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The Non-Designer's Design Book Paperback – 12 Feb 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 3 edition (12 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321534042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321534040
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

A lot has happened in the world of digital design since the first edition of this title was published, but one thing remains true: There is an ever-growing number of people attempting to design pages with no formal training. This book is the one place they can turn to find quick, non-intimidating, excellent design help from trusted design instructor Robin Williams. This revised classic--now in full color--includes a new section on the hot topic of Color itself. In The Non-Designer's Design Book,3rd Edition, Robin turns her attention to the basic principles that govern good design. Readers who follow her clearly explained concepts will produce more sophisticated and professional pages immediately. Humor-infused, jargon-free prose interspersed with design exercises, quizzes, and illustrations make learning a snap--which is just what audiences have come to expect from this best-selling author.

About the Author

Robin Williams is the author of dozens of best-selling and award-winning books, including The Non-Designer's Design Book, The Non-Designer's Type Book, The Little Mac Book, Robin Williams Mac OS X Book, Robin Williams Design Workshop, and Web Design Workshop. Through her writing, teaching, and seminars, Robin has influenced a generation of computer users in the areas of design, typography, the Mac, desktop publishing, and the Web.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Neil Crosby on 9 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm not a designer. That much is obvious from looking at the websites I produce that haven't been designed by someone else. That doesn't mean I don't care though; which is why on Christmas day last year I ordered this book.

I've only just got round to reading the book, but I'm glad I did. As a learning book it's deliberately quite lightweight and easy to get through in a short time, in the same way that Steve Krug's "Don't Make Me Think" is designed to be absorbed in a couple of hours on a flight. All told, I spent about three hours with this book, on my tube journeys to and from work this week.

Robin starts her journey by briefly explaining the concepts of Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity (anyone spot an acronym there?), before moving on to explore each concept in greater detail. As Robin repeatedly tells us in her book, by being able to name the concepts you're able to identify them and use them deliberately rather than accidentally.

The second half of the book deals with type; the different styles of typefaces, how to combine them and horrible errors of judgement to avoid.

Spread throughout the book are a bunch of mini quizzes and exercises designed to get you thinking about what you've just read. The quizzes are a nice touch, and I'm sure I've retained more knowledge because of them than I would have done if I'd just read through from cover to cover.

The book covers design in general, rather than being focused on the web, print or presentations. Whilst Williams has written a book called "The Non-Designer's Web Book" I specifically chose to buy this one because both I wanted a general overview book and because the web book is from 2005 (a lifetime ago on the web) and has some mixed reviews. "The Non-Designer's Design Book" did not disappoint - it's given me that overview that I was looking for, and I now feel a bit more comfortable that my designs will actually work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Cooper on 26 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
I am a software developer so I am naturally awful at creating things that look good ;)

I am very much aware of user experience though, and I hate the idea that I am potentially creating something useful that no one ever wants to pick up because of bad UI designer.

This author came highly recommended to be, and I can see why. Robin does an excellent job of breaking down the concepts of design and demonstrating them. This book has really opened my eyes to the basic principles of good design and made an excellent "foot in the door".

A must for those that are not naturally artistic-creatives :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By U. Sule on 17 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are heavily focused in coding and really struggle with design like me, this book will be a guaranteed help.

I really struggle to start off my designs, but it's much easier to improve a bad one. This book really helps you understand the fundamentals of design, and colour; from there all you need to do is practice.

Brilliant and highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Neil Nand on 12 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This has to be one of the best books I've read.

I'm a web developer (not designer at all) and after reading this book it's the first time I feel like I can actually design something because it tells you the principles of design in plain English and concentrates on making sure you can name these principles, as once you've named them you can understand and implement them.

There's no wishy washy arty design stuff in this, much more 'concrete' principles that are actually described and well defined.

If you're a developer who thinks you can't design because you don't have that 'flare' or creative spark (I was) then this will change that!

If you're interested in a more in-depth review here's a link to my blog:
[...]
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Format: Paperback
My kids are getting fed up with their Mum reading books on type, but I have to say I've become hooked. I recently read Getting it Right with Type, which was all very interesting and academic in its approach, but the type itself and layout were very difficult to read...
THIS book however, is fun, accessible, readable and informative. I read it on the train whilst travelling in and out of London for a week and couldn't wait to get home and categorise my fonts on my Mac according to Robin's explanations. Now I can choose an appropriate font with an UNDERSTANDING of what works and what doesn't rather than just thinking "Oooh - that's pretty!" I have also been designing ads for few years for my husbands business and my own - with no prior training but no budget for professionals. However, NOW, I can look at them and see immediate ways for improvement.

Robin is right - once you can name a design principle or recognise a design problem, you can solve it.

I'm now reading The Non-Designer's Web Book. First I thought it was too basic for me... but now I'm hooked and lights are switching on with each turn of the page.
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Format: Paperback
Even to one who thought he knew something about design, reading this book has been a life changing experience. I have not stopped rabbiting on about it to all my friends since I finished it. I am now reading the presentation book from the same series, which is equally good.

When I first looked at buying the book I wondered if it would be too basic for me. The book is 'basic' in the sense that it will give good advice to the complete beginner, but it also has a lot to offer the more experienced designer as well. Beautifully written, it hands out 'bite sized' chunks of information that will make you go "wow, yeah, of course" on every page. The info is presented in a very readable and entertaining way, for a 'how to' book it is a real page turner, I read the whole thing in about three days.

If you have a degree in design, you probably don't need this book, but the rest of us can learn a lot from it.
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