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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

The Graphic Design Exercise Book

Authors: Carolyn Knight & Jessica Glaser
Originally Published: 2010
Publisher: HOW Books, an imprint of F+W Media
Source: Purchased

The Story

The Graphic Design Exercise BookFrom the back of the book:

Graphic designers like to be creatively challenged. These design briefs act as sparks to fire your creativity and exercises to broaden your skill set. As prompts for developing your own personal projects they can lead to unexpected developments and revitalized portfolios, helping you break into new and lucrative areas of the design industry.

Each brief is illustrated with inspiring reference material providing a visual resource that can be utilized well beyond this book. Sample roughs and visuals show work in progress to give you an insight into the thought processes and creative bent of other designers. Industry insiders share their specialist knowledge, offering professional advice on a selection of fully realized projects.

As an additional research tool, The Graphic Design Exercise Book gives you a full glossary and reading list for every genre covered, including:

  • packaging
  • visual identity and branding
  • page layout
  • music graphics
  • screen-based design

The Response

This has been sitting on the TBR for a few years now. I’ve been off work for a couple of weeks now, however, and wanted to keep myself doing creative design work, and this seemed like the best time to pick this book up.

This book is split up into five sections; each section is dedicated to a different genre, complete with description about said genre, tips and tricks of what you may need to know, a glossary of terms, additional books you may want to read, and at least 3 practice projects to help you get familiar with the genre. What I found to be extremely helpful about this book is that it walks you through each project – it even tells you how you should begin researching each project, and gives some examples of similar work.

What I really didn’t like about this book was it spoke time an again about how important it is to print out your finished projects and create a mockup of it to photograph for your portfolio, while often this book itself used computer mockups of 3D objects as examples of projects. It seemed a little “do as I say, not as I do.”

This wouldn’t be a bad addition to a new graphic designer’s library. Some of it, however, I found was a little dated – especially the chapter on screen-based design. That topic, however, is difficult to cover as the technology is always changing so very quickly. SO quickly. The principals were there, but the technologies discussed weren’t necessarily what I would recommend using.

The Bottom Line

This has been a good refresher on how to research new projects, and the process that is best taken when developing good design. I’d recommend this to people just starting in the graphic design industry.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 12:48 pm July 5, 2013.
Category: Non-Fiction
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