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Face it; you’re not a Web designer. You may try your digital best, but hey, you’ve never been trained in the art of virtual aesthetics. But that’s okay, because we can’t all be Web Van Gogh’s. 

However, for those of us that run websites and don’t have a dedicated design team to allocate work to, it’s still necessary to participate in the design process, from wireframing to reviewing, and all those little tweaks along the way.

Luckily, there are plenty of great creative design tools available on the Web that are easy enough that any non-designer can use them. Check out the list below to see if there’s something that can help you look like you play a designer on the Web.

deviantART muro

muro, by deviantART, is a browser-based HTML5 drawing application for the site’s members that allows them to create images from scratch, featuring over 20 brushes, multiple filters and the ability to add layers to an image.

Fluid UI

This is a mobile app prototyping tool that lets users quickly and easily create interactive mockups and wireframes of mobile applications for Android, iOS and Windows 8.


Ever had a great image to share that just needs a little explanation to make sense? Have you been looking for a better way to engage your audience with photos? Well, Label59 is for you, as this Web app provides an intuitive toolset that lets users label photos and even create an interactive presentation in minutes.


Sumopaint offers a fast and simple graphics editor application for Web browsers, PCs or iPads that works in 22 different languages, and includes a basic version that is always free for everyone.

Actual Reports Designer

While Actual Reports Designer is really a multi-faceted tool for creating simple designs, it is particularly useful for non-designers that want to generate QR codes to market their services, products or content. The tool includes a library of over 500 industry standard signs and symbols to choose from, as well as a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface.


One of the more popular online video editors available, WeVideo includes three distinct editing modes (Storyboard, Timeline and Advanced) to allow users to edit videos however they’d like. In addition, it integrates with YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Box and many other websites.

Balsamiq Mockups

This is another wireframing tool that basically lets users feel like they’re “drawing” an early version of their websites, while allowing for various tweaks and rearrangements at any time. Plus, it is collaboration friendly, so teams can create a design and modify it in real time during a meeting.


MindMeister is a mind mapping software with a particular focus on collaboration that has been used by everyone from EA to CNN to Oracle to help users visualize their thinking.


In the wake of Picnik, a number of free image editing services emerged, but none of them are as efficient and user-friendly as Pixlr, which is why it is now the Web’s most popular online photo editor.


Turn everyday videos into memorable movies with Magisto, the automated online video editor the selects the best parts of a user’s video, adds the music, themes and effects they select, and the puts it all together to create ‘beautiful” films that can be easily shared with others.


This simple online application makes it easy (and kind of fun) to test what people remember on a website. Simply enter the URL into the empty bar to create a test, and then see what users report to be the most impactful elements of the page.


Like Clue, this app was created by the folks at ZURB and makes it easy to share ideas on a website. Again, just enter a URL, and then users can highlight specific areas on a page and leave feedback for the website owner.


It always helps to have a roadmap, so that’s why services like Moqups are so nice. This Web-based HTML5 application lets users create wireframes, mockups and prototypes of their websites with an incredibly intuitive interface.


IcoMoon was the Web’s first custom icon font builder, meaning it allows users to choose specific icons that they need and turn them into a unique font to improve compatibility we various screen readers.


Users can publish, embed and share interactive 3D models with Sketchfab. The tool supports 27 different native 3D formats with no plugin required and unlimited uploads.

HTML Banner Maker

Create banners that work across all devices using HTML5 with this Web app that requires no prior coding knowledge.


NodeFire is an HTML5-based interactive animation create that lets users quickly and easily design banners, advertisements, text effects, drop-down menus, scrolling items, marquees, buttons, mini games and much more.


With TweenUI, it takes no time at all to create sleek looking HTML5 banner ads that look great across mobile devices and tablets.


And if you’re looking to create rich media HTML5 ads just for mobile devices, you can turn to Mugeda, the cloud-based solution that can be easily integrated into a publisher’s existing ad platform.

