Graphic Artists Guild Handbook for 1997 - Pricing and Ethical Guidelines If you're a web designer, graphic designer, or illustrator, and you can only afford one professional book, this is it. This book is chock full of meat and potatoes information about the real world of design. The book has a heaping helping of contract templates, lists of comparative fees for sample jobs, information on artist's representatives, copyright, syndication, negotiation, kill fees, work for hire, and much more. It's a gem of a book, and usually the first thing I look at before I negotiate a job. New to this edition is sample pricing for web jobs.
The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams. If you feel yourself floundering when it comes to creating a simple layout or choosing a typeface, this is a wonderful book. It's small, but just the right size to make its points about common sense and graphic design. Robin Williams discusses balance, harmony, repetition, and contrast in an easy to digest way. You'll feel much more confident about your design decisions after you read this book. The book is black and white, but you won't miss color. The layout is simple and elegant.
The Desktop Publisher's Idea Book by Chuck Green. If you think black and white has to be blah, check out Chuck Green's book. You'll find wonderful bold examples that you can create in any DTP program. There are great examples of letterhead, bumper stickers, invitations, packaging, and even office forms. Each is clearly described, and illustrated with a photograph of the finished project.
About Face - The Essentials of User Interface Design by Alan Cooper. This is a simply amazing book if you're intrigued by human/computer interaction, and the effect of good and bad design on the user's experience. Cooper skewers both Mac and Windows for making users lives more difficult than they need to be. When, for example, have you ever seen a program crash gracefully? Or a useful error message?
If you think that design is a higher calling than utility, this is not the book for you. If, however, you're intrigued by how to make things simpler, easier and more enjoyable for people using your software, your web site, or anything else you create, you may well find this book thought provoking.
Looking Good in Color: The Desktop Publisher's Design Guide by Gary Priester. This is a practical guide to using color in design. Gary's book demonstrates, with various real-world projects, how and why colors are used in designs ranging from airline logos to snack food packaging to an identity for a Savings & Loan company. If you're looking for inspiration and guidance on using color, this book is a great choice. The book is in full color.
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