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soforia.int@chello.at (Vienna, Austria)

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The Big Book of Design Ideas
The Big Book of Design Ideas
by David E. Carter
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Big Book of Design Ideas falls short of its promise, 4 Mar 2001
The Big Book of Design Ideas falls short of its promise: "great works could inspire great works".
Apart from the blurb on its inside jacket, there is no introduction, or preface or prefatory note that gives the reader a sense for the what, the how and the why. For me, an introduction is part and parcel of a good, non-fiction book.
Many times over The Big Book of Design Ideas slips badly on its presentation because the captions, though concise, aren't as clear as they could be. There are no section dividers; and we're talking about a book nearly 400 pages long.
On page 89, for example. I see one of the pieces of work on display: a white envelope with its contents strewn about. The caption reads: creative firm Square One Design. Grand Rapids, Michigan. Art direction Mark Gorman. Designer Elena Tislevics. Client John Woodcomb. As there are no section dividers, the only clue as to what this piece is is on the contents page about 90 pages behind. Only then did I find out that it's probably a catalogue or a brochure.
Compare that to this caption on page 150 of Typography now: the next wave: Emigre. Magazine pages. Emigre Graphics, USA, 1989 (opposite), 1990 above. (Note: I have also reviewed Typography now: the next wave for Amazon.co.uk.)
Yes. I believe that great works could inspire great works. But visual presentation counts a lot, especially when you're talking about page layout and design.
The Big Book of Design Ideas could have been truly big and inspirational if only the people behind it took care of the details.
I only hope that the editor, the art director, the designers and the publisher of The Big Book of Design Ideas would consider and take care of the small details. That is if the book makes it to the next edition. That is if they want to come up with a book that is truly inspiring...


Typography Now: The Next Wave
Typography Now: The Next Wave
by Rick Poynor
Edition: Paperback

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb treatise on the current state of typefaces, 4 Mar 2001
Typography now: the next wave is a superb treatise--visually and intellectually--on the current state of typefaces. The book itself is a journey through the soul of design excellence and creativity, pushing the concepts way beyond the pedestrian. Yet it manages to retain the calm dignity of legibility.
Some books on type and design promise what they can't deliver. Typography now: the next wave is a heady, visual narrative that can capture your imagination and set free the possibilities within. It has achieved that perfect relationship among designers, editors and typographers: an intuitive synergy oozing out of each and every page, cover to cover.
The introduction by editor Rick Poynor aptly sets the tone for what readers can expect: "becoming an active participant in the construction of the message". A section divider clearly demarcates each section; and the captions are clear and concise.
I can't wait to get my hands on the next book by the people responsible for Typography now: the next wave.


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