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“Design, according to industrial designer Victor Papanek, is the conscious and intuitive effort to impose meaningful order. We propose a somewhat more detailed definition of human-oriented design activities:

  • Understanding users’ desires, needs, motivations, and contexts
  • Understanding business, technical, and domain opportunities, requirements, and constraints
  • Using this knowledge as a foundation for plans to create products whose form, content, and behavior is useful, usable, and desirable, as well as economically viable and technically feasible

This definition is useful for many design disciplines, although the precise focus on form, content, and behavior will vary depending on what is being designed. For example, an informational Web site may require particular attention to content, whereas the design of a chair is primarily concerned with form. As we discussed in the Introduction, interactive digital products are uniquely imbued with complex behavior.

When performed using the appropriate methods, design can provide the missing human connection in technological products.”


text: About Face, The Essentials of Interaction Design 3
Bill Verplank’s sketch-lecture to CCRMA HCI Technology course, Stanford University, 2000.

bowser CSS

Links List

The Grid System for Design and Layout


The user needs to be able to scan, read and understand a page quickly


Use a grid system for the placement and alignment of all visual objects on the web page.


Image from : a comprehensive Grid system resource


Use when

You are designing a conventional website that needs to follow the normal visual design standards. This pattern does not necessary apply to artistic web sites where the goal is to display an explicit non-standard style. The human eye ‘sees’ a web page a certain way, roughly from the top left to the bottom right, and the eye can be guided to see elements in a pleasing and distinctive way.

Grid Used on Audio Auto Ad

Image from



A grid is a technique that comes from print design but easily be applied to web design as well. In its strictest form a grid is literally a grid of X by Y pixels. The elements on the page are then placed on the cell border lines and overall aligned on horizontal and vertical lines.

A grid is a consistent system for placing objects. It works on two levels:

  1. At the unit level of cells (e.g. 20×20 pixels) See for example the Audi example above where a strict underlying grid is used for all elements on the page. In print design such grids are called ‘modular’ grids
  2. At the column level (e.g. 4 columns) See for example the Abn-amro example below where a grid is used for defining the overall layout in terms of columns and margins. In print design such grids are called ‘column’ grids

In literature for print design, there are many variations of grids described but most are based on modular and column grids. Often you’ll encounter a mix of both types of grids.

A grid is an aid for the designer, not a goal by itself. It is therefor ok when some elements are deliberately NOT placed on a grid to create a certain effect. The grid simply creates some rhythm and guidance for the eye.


The grid creates a systematic and consistent rule for placing objects. It creates a visual rhythm. It makes it easier and more pleasant for the eye to scan the objects on the page. Page designs that do not use a grid often tend to look ‘messy’ or ‘unprofessional’.

More Examples



In this example (above) from the Abn-Amro shop you can see a different type of grid being used. Not a strict modular grid, but a grid defining some columns, margins and horizontal evenly spaced guides.


From more information on different types of grid systems and when to break the grid system, see the book ” Making and Breaking the Grid” by Timothy Samara.


Building a basic client websites, some Design tips from Adobe :

Mood: The comp is the client’s first impression of what the site really looks like. The comp should immediately convey an appropriate message, such as fun, serious, youthful, organised, trendy, or family-oriented.

• Colour: Colours should be well co-ordinated, fit the mood and tone of the site, and provide enough contrast for legibility. Discuss web-safe colours and decide whether it’s appropriate for students to design only with web-safe colours.

• Fonts: Use different fonts sparingly to be effective; consider how size and weight draw attention. Most sites are designed with one or two fonts, using size, colour, and boldface for further distinction. Ensure the contrast between the font and background colours is adequate to make the text legible. Discuss which fonts are common on Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

• Images: Images reflect the content and mood of the site. Photographs should be the highest-quality images. Graphics should match the mood and tone of the site. Text used with an image should be close enough to be visually associated with the image. The logo of an organisation should be properly positioned, sized, and so on.

• Text: Web visitors are more likely to skim than to read carefully. The biggest challenge is to use only as much text as is necessary to convey key messages. Organise the text so visitors can scan it to find relevant information.

• Navigation elements: Buttons, menus, and navigation bars should all reflect the site mood and integrate effectively with site colours, fonts, and images.

