2003 Best

A Practical Guide to Digital Design

Pina Lewandowski and Francis Zeischegg

Coupled with book of the year "Idea Revolution," this book ranks very high on our graphic design book list as probably the very best, all-around foundation training for beginner and intermediate designers.

Ask some serious questions:

You can read no further if you're a hobbyist or back-room designer. But if you're serious about designing for visual communications -- or think you have what it takes to embark on a career in graphic design, this review -- and book -- are for you!

You see, design is often dismissed as something that anyone with a basic grasp of computers can do without difficulty. We saw the miserable results desktop publishing had on visual media. Every Tom, Dick and Harry were in the design and publishing business as soon as they got that first PC on their desktop. The field of amateurs still spews forth some serious garbage even today. Just look at your local newspaper -- need we say more! Everywhere we turn, non-specialists are producing design work, and the results are disappointingly poor. Now, you have to ask yourself on which side of this fence do you wish to sit!

This book is essential for those who believe that acquiring the language of visual communication requires a little more than familiarity with a few software packages. It attacks the world of graphic design with the gestalt of the professionals, not a computer writer wanting to spread market share.

In A Practical Guide to Digital Design the fundamentals of design are succinctly set out and explained...

  • Variations of shape, space and area are demonstrated.
  • Tonal values, lines, structure and volume are discussed
  • Balance, rhythm, and visual harmony are investigated
  • Fonts and typesetting are professionally addressed
Your skills in visual communication will substantially expand when you examine, learn and come to practice the basic rules upon which successful design depends. A Practical Guide to Digital Design not only helps us streamline the selection and use of the tools available, but does so with the essential foundation to make all your designs work better.

If you use a computer to design, these concepts and techniques will improve the flow and harmony of your work. Examples from the most popular programs, including QuarkXpress, Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Free-hand, show how to transform an idea or content into a visually pleasing and effective means of communication.

Both Lewandowski and ZeischeggIf are accomplished graphic designers and design educators with deep experience and backgrounds in European design gestalt. Just Google them and see what you'll find.

We love books like Robin William's Design Workshop and , Bryan Peterson's Design Basics for Creative Results, but this practical guide simply goes further than those books. Its exercises bolster the primal basics of sensitizing the designers ability to organize shape, form, image and typography.

If you are a student in a design curriculum and this book is not a prerequisite, get it anyway. You may surprise your professor with your sense of space and form. Study and practice this book and you may just know more than they do. If you are a high school or university level teacher, we strongly recommend this book as the required text for your "foundation" program -- that's how strong this text is. If you are an art director, manager, or owner involved in hiring and firing entry level graphic designers or layout artists, get this book and make it manditory reading for the first week of work. You'll find it actually improves your creative staff, if they're half-way good -- or -- weed out the bad ones because they won't read it.

A Practical Guide to Digital Design

by Pina Lewandowsky and Francis Zeischegg
List Price: $19.95, sale price: $13.97, You Save: $5.98 (30%)
Paperback: 256 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.70 x 9.24 x 6.10; Publisher: AVA Publishing; (October 2003)

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RETURN TO: Best Books for 2003, or the Design Bookshelf

See Related: in the The Typography Department, and under Desktop Publishing Design. Some additional cross references may also be found in the Web Design department.

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