Graphic Design Book Includes Product Design

BOOK REVIEW
Graphic Design for Non-Designers is a new book by Tony Seddon and Jane Waterhouse released by Chronicle Books, that describe professional skills for a novice designer.

What I like about this book is that it doesn't fill the pages with endless lists of products you could purchase for graphic design.

For example, there are thousands of materials and different kinds of equipment available to purchase, but this books narrows things down to a few items, and it speaks to the reader in first person, as if you were listening to a friend offering advice.

I was quite humored that on the mere 2 page section that covers what kind of computer to buy, the first paragraph basically said: "get a mac." That's something you don't see too often. Books have a tendency to be timid about voicing strong opinions about products, and often make apologies for why they didn't choose the other companies.

Besides the first chapter on materials, the other 5 chapters include topics on Spacing, grouping, rules, borders, images, choosing a color and font, along with image preparation, and resources. About half the book consists of images, so it's easy to digest the main bullet points.

A great chapter called "The projects" goes through 20 projects; explaining step by step how to do everything from designing banners to promotional brochures to menus. The photographs are colorful, vibrant and display actual products and the steps you should go through to accomplish the task. It is clear what you are aiming for.

Being in the art licensing field, I was particularly impressed that the book even included a section on how to build a pattern for giftwrap. Product design is something I've rarely seen in a design book. Most books have a tendency to ignore surface design and often rely on advertising and text design as their primary subject matter.


I sometimes wish graphic design courses would grab a book like this, and just have students use it on the spot, instead of dragging students through semester of color theory. While both are eventually essential, this book really gives you the nuts and bolts to get started, so you can produce something fast, and feel confident you have done your homework.

1 comment :

Laura Smith said...

thanks Kate, I am enjoying your blog tremdously and as a graphic designer looking to break into art licensing and product design, i find your tips very helpful. I'm so grateful to find so many answers to all of my questions in one place!

Most artists and designers have design skills instinctively, but It's helpful to learn the basic concepts to back that up

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