Adobe Logo Website Production Management Techniques

While there’s no perfect way to manage web production, our Website Production Management Techniques site offers a powerful framework for delivering excellent user experiences, derived from extensive research into the processes used by seasoned web professionals.

The links below (on the right) lead you through the steps to successful website production management. You’ll also find links to resources and the Production Management Online Forum.

As a work in process, our guide features both established and exploratory topics. Please give us your feedback through our Production Management Online Forum so we can address your interests as we continue building the site.

The Website Production Management Techniques site represents a joint effort by Macromedia and Kelly Goto, co-author of the book Web ReDesign: Workflow That Works and creative director of gotomedia.


Analyzing Your Industry
Understanding Your Audience
Goals and Objectives
Creating a Project Plan
Establishing Requirements
Site View
Screen View
User View
Design and Prototype
 Build and Test
Evaluate and Maintain
Online Forums


Now you’re ready to start HTML production. You need to think about graphics slicing and optimization, and building fluid pages (also called stretchable or expandable) for multiple screen resolutions. You need to think about the rollover states, and you should also work to keep within a targeted k-size for the files when they are completed. The look and feel has been approved; the pre-production work has been completed. Now it is time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

During this build phase it is extremely important to maintain clear standards for the HTML pages or templates as they are being created—especially when working with a team of HTML production coders. Work closely among the design team, the client and the production team to ensure consistency in look, feel and functionality. For dynamic sites, confirm standards for HTML and delivery.

Create the homepage and a secondary page first, then test and troubleshoot them to perfection. Once these pages are completed, tested and approved, use them as a guide and a starting point for the rest of the pages or templates.

Maintaining clear standards and consistency in code through production is a challenge. Post completed templates for sign-off and testing before moving a main navigation bar or rollover into production on multiple pages of a site.

Fluid Pages

In his book “Designing Web Usability” Jakob Nielsen suggests building for all screen resolutions by building “fluid” or expandable pages. The content flows when the browser is pulled out to 800 pixels, yet works when constrained by a smaller screen size as well. Dreamweaver 4 has a new feature that allows for the instant creation of fluid pages. Called Autostretch, this feature can automatically be applied to any column to allow the text to flow when the browser window is expanded.

autostretch example image

Slicing & Optimizing Graphics

During the Design phase, designers should have been working closely with the production team to determine how the design template would be prepared for slicing (division and cutting up of the page in preparation for HTML production) in Fireworks.

The graphics that have been sliced will now be optimized (reduced in bytes by taking out colors and information, as well as changing format to GIF or JPEG for online usage) and prepared for production. Maintain flexibility during the optimization process. A completed file might be 10-20k over your desired limitations.

Be prepared to go back into a file and re-optimize for a reduced page load. Make sure when optimizing graphics to save the original file so you can return to it for additional attempts at optimization.

Design Template

This is a Fireworks template page that has been designated with the rollover states and slicing points for production. Fireworks and Dreamweaver work seamlessly together during the production phase to ensure efficient graphics slicing and optimization. Fireworks has an export feature that will automatically name each of the states (on, rollover, off) for navigational graphics.

In the Fireworks files, text can be left as editable text (also called unrendered) or changed into a graphic image (called rendered.) Some files are created on a MAC using MAC system fonts, which will not carry over to the PC for production. Keep both rendered and unrendered layered text files on hand for editing and production ease.

Addition of Meta Tags/Alt Tags

Make sure your ALT tags are READY TO GO before the coding process begins. ALT tags, TITLE tags and META information make up the invisible content that many copywriters and clients forget about. ALT tags are important to add to text links, navigation and graphics to allow for additional information and easier navigating. They are particularly important when considering online accessibility.

When coding, there is nothing more frustrating than starting to work on a page or section, then having to go back and back again, asking questions to fill in the blanks. Know what the blanks are and how to fill them before you begin.

Dreamweaver 4 has a handy form that asks you meta data questions up front before you start each page. You can ask the client to fill out this form as you go through the production process. Sometimes there is invisible content that is due with the rest of the content but is often left until the last minute to complete.

