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  1. #1
    Say WHA?! goober's Avatar
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    A must-have design book!

    Okay, before I begin, a quick disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with this book, author, or publishing company in any way, shape or form. I simply love her design techniques.

    This book, by Robin Williams, is entitled "The Non-Designers Design Book". The book covers not only paper design, but typography and font styles as well. The book conveys four main principles that I really love:

    Contrast: This states that if two elements on a page are not alike, make them drastically different. For example, if you use a 16-point font for a headline and a 14 pt. font for a body paragraph, well, there's not going to be any noticable difference. It give tips on how to contrast certain things, and how to tell a contrast problem.

    Repetition: In this section, she talks about how once your design is established, you have to repeat the design throughout the paper / page. This makes your site / page / document more uniform and the design integrates better.

    Alignment: This is perhaps my favorite section. Shows the advantage of all forms of alignment, and simple tricks that can be done to put less strain on the user's eyes and to make the eyes go where you want them to go. Besides that, it shows you how to use your own eyes to tell you of alignment problems. Uses simple illustrations to demonstrate, such as a business card.

    Proximity: Last, but certainly not least, it explains proximity. Proximity is grouping things that go together by themselves, and how to not make things muddled (uses examples such as lists and such). Put the same topics together, etc.

    I won't even get into the typography section, as there's too much to cover, but in short it's a great book.

    Here's the information, in short, on the book

    Title: "The Non-Designers Design Book"
    Author: Robin Williams
    Pub. Company: PeachPit Press
    Link on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...749322-5844518

    Just thought I'd give you guys the head's up, as I always use these techniques when thinking up designs and reviewing webs sites.

    Happy Coding!

    P.S If you notice, the sections I've outlined form a convenient acronym to help you all remember. (Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity. )
    Sean Killeen [LinkedIn] [Twitter] [Web]

    Warning: Reality.sys corrupted. Universe halted. Reboot? (Y/N)

  2. #2
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    I totally concurr. I find this book maybe a little bit simplistic for me, but I recommend it to all my students who are just starting out. A lot of the stuff is common sense but you can see the lightbulb lighting above their heads when they read it.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
    beley's Avatar
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    You've got me convinced! I've put "A Non-Designers Design Book" and "A Non-Designers Type Book" both on my Christmas list!

    They look like really good books, we'll see...

  4. #4
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    Hee hee I started my Amazon wishlist for Christmas in July.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy redemption's Avatar
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    i read another one of Robin's books (which she co-authored)... "A non-designers web design book" or something like that... it was good for beginners...

    anyway, they explain stuff in very simple terms so it gets across to the reader very easily... based on that i'd say i second that recommendation

  6. #6
    Not a post-script error?!! guysmy's Avatar
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    Red face

    As a designer, I would never read a non-designer book. However since you were mentioning legibility and type-size, here's a volume for you when you become a solid enough non-designer.

    The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...349383-2483807

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict DevilBear's Avatar
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    Robin Landa is excellent Especially her books on creativity, which are good for both designers and non-designers alike :P

  8. #8
    Not a post-script error?!! guysmy's Avatar
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    I saw that book, but the term "non-designer" turned me off. Maybe I'm too judgemental...

  9. #9
    Say WHA?! goober's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DevilBear
    Robin Landa is excellent Especially her books on creativity, which are good for both designers and non-designers alike :P
    You mean Robin Williams?
    Sean Killeen [LinkedIn] [Twitter] [Web]

    Warning: Reality.sys corrupted. Universe halted. Reboot? (Y/N)

  10. #10
    SitePoint Addict DevilBear's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if you were joking, but I really did mean Robin Landa. For example, her book Thinking Creatively.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy redemption's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DevilBear
    I'm not sure if you were joking, but I really did mean Robin Landa.
    he probably wasn't joking... we were on the topic of robin william's book...

    you probably should have said that the robin u were referring to was a different lady

  12. #12
    SitePoint Addict DevilBear's Avatar
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    LOL! Sorry abou that. Landa's books are STILL excellent, though.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast AppleCider's Avatar
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    As a Mac person, I've always been a fan of Robin Williams ("The Little Mac Book" and others)

    She's co-written another, aimed at professional web designers: "Web Design Workshop" Excellent book.
    You might as well fall flat on your
    face as bend too far over
    backwards.

  14. #14
    epsilon transition cupid's Avatar
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    Ah yes, I have this book. I haven't gotten around to read it.. maybe this will give me some incentive.


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