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BOOK of the YEAR for Visual Communicators
Ronnie Lipton Information Design

The Practical Guide to Information Design

The definitive, behind-the-scenes guide to mastering information design

As graphic design made the transition into information design, and culture evolved from the information age into the new knowledge age there have been only a few books that rise to the status of milestones. The Practical Guide to Information Design is one of those milestone books that anyone in the visual communications field is obligated to read, learn and understand.

Several years ago, Clement Mok came out with his milestone book, Designing Business. This took traditional designers into the realm of information architecture for the then emerging digital age. We called this book groundbreaking. In March of 2002, Ronnie Lipton released her groundbreaking book Designing Across Cultures which carried traditional designers across borders into a global design community. Later that year, she released her next book Information Graphics and Visual Clues: Communicating Information through Graphic Design which lead graphic designers to the importance of simplified and qualified visual graphics as symbols for understanding. This too, we called groundbreaking.

The Practical Guide to Information Design addresses the new problems facing graphic designers in todays over-stimulated, information saturated world -- the new challenges of providing a readership with powerful understanding of ideas, concepts and directives.

In today's world it is imperative that graphic designers obtain the skills to:
* Navigate and understand the increasingly complex world of facts, figures, directions and demands.
* Help people finish a task, solve a problem or meet a need
* Minimize or eliminate frustrations and anxioties
* Understand the people who will use the content -- and make sure that the content and its presentation and delivery serve their needs.

In this book, Ronnie guides the designer through the analytical processes necessary to dissect large quantities of information into logical "gulps", and then organize it so readers can clearly utilize the information towards the intended goals. Her writing combines strength with sensitivity, with references and supporting matter all along the way.

Logically, she starts in the beginning, where any design problem begins: the audience. Readers learn how humans universally perceive visual and textural information, and how the designer can achieve usability of this information. She then carefully navigates through word design, type, layout, color and how to write clearly. From there, readers delve into picture design and how to design meaningful graphics.

This brilliant combination of practice and theory covers the principles of design, perception, and usability, complete with step-by-step examples that feature the work of today's leading professionals. Comprehensively illustrated with hundreds of valuable graphs, maps, tables, line drawings, and photos, The Practical Guide to Information Design features:

* Complete descriptions and comparisons of various formats
* A range of helpful exercises to reinforce covered material
* Handy summary boxes, bulleted lists, captions, and examples
* A wealth of useful resources for professionals and students

But don't let my review lead you to believe it's all about heady, sophisticated theory. It's not. Ronnie builds the learning experience with clear and simple building blocks that the reader can instantly understand, and remember -- she practices the very best of her own teachings right in this presentation of the material -- something few other writers do when tackling subject matter of such importance. She doesn't confuse, and she doesn't bore you. While learning from this book, we recommend you keep a pad of Post-it notes close at hand -- because you'll want to earmark hundreds of important passages for perusing again and again!

Information DesignThe Practical Guide to Information Design is probably one of the most important books for graphic designers to come along in quite a while. We recommend it 100% for all practicing visual communicators -- and recommend it strongly for any college or university who teaches the graphic and visual design disciplines.

Ronnie Lipton is the Director of Transform and Function, a firm that consults with organizational communicators on effective writing, editing, design, and multicultural communication. An award-winning journalist and publication designer, she's also the author of Designing Across Cultures and Information Graphics & Visual Clues. Lipton has taught journalism in George Washington University's Publication Specialist Program and graphic design at the University of Maryland.

The Practical Guide to Information Design
Author: Ronnie Lipton
Regular price: Hardcover, $49.95 - our discounted price: $32.97 -- You Save: $16.98 (34%)
Published by: Publisher: Wiley (February 2, 2007); 272 pages
Department: Graphic deisgn, design, information design, publishing, marketing
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