Invisible Content

When building out the site, there are several places where content is unseen or “invisible” and therefore usually ignored. These pieces of invisible content are usually the ALT, META and TITLE tags and information. The HTML production coders are usually forced to go back and forth to get information from the client, or worse yet, make up the information themselves.

Solution? Come up with standards for handling images, navigation and text links using ALT tags. For accessibility purposes and slower-loading computers, the ALT tags give important information to the user to allow them to navigate more comfortably.

The TITLE tag is the number one resource for search engine placement—it should be descriptive and have key words individuals might search for.

On the Resources page of this site you will find a <META> Data Creation Worksheet to help you create <META> information, primarily keywords. Please don’t confuse this worksheet with directions on “how to list your site with search engines” or “how to get the best listing results”. Rather, it is a list of items to consider as you generate <META> information that will be relevant to search engines.

Light Scripting

Simple yet effective functionality can be added to your site using DHTML, JavaScript or CGI. This is called light scripting because it is usually something than can be accessed through various online resources and does not require an advanced knowledge of programming languages.

These pieces of code can be shared and modified to fit your site’s specific needs, including rollovers, functional pull-down menus, pop-up windows, forms and other simple functional areas within your site. Fireworks 4 and Dreamweaver 4 allow integrated creation of rollovers during graphics creation and production, with Fireworks even automating the creation of drop-down menus. Other types of functionality include browser sniffers and redirects; time and date stamping; experimental DHTML and more.

You will need to test these bits of functionality early on in the process to determine browser and platform compatibility.

Populating Pages

It is time to actually put content into the site. But is it ready to go? Be clear with the client about when the drop dead point is for content submission. If you have utilized the content delivery plan, you have broken the deliverables into chunks and outlined specific due dates for content, imagery and assets.

Let the client know early in the process that cost overruns may occur due to late content arrival. Production can only be efficient when all content is in, not if it is still arriving piecemeal.

As the team begins to create the actual HTML pages and move text and optimized graphics into the templates, it is important to have a clear method of tracking content. You will need to make sure that production is using the current version, that all the content is in and that the content is being used in the correct sections. You will also need to track headers, breadcrumb trails and nomenclature, maintaining standards and helping to begin the QA process.

Use Comment Tags

Who knows who will be working to update the site in a year’s time? Use comment tags to clearly indicate the start of individual sections and instructions. Tags such as <MAIN BODY COPY STARTS HERE> or <MAIN NAVIGATION BAR STARTS HERE> will help the next person working on the site to quickly and easily find sections they need to work on. Make sure everyone on the production team is using the same language to avoid major confusion down the line.

Freezing Content & Production

It is tempting to continue to feed content into the site and tweak the pages right up until launch. Why? Because you can. But the lack of blue line and press deadlines (as occur in print work) should not justify a lack of hard dates at which content and production must be frozen.

The site can be developed, fixed, tweaked and updated after the initial launch. You will have time to address issues and errors during QA testing—but don’t substitute QA time for last minute production work.

Be sure there is a clear moment when the production process ends and QA testing begins.

List of Top Essential Graphic Design Books

essential top graphic design books


I saw a thread on our graphic design message boards regarding “what are the best graphic design books in your library“. I decided to compile a list from not only our forum but from other forum posts on the net. I came up with the following graphic design books. This list contains books that seem to be essential to many graphic designers and these books would be an asset to any graphic designers’ library. If you believe that we missed a book that should be listed here, then please comment about it. Enjoy the read!

1,000 Graphic Elements: Details for Distinctive Designs – Often, the small, delightful details make a piece shine, similar to the way unique buttons on a white shirt can give it an entirely new look. This book explores 1,000 of these embellishments available to graphic designers across all kinds of projects, from books to brochures, invitations to menus, CDs to annual reports.

Marks of Excellence – Finding the roots of trademarks in heraldry, potter’s marks, monograms, and other such ancient devices, this book traces the history of the corporate visual lexicon and produces a taxonomy of the commercial age. An alphabetical section covers motifs from animals to waves, with short definitions and analyses beautifully complemented by daringly cropped and crisply photographed images. Pictures of this quality and interest would steal the show in most volumes, but the text stands up well to the challenge of images that gain force because of the familiarity of their subjects (corporate trademarks), and the unusual sense that the book’s context lends to them. Marks of Excellence is a worthwhile exploration at the modern language of ownership.

