Graphic Design Texts

I do not have any graphic design experience and I’ve been gently told that my first web page attempt “needs work” on the graphic design. Fair enough, but I need help.

A search on Amazon turns up plenty of graphic design text books, some quite expensive. I’d value some recommendations, if anyone has any suggested texts.

I’m looking for a text book that:

  1. Accommodates beginners but is not restricted to beginners only.
  2. Is focussed on web page design from a graphic design perspective.
  3. Emphasizes clean and simple design and avoids the splashy and eye-catching. And definitely no “cute.”

I’m not trying to make web pages that sell anything - I want to make web pages that provide attractive containers for the content without detracting from the content.

Initially I want to make two unrelated web pages: one will be for photo galleries, the other will be for a fine arts graduate to show her work and experience.

Any suggestions?


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I’ve taught graphic design to university students and to businesses using
Robin Williams excellent series of books.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&sort=relevancerank&search-alias=books&ie=UTF8&field-author=Robin%20Williams


Ernie Simpson

On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 4:01 PM, Ian Burden email@hidden wrote:

I do not have any graphic design experience and I’ve been gently told that
my first web page attempt “needs work” on the graphic design. Fair enough,
but I need help.

A search on Amazon turns up plenty of graphic design text books, some
quite expensive. I’d value some recommendations, if anyone has any
suggested texts.

I’m looking for a text book that:

  1. Accommodates beginners but is not restricted to beginners only.
  2. Is focussed on web page design from a graphic design perspective.
  3. Emphasizes clean and simple design and avoids the splashy and
    eye-catching. And definitely no “cute.”

I’m not trying to make web pages that sell anything - I want to make web
pages that provide attractive containers for the content without detracting
from the content.

Initially I want to make two unrelated web pages: one will be for photo
galleries, the other will be for a fine arts graduate to show her work and
experience.

Any suggestions?


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Thanks. That does look like a good suggestion. I’ve ordered one of the combined volumes of Design and Type. The reviews were less encouraging for the Web design one, so I’ve skipped that, for now at least. Did I make a mistake?


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No, the one you ordered is what I used. You will find it’s very basic, so
don’t feel insulted by it but embrace its simplicity. Good design is like
good cooking - very simple and basic.

To help grasp the fundamentals, start looking at “designed things” and
evaluate them based on the topics in the book. When you can see what others
are doing right (or wrong) then it will be easier to evaluate your work as
well.

Please let me know how you progress with this.

Best wishes…

Ernie Simpson

On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 6:53 PM, Ian Burden email@hidden wrote:

Thanks. That does look like a good suggestion. I’ve ordered one of the
combined volumes of Design and Type. The reviews were less encouraging for
the Web design one, so I’ve skipped that, for now at least. Did I make a
mistake?


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Thanks for the advice. I’ll get back to you, but I won’t have the book for another week (I’m always a sucker for free shipping) so it’ll take a little while.

I like to embrace simplicity too. I spent my career designing structures, and simple was always best.


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Robin Williams’ stuff was a great start for me, too.

I’d also highly recommend Before and After magazine by John McWade. I’ve seen “pro” designers steal his stuff. :slight_smile:

http://www.bamagazine.com/

He also has a YouTube channel so you can see some of his ideas there.

Simplicity? McWade has it in spades.


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On 6 Jun 2012, at 22:51, Ernie Simpson wrote:

I’ve taught graphic design to university students and to businesses using
Robin Williams excellent series of books.

I’ll second that. I have the one called ‘The Non-Designer’s Design Book’ and it’s excellent.

best wishes,

Paul Bradforth

Holiday in wonderful Cornwall:
http://www.stoneybeckcottage.co.uk


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Simplicity? McWade has it in spades.

Indeed he does. Fascinating stuff, and I really enjoyed the youtube posts that I watched. Many thanks for the links.


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Please let me know how you progress with this.

Well, the book turned up a couple of days ago and I’m most impressed with it. It seems to be just what I wanted; thanks to all for the excellent recommendation.

Before receiving the book I redesigned my web page and now I’m using the book chapter by chapter to see how well I did and changing my new design accordingly. It’s still recognizably the same design but there’s a lot of polishing going on, based on Robin Williams’ advice. Just finished implementing the alignment advice - that was a challenge!


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Good to hear this, Ian. Keep up the good work!


Ernie Simpson

On Sun, Jun 17, 2012 at 4:49 PM, Ian Burden email@hidden wrote:

Well, the book turned up a couple of days ago and I’m most impressed with
it. It seems to be just what I wanted; thanks to all for the excellent
recommendation.

Before receiving the book I redesigned my web page and now I’m using the
book chapter by chapter to see how well I did and changing my new design
accordingly. It’s still recognizably the same design but there’s a lot of
polishing going on, based on Robin Williams’ advice. Just finished
implementing the alignment advice - that was a challenge!


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