Book “The Non-Designer’s Design Book”

Robin Williams will tell you how CRAP design can actually be made into a good one.

book coverThe Non-Designer’s Design Book cover
(enlarged version)

When CRAP means Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity. These are 4 very important elements of design. Without them, a layed out page will look amateurish and might not deliver the message you want it to deliver.

Robin Williams, the author of The Non-Designer’s Design Book, aims at putting you in control of your design, giving you the specific terminology related to the design principles she explains in the book, as well as many illustrations that help you better understand the practical application of those design principles.

The author also explains some basic principles related to type because, as she says, “Type is the building block of any printed page.” The book is therefore divided in two sections: one covering general design principles and one covering principles specifically concerning type.

This book is aimed at those people who do not have a background in design and for whom this is a really good resource and an excellent starting point. Teachers who would like to use this book with their new students could greatly benefit from the clear and simple explanations provided by Robin Williams.

As the author says:

This book is not intended to take the place of four years of design school. I do not pretend that you will automatically become a brilliant designer after you read and apply this little book. But I do guarantee that you will never again look at a page in the same way. I guarantee if you follow these basic principles, your work will look more professional, organized, unified, and interesting. And you will feel empowered.

Designorati: DTP Editor’s rating: 3 out of 5
Title: The Non-Designer’s Design Book
Author: Robin Williams
Publisher: Peachpit Press, Berkeley, California
ISBN: 0321193857

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6 thoughts on “Book “The Non-Designer’s Design Book””

  1. Robin Williams’ books are targeted at desktop publishers at best, at worst they are written on a 4th grade level to appeal to the lowest common denominator in the design field. I read her “The Mac Is Not A Typewriter” and I found the section explaining the copying of file as “…a little magic man jumps out and moves the file where you want it” to be grade school level and not worthy of being called a design text.

  2. Mark, I do agree that the Non-Designers Design book is definitely not for experienced designers, and that is also what she says at the beginning of her book. It’s definitely a start for those who are not designers yet. I didn’t read her other book you mentioned, so I can’t say anything about that.

  3. I agree with Mark’s assessment of Robin Williams’s books being pretty dumbed down, but I also agree with Elisabetta. I would have gotten so much out of her books back when I was just starting my career and my only notion of “design” was the crappy collection of fonts and clip art at the local newspaper where I worked.

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