Typography: Formation +Transformation – Rather than being eclipsed by new technologies, modern typography has become a powerful medium for visual experimentation and personal expression. Creativity alone, however, is not enough to ensure the success of typographic communication. To transform even the simplest piece of information into a sophisticated message, the typographic designer must grasp theories and aesthetic principles that have shaped visual communication for centuries. Typography: Formation and Transformation explains and illustrates how these principles are key to a typographic design that captures the reader’s attention and helps to comprehend and understand the intended message.

The Elements of Typographic Style – This lovely, well-written book is concerned foremost with creating beautiful typography and is essential for professionals who regularly work with typographic designs. Author Robert Bringhurst writes about designing with the correct typeface; striving for rhythm, proportion, and harmony; choosing and combining type; designing pages; using section heads, subheads, footnotes, and tables; applying kerning and other type adjustments to improve legibility; and adding special characters, including punctuation and diacritical marks. The Elements of Typographic Style teaches the history of and the artistic and practical perspectives on a variety of type families that are available in Europe and America today. The last section of the book classifies and displays many type families, offers a glossary of typography terms, and lists type designers and type foundries. The book briefly mentions digital typography, but otherwise ignores it, focusing instead on general typography and page- and type-design issues. Its examples include text in a variety of languages–including English, Russian, German, and Greek–which is particularly helpful if your work has a multinational focus.

Why Not 1? – Why Not? Is a collection of the most notable work of the British graphic design company Why Not Associates over the last ten years. Ranging from party political broadcasts for the Labour Party through postage stamps, to an installation design for a 300-metre typographic pavement set in stone and steel, as well as award-winning Booth-Clibborn titles such as Typography Now: The Next Wave and In Soccer Wonderland. Why Not? includes the rejected design ideas as well as those that were implemented, providing a superb examination of typographic experimentation and its fusion with photography.

Why Not Associates ?2 – Why Not’s versatile and innovative work has set arresting new standards in an image-saturated world. This inspiring survey brings together their most recent work and shows how they have refined their typographic style as they explore new media, exhibition design, and architecture-scale urban pieces. More than 1500 images, specially selected and arranged by the designers themselves, are accompanied by texts that explain their unique creative process and offer useful insights to designers seeking inspiration. Over 1500 color illustrations.

Paper Graphics: The Power of Paper in Graphic Design – Paper can be an elegant solution to the challenges of graphic design. Paper Graphics examines the many ways paper choice influences design with striking examples of work from top firms (both US and overseas) gathered to offer readers creative inspiration, know how, and fresh ideas. Collected in these pages you will find graphic design in which the qualities of the paper itself inspired or directed the finished piece. Seven chapters present more than 200 inspiring examples of graphic design.

Experimental Formats and Packaging: Creative Solutions for Inspiring Graphic Design – EXPERIMENTAL FORMATS examines the shape and size of the designed page and reveals how decisions made at this initial stage of the design process have a huge impact on the finished design. Today with so much information being projected through screen in a conventional horizontal format, it is appealing to see shapes that are more unusual and more stimulating. The book provides examples of how contemporary designers are pushing the boundaries in this area and explores exciting questions such as how to make a book that does not look like a book.

Type and Typography – While writing and alphabets go back thousands of years, the history of typography is a long, rich, and unique one-spanning from the movable type used to set Guttenberg’s 42-line Bible in 1455 to today’s 21st-century computer-designed typefaces. Type and Typography is the definitive guide for every designer who works with type and layout. Carefully structured and brimming with clear examples, it covers every aspect of typography, from a historical introduction to language, writing systems, and alphabets; following with the development of letterforms and moveable type; and finishing with the evolution of the amazing digital systems available today. In addition, you’ll discover a valuable “road map” that helps you navigate among the bewildering variety of typefaces available, as well as scores of no-fail techniques for using type as a meaningful element of design and layout in all media. Plus, this comprehensive guide features a complete glossary of terms, two fascinating timelines, and much more.

