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Designer's Graphic Stew: Visual Ingredients, Techniques, and Layout Recipes for Graphic Designers Hardcover – 1 Jan 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Rockport (1 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159253547X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592535477
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 2.2 x 25.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,167,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

"A smorgasbord of information that highlights the overall design process...[and offers] the tools and know-how to whip up some decadent design." -- Regarding Design (Blog), 26/07/10

"Ideal for newbies" --Graphic Design (Blog), 24/06/10

"It feels as though it should belong in any designer's library whether student or professional" -- iGraphics Explained (Blog), 15/06/10

"A great reference book and source of inspiration ... sometimes even us pros need reminders of what's, why's, and how's. Recommended." -- Lealea Design (Blog)

"With these basic building blocks, a designer can start to create an underlying logic that unifies the whole piece." --All Graphic Design (Blog), 15,06/10

About the Author

Timothy Samara is a graphic designer based in New York City, where he divides his time between teaching, writing, lecturing, and freelance consulting through STIM Visual Communication. His 18-year career in branding and information design has explored projects in print, packaging, environments, user interface design, and animation. He has been a senior art director at Ruder Finn, New York’s largest public relations firm, and senior art director at Pettistudio, a small multidisciplinary design firm. Before relocating to Manhattan, he was principal of Physiologic in Syracuse, located in upstate New York.

In 1990, he graduated a Trustee Scholar from the Graphic Design program at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. Mr. Samara is a faculty member at New York’s School of Visual Arts, New York University, Purchase College/SUNY, and The New School, and has published six books on design and typography, all through Rockport Publishers: Making and Breaking the Grid; Typography Workbook; Publication Design Workbook; Type Style Finder; Design Elements; and, most recently, Design Evolution, released in January 2008. Mr. Samara and his partner live in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Parka HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 26 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Length: 0:58 Mins
The Designer's Graphic Stew is a quick resource for any designers looking for examples of different graphic elements used in action. It has loads of those examples in many variations, covering subjects like typography, picture cropping, colour combination, composition, layout, repeat patterns and many more.

The lessons on design techniques are really brief so they don't really teach much on design. Right at the end of the book is a gallery of real world examples with commentary on the design techniques used.

It's a pretty handy reference overall.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
just what I was looking for 29 Mar. 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many graphic design references show a design and tell you it is successful but do not explain why specifically, or what elements it contains that contribute to its success. For someone trying to LEARN what makes a good design, that's not especially helpful. The Designer's Graphic Stew on the other hand, goes through the elements of a graphic piece showing multiple "ingredients" from within the category (for example images, typography, color and photo cropping) and what the effect might be. The final section, which I really like the most, first lists a design requirement and then several examples of the same project that meet the brief. Then there are additional real life examples of projects and discussion of what they accomplish. Really helpful!

My only complaint? Holy SMALL PRINT Batman! It isn't too bad when there is a great deal of contrast with white text on a black backround, but gray on white (in italic!) and black on white isn't comfortable to read even when I'm wearing my reading glasses.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Handy reference 26 Dec. 2010
By Parka - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Designer's Graphic Stew is a quick resource for any designers looking for examples of different graphic elements used in action. It has loads of those examples in many variations, covering subjects like typography, picture cropping, colour combination, composition, layout, repeat patterns and many more.

The lessons on design techniques are really brief so they don't really teach much on design. Right at the end of the book is a gallery of real world examples with commentary on the design techniques used.

It's a pretty handy reference overall.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nice book 5 Mar. 2013
By AJ - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This book has excellent examples for symbols and signs. It is a good overall Graphic Design Book. However, I prefer two other books by this author, Timothy Samara, which are even better: Typography Workbook and Design Elements. The latter two go into much more detail on the same information, and they are amazing for step-by-step learning.
A Case of Putting the Art Before the Horse 30 Jun. 2014
By Mettaphorica - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I'm new to graphic design, which perhaps mean I'm blind to the subtleties and nuances of good design, and that I only see things in black and white. Except in this case, I <i> did</i> see grey. Lots of it. Grey is the colour of the text. A muted grey. On white paper. Not so bad, you think? Nice and subtle? Moving away from the boring conventions of black? Not so fast, it's not as ground breaking as it sounds. Here's why: now take muted grey on white paper and make the text really, really small, like, about an 8 or 6 pt font (see, those online lessons are working already, I know what points are; I'll be an expert, yet).
My most recent video lesson made this point: design is about communicating a message. Type should be readable and legible. Sounds good, I, nod. I can do that, just show me how. Which is one reason I got this book. So imagine my horror and disbelief when I open this book, which is so supposed to be about effectively putting those elements together that will make for the best communication, and see that it isn't just breaking the rules for effect, it looks like it doesn't even know them to start with. What ever happened to, "consider first the audience?"

It seems that the author or the publisher, in order to prove how arty he can be, decided to try and show off just how much white space real estate he could plunder by squashing everything up and to further grab white space, make the font as small as possible without it disappearing altogether. Although wait, the soft grey almost mutes it out completely, so white space, the floor is yours.

The layout looks professional to my untrained eye, except my untrained eye is too distracted by acres of this white space that makes my brain wants to try and stretch everything away from the centre of the pages and outward and try and fill up some that white space, just so that the type is legible. It's an optical distraction and a real annoyance.

I tried twice to read this book- which I gather from other reviewers who will possibly never review another book again due to eye-strain but gave it 4 and 5 stars - had useful content. But I will never know, I gave up. If, as my video tutorial espoused, good readability and legibility are the 'horse' of good design, then this book is definitely a case of putting the Art before the horse. Read it if you can, but definitely don't follow its layout and type choices.
Collections catering to graphic design students need this rich collection of effective examples 17 Jun. 2010
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Designer's Graphic Stew: Visual Ingredients, Techniques, and Layout Recipes for Graphic Designers uses the guise and format of a cookbook to explain the basics of good graphic design. 'Recipes' cover visual embellishments and treatments from borders to grids, discussing strategies for accomplishing rhythm, contrast and more and coding and cross-referencing categories for mix-and-match opportunities. Collections catering to graphic design students need this rich collection of effective examples.
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