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Information graphics and visual clues, Ronnie Lipton

It's not about the design.
It's about the information

A Review by Fred Showker

If graphics weren't important to communicating messages, it would not have been included in the term "Graphic Design."

List Price: $45.00
Price: $31.50
You Save: $13.50 (30%)
Hardcover: 208 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.95 x 11.54 x 9.28 Publisher: Rockport Publishers; (October 2002)

      It is a matter of fact that visual images -- graphics -- communicate ideas and concepts far more quickly and far more effectively than words. Remember the famous Volkswagen ad "Think Small". It took a very small image of the VW Beetle floating in a sea of white space in magazine ads to propel the VW into one of the most popular automobiles of all times. And it didn't take long either. Within months of that famous ad campaign hundreds of thousands of VW Beetles began appearing on streets all over the world.

"Be seen, be heard, be noticed, be remembered

...the goal of every graphic designer approaching every project: not just send a message, but have it received, absorbed, recalled."

These are some of the opening words in Ronnie Lipton's new book "Information Graphics and Visual Clues". Here she quotes Tim Kenny, Marketing Partners in Bethesda MD. Here she sets the pace for one of the most important new books on the information horizon.

For years and years educators of design have stressed the visual image as the most important element in the communication chain. People talk with their hands, and even across language barriers are understood. A whole generation of visual communicators learned that lesson and learned it well. A new generation of communicators and designers need to learn this same lesson.

"What's the verbal equivalent of
one picture?
If you've heard the answer once, you've heard it a thousand times."

      In a world where blind information is hurled at us from all angles, all hours of the day -- with none of it truly memorable, information graphics are more important than they've ever been. The internet has spawned an entire generation of what I call "blind designers" They are scrambling to purvey the most amount of information in the least amount of time to the widest possible market at the lowest possible price. No wonder you have to surf 1,000 web pages, or read 50 magazines, or see 100 brochures in order to see one single good design. It's sad, and it's a disgrace.
      More importantly, the internet has generated the misconception that people read. You don't have to be a web master or run a list very long to discover that nothing could be further from the truth. Today, people simply don't read. If you get them with your headlines, great. If they skip over to a call-out or caption, great. But they're not going to read. Period.
      Information Graphics takes you into the realm of designing solid communications using persuasive visual images that will get absorbed and recalled.
      Information Graphics and Visual Clues argues that this way of seeing and creating is one that is part innate and part learned–and that without it, even the most technologically sophisticated designer is merely a technician. Through stunning visual images and highly accessible descriptions, the book explains the theory behind this type of visual “translation,” walks the reader through examples of graphics ranging from signs and logos to advertising, packaging, and events publicity, and explains how each image was conceived and why it succeeds.
      Ronnie Lipton did the design community a grand service with her "Designing Across Cultures" which received our highest praises. This one is different. It rolls up its sleeves and goes to work presenting the works of those who are successful in communication ideas and complicated concepts using uncomplicated visual images.

We don't get many 'show-n-tell' books these days. This one is not only a masterpiece, it's one of the very few that deserve a second look. In addition to the lessons and idea starters in this book -- it's a page-thumbing experience of visual eye-candy. It is printed in quality color, beautifully designed, and hardbound making it at home at your desk, in the studio or in the living room.

Information Graphics and Visual Clues:
Communicating Information through Graphic Design

by Ronnie Lipton

List Price: $45.00
Price: $31.50
You Save: $13.50 (30%)
Hardcover: 208 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.95 x 11.54 x 9.28 Publisher: Rockport Publishers (October 2002)

About the Author
Ronnie Lipton is the director of Transform & Function, a firm that consults organizational communicators on effective writing, editing and design. An award-winning journalist and publication designer, she teaches journalism in George Washington University's Publication Specialist Program, and graphic design at the University of Maryland, and gives corporate workshops on editing, writing and design in the Washington, DC, area. The former writer, editor and art director of In House Graphics.

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