The Visual Design Primer

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9780130280701: The Visual Design Primer

A highly practical and compact reference for beginning designers, this easy-to-use “how-to” guide offers an abundance of step-by-step design development examples as it clearly explains the basic building blocks of design—how to stimulate creativity, the process of design (from thumbnails to layouts to comprehensives), and the immediate application of these concepts to specific design projects for print and electronic media. Begins with a quick background overview and continues with sections of design preliminaries, design components, design production, and the design profession. Explains concepts simply with many examples and illustrations. Lays a strong foundation for solving all kinds of design problems. Provides extensive, annotated examples of design development at the early stages when designers are most confused and easily discouraged, clearly demonstrating the steps to take to begin an actual design. Explores a full range of design applications in common print and electronic uses, such as advertisements, posters, pictograms, brochures, newsletters, web pages, and display presentations, and examines a full range of production issues, including printing techniques, paper selection and manufacture, and finished art preparation. Comes in a compact 5 1/2" x 8 1/8" size. For graphic designers, or those contemplating a career in design.

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From the Back Cover:

The Visual Design Primer is a user-friendly textbook for beginning graphic communication designers. The book explains, demonstrates, and dissects the world of design. It discusses design history, practical applications, and procedures for entering the field. Information is presented using text, visuals, and step-by-step examples, which include rough thumbnails, revised layouts and completed designs. Using a wide variety of illustrations, The Visual Design Primer demonstrates design techniques and processes in a practical, easy-to-follow style.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

This books comes as a result of years of working in, teaching in, and writing about the field of design and art. It was triggered, in part, by a desire to reach out to those standing on the sidelines contemplating a career in design; to those uncertain about their own design abilities, or, more importantly, their design capabilities. It is meant to encourage others to become designers.

Considering design as a career is a big decision fraught with uncertainty. "Is this really for me?" "Am I that creative?" There is a lot of impressive design out there. Looking at it can intimidate the undecided. "I can't possibly do that:' "I'm not good enough:' All accomplished designers started in this same place. They faced the same uncertainty. They created designs that would make them cringe today. That, however, did not cause them to remain on the sidelines and seek another career path. Why not? What gave them the confidence to think they would succeed as designers?

Designers are creative, visual problem solvers, whether designing advertisements, brochures, video graphics, web sites, three-dimensional products, or skyscrapers. Just as some people speak with their hands, designers think with their fingers. They are always doodling or scribbling on paper, always converting what they think or see into a visual form. This is impossible to stop; it is the way they process information and develop solutions. It is not wasting time; it is satisfying a need; it is how they function.

For many students contemplating design as a career, acknowledging that need is what keeps pulling them back to design. What they create now is not exceptional or publishable, but it is visual, and it is satisfying. Like a diamond in the rough waiting to be cut, polished, and put out for display, the ability needs to be nurtured, honed, and disciplined. It will take several years of study and hundreds of completed projects for it to mature. The experience will be both satisfying and at times frustrating. The end result, however, will prove worth the journey and the future design solutions a testament to the right path taken.

Susan G. Wheeler
Gary S. Wheeler

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