Handwritten: Expressive Lettering in the Digital Age – An introduction by design historian Steven Heller places the contemporary work in a broader context of design. At the heart of the book are hundreds of examples, presented in creative themes: “˜scrawl’; “˜scratch’; “˜stitch’; “˜simulate’; “˜shadow’; “˜suggestive’; and “˜sarcastic’.

Logo Font & Lettering Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to the Design, Construction and Usage of Alphabets and Symbols – This book is a hands-on guide to the entire process of making logos and fonts and even icons, all of which, essentially, start with the ability to draw letterforms. The intent of the book, in fact, is to enable the user to end reliance on “OPF” (other people’s fonts) and learn to draw your own custom logos, fonts and lettering! This book has been almost unanimously acclaimed by professional letterers, logo designers and font creators, both young and old. It is currently in use as a text in many typography programs and several Design college educators have stated it is one of the few texts that “students are actually happy about having to purchase.”

A Smile in the Mind – This book gathers together the best examples of graphic wit over the past three decades. It includes work from over 300 designers in North America, Britain, Europe and Japan, offering designers a friendly read, a helpful source book, and a trigger for ideas. Highly recommended.

Paperwork (Phaidon Colour Library) – hardcover won acclaim: this paperback edition will reach new audiences with a more affordable price tag and an excellent display of design works from around the world.

Typography Now: The Next Wave – First published in 1991 to wide acclaim, Typography Now: The Next Wave rapidly established itself as the one indispensable guide to new experimental typography. Now available in paperback, this is the ground-breaking international survey that plotted the changing landscape of letter forms – from anti-professionalism of Edward Fella to the neo-modernist rigour of 8VO, from Zuzana Licko’s Emigre fonts to Barry Deck’s type for an imperfect world, from the extraordinary, deconstructed telephone book to seminal projects from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Pen and Mouse: Commercial Art and Digital Illustration – Much has been said about how the computer has murdered creativity. More has been said about how everything that comes out of it, or looks like it came out of it, is great. Pen and Mouse reflects a third attitude that traditional technologies and the computer come together to produce great work. And great work is what is inside, the variety, intelligence, and beauty of which can shift the imagination of any visual artist. Alongside these works there are over 40 interviews breaking apart the titles of illustrator, designer, and artist and presenting a multifaceted answer to that age-old question of the relationship between craft and technology.

Business Cards: The Art of Saying Hello (Business Cards) – Over 300 cards are grouped into sections reflecting different design approaches: Typography, Photography, Materials, Illustration and Found Objects. Proving just how inventive you can be with a limited space, this book is a rich source of ideas and inspiration both for designers and anyone wishing to make a statement with their business card.

David Carson: 2nd Sight: Grafik Design After the End of Print – While The End of Print showed the world Carson’s radical new approach, his rejection of the traditional ‘rules’ of communication, 2ndsight examines the creative process behind the work, and considers the broader implications of his intuitive approach to graphic design. Intuition is central to the book’s thesis, and its meaning and influence is explored both in Lewis Blackwell’s writing and in the evocative texts by leading designers and thinkers interspersed throughout the book.

Soak Wash Rinse Spin – Soak Wash Rinse Spin investigates the cycles of the Tolleson Design creative process through a textual and graphic layering of information involving four phases: research (the intake of as much information as they can gather), collaboration (with the client and with the other members of the creative team), visual exploration (the workbook process, which includes refinements and the examination of multiple options), and environmental influences (consideration of the ultimate purpose of the solution).

Life Style – More manifesto than monograph, Life Style is the first book to document Bruce Mau’s creative process and studio practice. Written by Mau and designed by his firm, the book is a singular album of perceptive, always thought-provoking, and often playful statements about the visual and cultural trends that influence today’s design culture. This collection of essays, observations, and personal anecdotes interspersed with project documentation manifests Mau’s unique world view and his belief that form and content are inseparable.

Los Logos – A book that is a definite ‘must have’ for each and every graphic designer in the world.

