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on 24 December 2003
As a Graphic Design Student i was looking to buy a few books that could help influence my work and give me some new and original ideas to deign solutions.
unfortunately this book doesn't really do it for me. If found that the majority of solutions it presents are fairly unoriginal, with very few designs standing out as good ideas.
As a book I thought it was ironic that a book that's supposed to be about original design and layout has such a boring layout throughout the book. It's also a pity that it does nothing to explain methods behind different arrangements and configurations. The stale feel of this book is not helped by the fact all illustrations are in black and white and show layouts that only theoretical (ie blocks to represent dense text)-some 'real' solutions would have been nice.
The only real good things about this book is price, and the speed at which you can see a number of design solutions.
I will probably look at this book if I need to complete a brief in a very short space of time...but I very much doubt it will inspire any masterpieces. This book may be good for someone who is an amateur designer or perhaps just starting out in the field of graphics, but for people who want to experiment and produce work that’s unique, I would look elsewhere.
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on 10 May 2002
This book is packed full of ideas for layouts! It's light and handy to carry, 137 pages of pure inspiration! I'm a Graphic Design Student in my second year and I find it very helpful. Literally pick it up and open on any page and your faced with 18 layout options (double page).
This book is just to give you idea's though, A good designer will take on these ideas and make them his/her own. Some are very obvious but you'll find that no matter how obvious they are you probably wouldnt have thought of them and they can be modified to suit any design need!
This book is literally all about layouts so theres very little type explaining them. but then again, whats to explain?! you pick a layout you like and turn it into whatever you want!
Cheers...
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on 6 March 2004
I wish I'd read Si's review before I bought this title.
It's not a bad book but I'd recommend it for beginners at best. For my own requirements it's a little limp. There are lots of pretty layouts and solutions and it can help you get out of a rut but I didn't find it especially inspirational.
I got caught up in the sales pitch and the "millions of copies" sold sort of buzz.
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on 9 December 2002
I found this book okay, it consists of pages showing the basic frame work of a page layout or how text can be shown differently. There are no photographs or "real" examples in this book and the pages are all black and white.
However it would be useful if you had a mental block, for say a design of an editorial page, and needed to produce something quickly, as you could dip into the book and come up with a few different ideas.
Good value for money!
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on 27 January 2005
I love this book. It's chock full of great design ideas and you just have to be open-minded about how, when or why you're using them. The best thing about it is it's vagueness - which usually isn't a great thing about a book. But the fact it keeps the ideas very general and doesn't load them full of subjective content is ideal if you're trying to kickstart the kernel of a design concept but don't want to be overloaded with influence to the point of being tempted into blatant plagiarism. It wont solve all cases of designers block, but just staring at the pages for a while can be the catalyst for loads of little ideas that can be the fuel for a new project. It's pretty cheap too for a book that has given me so much inspiration. Highly recommended to the open-minded but if you want your ideas on a plate then just open a magazine, steal the concepts and try to sleep at night :)
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on 11 November 2010
Some people have found this book to be invaluable while others had considered it useless. My point of view is that this book serves you well as a stimulus for inspiration. It has plenty of ideas, not all of them are very practical and many of the ideas are poorly executed. I think this is why some people have not found favour with this book. The thing is that the execution doesn't have to matter very much when the basic principle is communicated well enough.
Given that this book has little to no annotation it really serves as a reference allowing you to browse through various ideas giving head start during the early experimental stage. You do have to have some sounds understanding of design principles and an idea of what you want to achieve if you want to use this book properly however.
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on 27 May 2005
When I first opened this book I was disappointed as it is all black and white and didn't look very inspiring. When I looked closer I realised the book is in fact thumb nails of page layout variations. The designs are at a very early stage ie, one step further than brainstorming. This book provides a good starting point. It is good for kick starting ideas.
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on 25 April 2006
.

Having read the reveiws for this book, it seems to be one of those that people either love or hate. As a relative beginner in graphic design, i found that this book was extremely helpful.

It has 140 pages Completely in black and white each of which are filled with 9 small sized layout templates. There is no supporting text, but the layouts themselves are self explanatory. The templates cover areas such as grids, heirachy, symmetry, edges, etc..

It is a great book if you are searching for a layout style and wish to veiw some in condensed form. It is not really a 'how to' book, but more of a 'how it will look when done' book.

I guess that the title of the book is really quite apt. The book does not really talk at all about the quality of 'ingredients' for a successful layout, but it does show 'recipies' for the amount of each 'ingredient' required to make the perfect layout.

A big bonus for buying from amazon, is that you can click on the thumbsized picture of the books cover at the top of this page and scroll through the first few pages of the book to see exactly how it looks....so no excuses for being surprised about its content!
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on 9 November 2002
Personally I found this book very useful. The fact that there is an extreme lack of text in the book isn't a problem because the book is packed full of inspirational ideas for any possible layout you may need. I also found myself turning to this book when I needed help with designs becuase there is a section on manipulating images and presenting them in different ways. The only reason I have given this book 3stars is because I was expecting some written text to explain ideas but I still find the book very useful in almost any project that i may carry out.
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on 11 October 2006
If you're a professional designer who likes to be really creative, this book has odd snippets of inspiration, but is mainly a tool for novice designers looking for quick fix solutions and ideas.
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