Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Book Review: The Non-Designer's Design and Type Book, Deluxe Edition (Paperback)

Robin Williams is the queen of Macintosh design and her new book is it's Bible. The book is exactly as described: a design book for those people not trained as designers. The book is actually divided into two sections, design and typography.

The design book goes over the basic principles of how to design using a few basic concepts most anyone can learn such as white space, proximity, layout, and contrast. She gives copious amounts of real world examples to help lay people give a bit of "oomph" to such things as newsletters, business cards, and stationary. For someone trying to go out on their own, this book is an invaluable aid in basic design work while saving money to get a true expert on board. The book is a very quick read, but it's a good book to keep around whenever you do design work.

The typography portion was a bit over my head. It's all about fonts, typefaces and so forth. She clearly tries to made the topic accessible, but I found the content difficult to understand as someone not in the design field. The typography portion of the book can be used as a reference guide when deciding which font would work in specific situations.

This book is perfect for the small business owner or the group secretary who suddenly gets called on to create a newsletter or a basic identity for print.

Pros: Accessible and understandable principles of basic design made understandable to everyone
Cons: Font portions a bit over the novice's head

Four out of Five Dogcows

Article was republished by the Lawrence Apple User's Group 2.0 here as well as other groups listed on the right