Tres Logos – Tres Logos is a state of the art visual encyclopedia on the current state and evolution of Logo Design.

The Creative Business Guide to Running a Graphic Design Business – This is the graphic design industry’s go-to guide for operating a successful business. The four sections cover organization, marketing, personnel, and operations, and provide the necessary tools unique to the specific management styles and operation agendas of a design firm. A complete appendix of business forms is also included.

Graphic Design Solutions, Third Edition – Outlines step-by-step procedures readers can apply to solve design or advertising problems. Includes projects and exercises throughout. Contains more than 275 full-color illustrations. Provides web design, web logos, annual reports, branding, and portfolio projects.

Visual Workout: Creativity Workbook – This one-of-a-kind workbook for graphic designers, which may be used independently or in conjunction with Graphic Design Solutions, 2E by Robin Landa, will stimulate your imagination and enable you to flex your creative design muscles. The exercises in this workbook expand upon graphic design applications and each exercise presents a creative problem intended to stimulate visual thinking, encourage sketching and ideas, and, most importantly, prompt you to try new approaches.

Business and Legal Forms for Graphic Designers (3rd Edition) – For designers who are about to set up their own office or for those who feel their design practices lack real organization, this book could be immensely helpful. It provides straightforward information, a usable business system as well as a variety of business and legal forms that can be copied and put into immediate practice in any graphic design studio

Graphic Designer’s Guide to Pricing, Estimating & Budgeting Revised Edition – This brand-new and completely updated edition offers practical guidelines for setting rates, dealing with clients’ budgets, preparing an estimate, and establishing profitability. Readers will also discover step-by-step strategies for pricing on the Internet, negotiating effective pricing with clients, and developing options to traditional pricing. Plus, the easy-to-read sidebars throughout this valuable guide offer dozens of creative, resourceful success tips for running a top-notch business.

Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines (Graphic Artists Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines) – Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines, 11th Edition is the industry bible, containing information all graphic artists and their clients need to buy and sell work in a totally professional manner. This edition has been revised and updated to provide all the information you need to compete in an industry moving at lightning speed.

Real World Print Production (Real World) – Translating inspiration to the printed page has always been a challenge. The advent of desktop publishing granted new levels of power and control to the layout artist and graphic designer, but it hasn’t eliminated the traditional pitfalls. In fact, it’s introduced a few new ones. Sometimes managing the disparate elements of fonts, images, colors, and more, while dealing with the quirks of various layout applications makes even the bravest designer and production editor long for the hands-on days of moveable type.

Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students (Design Briefs) – This is a well-structured and well-written text with refreshing examples from a wide range of designers. These examples reinforce the concept that successful design and typography come from critical thinking and that there is no one style or approach that is “correct.”

Color Design Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Using Color in Graphic Design – Color Design Workbook invites readers to explore color through the language of professionals. As part of the Workbook series, this book aims to present readers with the fundamentals of graphic design. It supplies tips regarding how to talk to clients about color and using color in presentations. Background information on color such as certain cultural meanings is also included. Color Design Workbook breaks down color theory into straightforward terms, eliminating unintelligible jargon and showcases the work of top designers and the brilliant and inspiring use of color in their design work.

Design for Communication: Conceptual Graphic Design Basics – Text encourages students to develop and master the basic conceptual thinking and technical skills that distinguish graphic designers from desktop technicians. Offers an appreciation and understanding of visual elements and principles of design through creative assignments that encourage experimentation and the development of personal methodology.

How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul – How should designers manage the creative process? What’s the first step in the successful interpretation of a brief? How do you generate ideas when everything just seems blank? How to be a graphic designer offers clear, concise guidance for these questions, along with focused, no-nonsense strategies for setting up, running, and promoting a studio, finding work, and collaborating with clients.

The Anatomy of Design: Uncovering the Influences and Inspirations in Modern Graphic Design – An iconic collection of design work presented in fresh and useful format. The selections include all kinds of design work including posters, book and record covers, packages, catalog covers, and more.

