I don't typically post book reviews here but I really wanted to let people know about a book that I picked up at the HOW Conference this summer. Graphic Design Referenced comes from Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit of Under Consideration (a great resource in itself).
The book first piqued my interest because of the numerous case studies throughout the latter section of the book. Without much time to look through the rest of the book thoroughly I purchased it and shipped it back to my office with a few other books from the conference. I hadn't really opened it up until this week while I was researching a new campaign but I quickly realized that it was far more useful than I'd first thought.
Graphic Design Referenced calls itself "A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design" and starts out almost like a textbook. I don't mean that in a bad way, this is the way design textbooks should be written. Among the subjects discussed are typography, print production and grid structure. The information is so well organized with so many examples that it really makes everything easy to understand and easy to remember.
The design samples and case studies continue on through the remainder of the book. In the final "Practice" section, there are numerous examples of logo design, brochure design, poster design, publication design and so on. Not only does the book provide great inspiration for future projects but the back stories provided on each one really give a lot of insight into the thoughts behinds the designs.
The massive amount of information in this book could almost be overwhelming but the authors and designers did a great job of structuring everything so it feels manageable.
There are a ton of books out there on graphic design and it can be tough to decide where to spend you're hard-earned money. I love this book because of the great content but also because I feel like I really got a lot for my $50. If you're a designer, design student or have an interest in advertising and marketing I would highly recommend this book.
Entries in Review (3)
When I first heard the rumors that Apple was going to release a Multi-Touch mouse I was excited (probably more excited than I should have been). I've been using the Mighty Mouse for years but I've never loved it. It's not horrible but my clumsy fingers have a tough time finding the right click. I figured the new Apple mouse could be the solution to all of my problems
When the Magic Mouse was actually posted to the Apple website I excitedly read through all of the features and stared at all of the slick photos. It seemed perfect. I called the Apple Store every day until they finally had them in stock and went it and bought it.
First impression was awe, as it typically is for Apple products. I loved the clear plastic box that it came in, I loved not being tied to a cord, I loved the smooth surface. It paired up well with my MacBook Pro and I quickly got to work with my new mouse. I noticed right away that the right click worked every time and I loved the ability to scroll using the entire top surface of the mouse.
I loved my new mouse for about a day. The flaws quickly became apparent. Although I mostly liked the new mouse, there were a couple of things that kept me from loving it and unfortunately they were deal breakers
The first problem is that it's just too small to be used for extended periods of time. Initially I thought that I'd get used to it, that I just needed to learn to hold it properly. However, after a couple of days of design my hand and arm just started aching. This may not be a problem if you are only using your computer for an hour or two a day but for me, using it 8+ hours a day, it was a big problem (although I do know of at least one other designer that loves the mouse).
The second problem was that I'd accidentally swipe my finger across the top of the mouse while using InDesign or other design programs. It's incredibly frustrating to be working on a document and suddenly jump to a new place. I'm aware that this problem is my own fault, and that if I were a little more coordinated I would be able to get used to using the mouse without accidental scrolling. But that's not the case and it drove me crazy.
The Apple store gives you 14 days to return a product. I wanted to give the Magic Mouse a fair chance so I used my full 14 days but in the end I just couldn't get used to it. As much as I wanted to love my shiny new Apple mouse I just couldn't get used to it.
What do you think? Have you tried the Magic Mouse? Is it working for you?
I have to apologize for not being very faithful with my blog posts lately. As work has become increasingly busy I've slacked off on the writing a little (okay, maybe a lot).
This will be a brief post but I just wanted to mention a tool that I've been using for a while and has become invaluable. If you're like me you would be lost without your to do list. I've tried several different methods of keeping track of my projects and by far the best I've found is Things from Cultured Code. Things is available for the Mac and the iPhone (sorry Windows users) and is very reasonably priced for such a robust application.
The interface is very simple to use and quick to learn. You can keep things easy with a simple itemized to do list or add further functionality using tags and organizing tasks into projects. Tasks can be scheduled for a future date and will appear at the time you specify. You can set up repeating to dos and even search through all of your tasks.
For me the best part of Things is the way it so easily syncs with my iPhone. Due to limitations from Apple it can't sync through iTunes and must be synced over a wifi connection but this can actually keep things quick and easy as long as you are on a wireless network.
I recommend taking a look at the Things web site and reading some of the other reviews, you'll see that I'm not alone in my recommendation.
Please note that I have not been compensated to write this review in any way. I've paid full-price for the Things apps, I just wanted to post this review since Things has proven so invaluable to me.