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on 26 April 2006
Make no mistake, this book is aimed at folk that may be interested in the general ideas behind the design process. It will be of little help to those that already have a knowledge of the fundamentals of design.

A simple to follow and intuiative layout makes for easy reading. The straight forward language and abundance of picture examples showing good and bad design means that the reader absorbs all the information readily and can pick up the design tips without taxing themselves too much. It covers a great deal of ground without making the reader break into a sweat. The pace of the book is lighthearted and friendly.

This is the type of book that you can read and absorb within an hour. It excites you to start designing you own newslatter, brochure, business card, letterhead, poster etc. as soon as you have put it down. Having learned about things like, layout, type styles, proximity, heirachy, contrast, alignment etc, you will be armed with enough basic knowledge to ensure that your efforts will certainly not look amateurish anymore.

This is the type of book that can be picked up and read by anyone aged from 13 to 130 yrs. you dont need to be technically minded or a whizz kid designer to benefit from this little gem.

there are a few quizes at the back of this book that help re-inforce the info in the readers mind.

All good stuff!!
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on 14 February 2006
Don't let the apparent simplicity of this book fool you. It's one of those little things that forever changes your worldview. Definitely aimed at people new to font, type and page layout (as I was) Robin knows how to communicate the essence of page her own words, she's definitely teaching you how to handle the fishing rod! Even if you think you have a natural affinity for design, the teachings here really sharpens your eyes and offers a language to describe what you've always intuitively known. Her four basic principles (proximity, contrast, repetition, alignement) equip you to become a far better designer. Half way through the book I started to redesign even my resume...and improved it to no end! Thanks Robin.
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on 30 August 2007
Coming from a fine art background rather than graphic design, and having done design work for many people over the years, I have always had nagging doubts that I might be committing design crimes without realising it. Was I choosing the right typefaces? Was I striking the right balance between design and readability?
The answer is, that what has taken me many years to learn by trial and error, the author has condensed into a clear, easily understood, step-by-step read. It has also taught me quite a few tricks I had never considered.
You are taken through a series of single designs, looking at different aspect each time: Contrast, repetition, structure etc. and by the end you have a professional looking layout that can hold it's head up high.
Highly recommended as an easily digestible read for beginners, or others who just needed to know some of the important design rules without going too deep. Wish I'd read it years ago.
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on 4 January 2007
This book is easy to read and covers all the principles that can make great design. It doesn't matter if you want to put together a report, a flyer or the local nursery school jumble sale poster, this book will help you to design a more impressive result. I would go as far as to say this book should be required reading for any non-professional designer that is responsible for producing literature for group or public consumption.

A great starter for anyone interested in design.
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on 9 April 2012
This is a great book to have on your shelf if you're coming to web design without a graphic design background. Very similar principles apply and you may as well learn from generations of expertise gained the hard way than make all the basic mistakes yourself, right?

You don't have to learn and then apply much to make a big difference to the quality of your design work, and it'll really help you understand how other people are getting it right (or not!).

It's a great summary of the basic stuff you need to know and which will whet your appetite for the next level up.
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on 10 October 2012
This book should be essential reading for anyone let loose on PPT. It teaches you essential skills such as the meaning of proximity, contrast, color. These sound simple, but I learned a lot from this book that I should have been taught better in school. Im now famous within my company (a Fortune 500) for making amazing PPT - if you do something, why not be the best at it! lol
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on 28 April 2008
I like the concept of this book - a design book that's written for those who aren't essentially designers, but need to use design in everyday life. Based on the idea that you've never studied design before, Williams covers the essential topics and points out the biggest mistakes that beginners make with clear examples, and plenty of "before and after" shots so you not only see why something looks terrible, you also see how simply it can be fixed. It's a short book and it's not difficult to understand. However, I just can't bring myself to give it anything higher than 3 stars because Williams' writing style verges on patronising, and I found it almost TOO basic in places - once you've read it, you'll pretty much never need to refer to it again. If you're a design student, then don't even bother with this. If you're someone who uses design on a casual or non-professional level then you'll benefit from borrowing this book from your local library and reading it cover to cover, but I wouldn't spend any money on it.
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on 7 March 2014
I found this book to be very easy to understand. It makes you want to go out and re-design everyone's business cards and event posters! Applicable to all sorts of design involving text and images.
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on 2 March 2015
Not a lot of new information. It just pulled together a lot of things I already knew, I just did not know I knew them. If that makes sense.
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on 4 November 2003
...and you don't have a scoobie about basic design principles. Some of the things Robin goes through might be quite obvious, some of it new. But altogether they can make you're page dissertation, stationery, business card or website so much different.
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