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Designing Across Cultures

Graphically Speaking, Lisa Buchanan
Say it so they see it...
see it so you can say it!

A Review by Fred Showker

Graphically Speaking: A Visual Lexicon for Achieving Better Designer-Client Communication (Graphic Design) by Lisa Buchanan

BEST BOOK FOR 2002
Graphically Speaking, Lisa Buchanan
Graphically Speaking
List Price: $32.99
Price: $23.09
You Save: $9.90 (30%)

Hardcover: ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.86 x 8.06 x 8.56 Publisher: How Design Books;

Samples:
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Wonderful Visuals!
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Typical Page
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Defining "Retro"
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Making it Ornate
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Making it BRIGHT

Lisa Buchanan wrote this book for a couple of reasons, I love it for all of those reasons! This is not just an inspiring romp of eye candy for the creative side of all designers, (which is why I love it most) but a working tool to use in establishing a common ground between the designer and client.
      From it's heavy, die-cut cover to the lavish process color on virtually every single page, this book is one of the most delightful visual treats I've seen in many years. I thought such books had become extinct!

If you've ever had a hard time trying to figure out exactly what your client wants, then this book is for you!

Lisa has organized the graphic arts world in to a collection of 31 distinct personalities -- from "Alluring" to "Corporate" to "Vintage" to "Zing!" Each carries with it a selection of appropriate colors, correct "speaking" type font suggestions, and samples -- wonderful samples -- of work that fits the genre. You browse through the book and find idea starters that are perfect for just about any business or situation.

According to Lisa:

It's all too often that designers leave a meeting with clients feeling as if they've been speaking an entirely different language. Graphically Speaking solves such communication problems by breaking down client-designer dialogue into something both parties can understand.

From the very beginning the book stresses the importance of defining the project. Lisa's 21-step "survey" of questions to ask the client is very nearly the same one I've used with clients since 1972. So I know they work -- and I know how important they are in developing the look and feel of the project.

Graphically Speaking, Lisa BuchananThen, Graphically Speaking visually "defines" more than 30 of the most common words that clients use to describe what they want in a design. Vague, possibly confusing terms--words like "elegant" or "powerful" or "warm"-- are made specific as they relate to actual design style.

Entries provide visual reference materials including color combinations, fonts and final designs, so that terms are defined both literally and visually. Because of the structure of the book, it's really three "must-have" books in one -- a client communication guide, a designer reference and an inspiring collection of top design projects.

"The benefit of this book is jthat you can flip to the section most similar to the words the client is using and both of you can browse the color schemes, fonts, and various designs."

Graphically Speaking, Lisa BuchananLisa Buchanan...

Before becoming the art director for HOW Design Books, Lisa Buchanan worked with clients on a freelance basis designing logos, brochures,Web sites, and identity systems-all the while developing her insights into the client-designer relationship. Since arriving at F&W, she has earned an Art Director's Award for the cover of Creative Edge Brochures. Some of her recent book designs include Powerful Page Design, Designer~ Survival Manual, Designing Web Sites for Every Audience, Idea Revolution, and The Pocket Muse and others.

      This book is a knock-out. Once you get it in your hands, you won't be able to put it down. In fact, if you've got other designers in the shop, you'll need to be extra careful where you put it down because it seems to attract people with sticky fingers. I've already lost it three times... turning up on different desks each time! People just can't keep their hands off of it! "WOW this is a killer" they'll say. Then: "Can I have this one?" In you dreams!

This book goes into my personal collection of all-time fabulous books for my own use. Which is why we give it an enthusiastic "Editor's Choice" award this month.
Graphically Speaking, Lisa Buchanan
Graphically Speaking
A Visual Lexicon for Achieving Better Designer-Client Communication (Graphic Design)
by Lisa Buchanan

List Price: $32.99
Price: $23.09
You Save: $9.90 (30%)


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