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Notes on Book Design Hardcover – 4 May 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st Edition edition (4 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300103476
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300103472
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 1.9 x 31.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 866,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


'....a jubilee celebration of the art of fine design by an expert practitioner' -- The Guardian, October 16 2004

'Inspirational and revealing...Birdsall comes across not only as a brilliant craftsman but also a gifted teacher' -- Creative Review

'It covers everything from how a typeface affects the text to positioning pictures on the page' -- The World of Interiors


In a career spanning more than forty years, Derek Birdsall has established himself as one of Britain's leading book designers. This practical, inspirational and educational book distils a lifetime's experience in designing books, and presents and discusses nearly fifty books he has designed, showing 360 spreads and covers, all in their original colours and to scale. The designs range from 1960s' Penguin paperback covers to a recent complete redesign of The Church of England's book of Common Worship. They include books on wine, chess, astronomy, architecture, and fine paper and one for Monty Python, as well as many of his award-winning catalogues for museums and galleries around the world, and the monumental catalogues raisonnes on Mark Rothko, Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz for the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The introductory section deals with the process of book design, from brief to deadline (which he calls the designer's muse) - and illustrates his ideas on formats, covers and spines, bleeds, silhouettes, maps, diagrams, and the commissioning of illustration and photography.

An appendix includes an innovative metric grid system, specimen settings of his favourite text faces, and comparative settings in English and other languages. His biography is illustrated by his graphic work in other fields, and the bibliography includes books Birdsall has found useful or inspiring. This uniquely informative and instructive book will appeal equally to students of typography and graphic design as well as to anyone with an interest in the design or production of books.

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Top customer reviews

7 January 2013
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
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19 November 2004
Format: Hardcover
9 people found this helpful
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28 August 2014
Format: Hardcover

Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
3.0 out of 5 starsElegant, interesting, but ultimately not useful
15 January 2006 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
13 people found this helpful.
2.0 out of 5 starsUnfortunately Useless
30 July 2006 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
7 people found this helpful.
Jonathan G. Bressel
3.0 out of 5 starsLooked at this book when designing mine
14 November 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Benson Chong
5.0 out of 5 starsVery good book on book design
12 July 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
2.0 out of 5 starsThe work in here is really dated
9 May 2011 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase

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