. This book came just in time for the 2007 Fall Fonts Festival and we were thrilled with the visual excitement it holds. The book covers literally hundreds of amazing, astounding, and obscure examples of type and typography that most designers have never come in contact with. It takes the designer through five distinct and historically correct eras of type styling: the Victorian Age, the Woodtype Era, Art Deco Style, Modern Movement, and the Eccentric Movement. We can guarantee that you will not be disappointed with this book -- purely from the eye-candy aspect. Every single page is a visual delight! You can see many examples in our previous review.. For anyone, it also happens to make a superb coffee-table book!
The All New Print Production Handbook
We have not had a "print production" book in these awards for several years -- mainly because there hasn't been one! Not since "Getting it Printed" (nid-1990s) has there been a book directly addressing the back-end of the publishing field. It was about time to get a good one, and David Bann did just that! Anyone in the design and publishing world knows that print production is the "evil" side of the creative process. After all, if it doesn't get produced properly, what good is the design? This is a thoroughly up-to-date working manual on digital workflow, color management, font and image use, to file formats, and even post-production. Many designers will frown at our recognition of such a practical book. But there are thousands and thousands of practicing designers who actually DO NOT KNOW this material. It's complete, incisive, authoritative and should be required reading for anyone who proposes to put ink on papger.
Actually, it's the ONLY Painter book in 2007! And, while our focus is on Photoshop -- Cher Threinen-Pendarvis' The Painter X Wow! Book really deserves a category to itself. Painter is an awesome program for natural media in a digital world. And Cher continues to delight Painter fans with its many exciting, inspiring examples and techniques for creating fine art, photography, graphic design, multimedia, and film. It's a great book even for Photoshop users, and we're sure is enough to make some Painter converts out there. Along with the book comes a CD-ROM containing a trial version of Corel Painter X, stock photos, video clips, a study guide for instructors, and over 100 unique custom brushes, plus new papers, patterns, and lighting effects built by Cher herself. The eye-candy for visual artists alone is well worth the ticket.
MOST FUN BOOK for DESIGNERS
Indie Fonts 3
Okay, so it's a font catalog! But really, it's so much fun to look through we had to give it the coveted "FUN" award for designers. Once you pick it up, you can't hardly go to a page without seeing something new -- not to mention the collection of FREE fonts that are included on the enclosed CD! Editors Richard Kegler, Tamye Riggs and James Grieshaber have gone to great lengths to compile the best fonts for every use from workday typography to wow headlines, logos and typographics. The collection covers more than 1,600 new fonts from today's hottest digital type foundries. Best of all though, is the book also purveys spectacular graphic layouts which use the fonts, and offers a great source of visual ideas! We guarantee you'll have a great time with this book -- after all -- what's more fun than getting new fonts!
YouTube For Dummies
Yes, you're right -- we don't usually include Dummies books in the prestigious DTG BEST AWARDS. This time, we make an exception! You need it, we needed it -- everyone needs it! If you use a computer to access the internet -- you've probably already discovered YouTube! But to really get the most out of YouTube, you'll be needing Doug Sahlin and Chris Botello's YouTube For Dummies book. If you're a first-timer to YouTube, here's the help you need. If you are a next step user, looking to add content to YouTube, then this is a must. You'll get everything from simple navigation to using YouTube video in other places like FaceBook, MySpace or even your own blog -- but you'll also get more in-depth information like the nuts and bolts of shooting video, transferring it to a PC, editing it, and sending it up to YouTube -- or just launch your own videoblog. Whether you're a casual user or the world's next great film director, you'll thoroughly enjoy this trip through one of the greatest social phenomena of our time!
This concludes our Best Books of 2007 entry for the year. Now we start reading, using and evaluating books for 2008 -- and may your 2008 be the best ever in every regard.
Don't forget to see last year's "BEST OF 2006" 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...
Editor / Publisher, DT&G Magazine
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