Jan 19, 2009

Graphical Blast from the Past

Things have certainly changed a lot since the first edition of this book by Jan V. White came out in 1980, but the 1991 edition of Graphic Idea Notebook was updated to reflect the fact that people were beginning to use computers exclusively to perform graphic design and layout, and that the days of hand paste-up had clearly passed. Along with White's well-known Editing by Design, the books provide some essential principles of good design, and are still highly relevant today.

With everything going on in Washington tomorrow, perhaps it was the image of Lincoln on the cover of this book that grabbed my attention as I was cleaning up the basement and getting books back on the shelves. While the graphics and layout of the book do have some retro charm, I have to admit that the principles contained within its pages are quite sound. Pages on image manipulation point toward the future use of Photoshop filters, and though directed toward print design, many of the ideas and suggestions would apply equally well to the web. If you can find a copy on Ebay, or at a local used bookstore (like I did) grab it.

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