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4.8 out of 5 stars44
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 29 June 1998
As a professional graphic designer at a community college in Maryland, I deal with VIPs (Visually Illiterate Person) every day. Whenever a non-designer co-worker asks for advice on a DTP project, I recommend this book. If they are in my office, I pull out my copy and SHOW them how good it is. This small, easy-to-read book communicates basic design principles clearly without using fancy jargon. The ample "before and after" examples speak volumes-- with a glance, the reader can see the difference between uninformed design and design with the basic principles used. Anyone who uses a computer for Desktop Publishing should be required to own this book! P.S. All of Robin's books are this good!
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on 10 February 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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on 24 June 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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on 7 September 2003
A really useful and easy read. You don't feel you are being talked down to or that the author is trying to blind you with science. It carries you on a journey of learning. It won't make you a professional designer, but it teaches you to use CRAP(*) to make sure your designs aren't!
Robin is a brilliant communicator and you feel that she is there beside you helping you discover what makes good design. Lots of illustrations help get the points across.
(*) CRAP is the acronym for four key principles of design that are logically explained throughout the book. I won't steal Robin's thunder by saying what it stands for. You'll have to get the book for that. It's worth it.
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on 20 June 1997
This book will get you to "think visually" whenever you look at a printed page. More than to just recognize the good, bad and plain 'ol ugly, you'll learn techinques to make any document you produce compelling and a joy to read.

My day job includes producing proposals of anywhere from 6 to 100 pages, and since I first read this book about a year ago, I've been getting raves from clients that they always want to pick my stuff up first from the piles they recieve.

Another plus is that all of Robin William's books are clearly, concisely and compactly composed. They are a joy to read, especially after slogging so many 300-500 page desktop design books.
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on 19 October 1998
I help organizations establish their own multimedia teams and have been wondering for some time how to teach "ordinary computer users" (with no creative background) to create professional looking multimedia projects.
Well, although this book was meant for the print media, I still found it outstanding as a tool to teach non-creative background multimedia designers basic design concepts that really make their projects look more proefessional.
So, if you are developing multimedia/web-site projects, THIS BOOK IS A MUST FOR YOU TOO!
Keep up the good work!
Edwin Wong
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on 29 January 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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on 8 July 1997
This, and other Robin Williams books will not only change the way you create printed documents, it will change the way you evaluate a printed page. In a clear, concise, and informative style, you'll learn the principles of good design.

Another distinguishing plus is that this book is a joy to read. The majority of desktop publishing books are written by designers who need training in writing; this is certainly not the case here.

A must-have, along with "The Mac/PC Is Not A Typewriter" and her other books.
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on 26 June 2002
Robin Williams is a real master when it comes to design. Not only because she really knows what she's talking about, but also because she knows how to speak (write) about it.
I think the name of the book speaks for itself - it was written for non designers. It explains the basics of graphic design and typography in a simple way, with lots of humor and lots of examples to make your learning easier.
It's the best way to start if you have no graphic design experience
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on 27 August 1999
GREAT book! I bought this solely on the reviews below and was skeptical, but the price was right and I cannot get it anywhere else due to my location.
I must say I am thrilled with it. It immediately starts showing you the principles of design, how small changes can make huge differences, and has really helped me in layout for a local newsletter I do.
I cannot recommend it enough.
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