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am 4. Juli 2000
I have a degree in art, produce a newsletter and do layout for newspaper ads, and I still found plenty of interesting and useful information on almost every page of this little book, even though it's intended for novices. (Maybe I'm a bit slow!) I especially enjoyed the author's cataloging of typefaces and discussions on how they can be combined. A refresher on "rules" of design was a welcome review. I read it from cover to cover and took notes at the same time.
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am 21. Juli 2000
as an aspiring web page designer (who always believed she had a "good eye" but often needs hours of trial and error to find that acceptable look), i was looking for a practical, beginners' introduction to graphic design. i am not interested in the theory or schools of thought or even terms so much as practical, usable info that i can put to work right away.
i found this book to be straightforward, simple, quick to read, and very useful. the same day i got it, i was able to use the principles to improve the design of my web page immediately in significant ways! my only beef with the book is that it didn't take me far enough. i would have liked to get a lot more of the same! someone who has some background in graphic design would probably not get too much out of the book, but i would reccomend it to those without any formal training as a good starting point.
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am 11. Mai 2000
Don't let the small size of this book fool you... in here is all the information you need to start improving the way you design. Composition, positioning, alignment, font usage, and a host of other topics are concisely and simply explained. A section on color usage would have been appreciated, but would probably price the book out of its target audience. Williams's sense of humor may not be for everybody, but the information she presents is absolutely invaluable. Williams presents good design, bad design, and works to explain what elements make the former work. After reading this book, I started sub-conciously analyzing almost everything around me, from web sites to advertisements, and was able to identify well-desinged ones from poorly-designed ones, and what they did right or wrong.
No, you will not become an award-winning graphics designer after one read, but your understanding of principles, and your ability to apply them will increase dramatically. An extremely worthwhile investment for the beginner who needs to suddenly improve his design skills.
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am 13. Januar 2000
I have been a teaching assistant for desktop publishing classes at the University of Maryland University College since February 1998 and I have worked with desktop publishing since 1992. In addition, I have just been hired to teach a design concepts class at The George Washington University.
Coming from that background, I read this book for a class I took at the University of Maryland College Park called "Editing and Document Design." I found the book a very good guide to design, very concise, and very effective with explaining principles of design.
My one big complaint about the book is that Williams is often too blunt with her advice. Otherwise, it would have gotten a full five stars.
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am 29. Januar 1999
First and foremost, thanks to the author. I am a computer consultant and this book allowed me to complete several websites using the design principles within.
I also am preparing to purchase her new book "The Non-Designer's Web Book : An Easy Guide to Creating, Designing, and Posting Your Own Web Site" without hesistation.
The design of the book assists in illustrating the principles described within, the author presents the information in a logical well thought out fashion.
I would recommend (and have) this book to engineers and other technical individuals who are faced with the need to produce web sites and other design oriented projects.
I like many others have the technical expertise to produce HTML, cgi, perl and java - I just needed someone to help bring my site ideas and design principals into focus.
I guess it's like having a professional designer on call, except you can't beat her rates. If you are looking for a great book on typography along with some basic design information then this book is for you.
I've had more success with this book than with any of my other $50 - $70 manuals describing website design.
I could go on but I think you get the general idea. This is a good investment.
Feel free to email me if you find anything half as good! tcarter@sphericalthinking.net
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am 13. Februar 2000
Like most everyone else, I came across Ms. Williams through other books (The Mac is Not a Typewriter, The Little Mac Book), and was delighted to discover she was teaching a one-day seminar on design for non-designers a few years back. I could have saved myself the seminar fee since all she taught was presented in this excellent book. However... and this is the reason I stopped to write the review... Robin was a very entertaining and engaging educator. A number of reviewers (rightly) comment on her "blunt" style. I agree that it can be taken that way, if you misinterpret her intent. I found her irreverent attitude an expression of her wit. She's very funny in person. Please read her as such and you won't get hung up on her style.
As to the _content_ of the book, my opinion is that it is essential reading. I don't know how many times I've referred other folks to the basics of design she taught me in this book. Well-illustrated examples drive home the fundamentals that you will carry with you to every form of communication you prepare: be it a letter, a web page, a brochure, or a hand-written sign for a garage sale.
The personal computer and Internet are ushering in a new age of democratization, communication for everyone. Thank god Robin is willing to help us do so with some sense of grace and style. Combine this book with "The Mac (or PC... choose your flavor) is Not a Typewriter" and join the battle against mediocre design!
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am 10. März 2000
If you pick up this book looking for that on-the-edge-physical comedy that made Robin Williams one of the worlds most famous comedians, boy have you got the wrong Robin Williams! This author is one of the leading authorities on visual design and presents her information in a clear, concise, no-nonsense (well almost)kind of way. Her book is a valuable resource even for people who think they are familiar with aspects of design or have been told that they, "have a good eye," so don't be dissuaded by the title. As an experienced journalist, the book brought back a lot of my earlier newspaper layout training. It put into plain language the principles for which I had no name other than, "that just doesn't look right." The principles of proximity, alignment, repetition, and contrast are highlighted and expounded upon in each section. I found the section on typography to be extremely interesting and I find myself looking for examples of contrasting type all around me now.
Visual examples of weak design and what can be done to make the design better are on nearly every page, and make the subject matter very clear. The author maintains that most beginning mistakes in design are tied to mistakes in Contrast Repetition, Alignment, or Proximity (C.R.A.P). That sounds about right. If you are going to publish any document (print or electronic) this should be the first book you read before you do.
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am 15. Januar 2000
I purchased this book several years ago. It is an easy read and makes very good points which are also illustrated by great examples. I was able to take what I learned from this book and significantly improve the layout of my documents, resume, etc.
I've given several copies of this book to friends who have all found it very helpful. Sometimes when I am asked to review someone else's resume or document I find significant layout problems. It is often difficult to describe the concepts involved (e.g. alignment issues). I've found that I can just reach for this book on my shelf, thumb to an appropriate page that shows before and after examples, and watch the light bulbs go on in the other person's face. It is so much easier to get the concept across by having good examples to refer to. This book contains great examples.
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am 10. Februar 1997
Trying to put together a professional-looking web site or other publication? Wondering why your stuff doesn't seem to grab the reader?
Read (it's VERY easy) Robin Williams' "The Non-Designer's Design Book". You'll find short, clear explanations of the major principles of quality layout and presentation, with PLENTY of examples. Also included is a fine introduction to typefaces and font terminology.
Exercises (with answers) help to drive the points home, and the excellent bibliography will lead you to more in-depth study.
As a Design novice (or, as Ms. Willams would label me, a "Visually Illiterate Person") I can't imagine a more gentle, informative, helpful or entertaining introduction to the topic. A MUST-READ for would-be web page artists!
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am 24. Juni 1997
This book is a true gem. It provides excellent help in the area of grahpic design for creating images that look good together. It also gives many hints on improving current grahpics. Rather than just providing pages of examples (like some books), this book provides simple and practical rules (in addition to examples which demonstrate the rules). In fact, the rules apply to more than just desktop publishing, but just about any area of design. Another plus, the book packs so much useful information in a concise, quickly readable format. Please note, this book is not a book on desktop publishing, and it does not teach you how to use a specific application (in fact, for the most part, this book, does not even assume you are using computers)
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