Starting Your Career as a Freelance Illustrator or Graphic Designer – If you get overwhelmed by the image you may have of what the life of a freelance illustrator is like, read this book. It is encouraging, while also being very practical. It tells you that you can start a career as a freelancer, but with a few practical IFs attached. Follow his advice and answer his questions honestly. Then ,if practical, take a deep breath, jump in and have a blast at FINALLY doing something with your life that you LOVE.

Fingerprint: The Art of Using Handmade Elements in Graphic Design – Inside you’ll find examples of work that showcase a variety of design methods, including mixed media, illustration, letterpress, screenprinting and collage. You’ll find inspiration in examples from outstanding designers and see how traditional elements can make a more powerful statement than anesthesized computer-only work. Fingerprint also includes insightful essays on the power of the handmade by Debbie Millman, Jean Orlebeke, Jim Sherraden, Martin Venezky and Ross Macdonald.

The Graphic Design Business Book – What graphic designers need is The Graphic Design Business Book, packed with directly relevant strategies for creating a business plan, managing a studio, presenting portfolios, marketing on the Web, keep clients happy, and more, including sample contract forms and listings of professional organizations””all contributed by experts in their fields. Every graphic designer needs a copy of The Graphic Design Business Book.

Notes on Graphic Design and Visual Communication – Notes on Graphic Design and Visual Communication is the most essential graphic design book written. Despite being very thin in quantity of pages, this book holds an enormous amount of graphic knowledge. This book is a great reference and reminder of the basic elements that make graphic design and visual communication effective! Every student in any graphic design program should buy this book!

Type, Image, Message: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop -This book changes all it. It gives designers the practical know-how to combine type and image for dynamic effect as well as to use them in contrast to create tension and meaning in design. Creating strong layouts is the most important as well as the most challenging of any project. This book inspires through excellence by exhibiting great design work then deconstructing the processes in simple visual terms.

Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop – Making and Breaking the Grid is a comprehensive layout design workshop that assumes that to effectively break the rules of grid-based design one must first understand those rules and see them applied to real-world projects.

Publication Design Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Designing Magazines, Newspapers, and Newsletters – Readers will develop a clear understanding of publication design through a comprehensive and accessible workshop-style format. Fundamentals of form and content are included, along with diagrams to further textual understanding. This is the most complete book for designers on applied publication design principles combined with an awe-inspiring collection of the best work from around the world.

U&lc : Influencing Design & Typography – U&lc magazine (Upper & lower case) was a defining voice in graphic design worldwide between 1970 and 1999. It was in some ways a lifestyle magazine for the desgin community providing a fascinating intersection of popular cultural and graphic design in the last quarter of the 20th century. The list of editorial contributors to U&lc is long, and many prominent designers worked on designing entire issues. Their best work is showcased in this book through the reproduction of selected covers, stories and illustrations from the nearly 120 quarterly issues that were published. This book also contains an introduction and four informal but in-depth chapters on the background, context, use of design and typography, and the people involved in making U&lc happen over the years.

Layout Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Building Pages in Graphic Design – More than a collection of great examples of layout, this book is an invaluable resource for students, designers, and creative professionals who seek design understanding and inspiration. The book illuminates the broad category of layout, communicating specifically what it takes to design with excellence. It also addresses the heart of design-the how and why of the creative process.

Wolfgang Weingart: My Way to Typography – The book itself is a lesson on layout and impeccable typesetting. Mr weingart lead us in a trip through tipographics arts, the book is an outstanding example of engineering freedoom, A R T. I flip the book for less than 2 minutes,enough to know this is the kind of book you have and you travel with it every once in a while. a book with an incredible echo.

The Designers Complete Index (Boxed Set) – This super-cool boxed set contains all three of Jim Krause’s best-selling “Index” books, including Idea Index (graphic effects and typographic treatments), Layout Index (your secret weapon for effective, dynamic layouts) and Color Index (over 1100 color combinations with CMYK and RGB formulas). Each volume is packed with hundreds of stimulating ideas, creative solutions and practical instructions.

Paul Rand: A Designer`s Art – This is not a tutorial or a how to, but a why. Why things work, why they don’t, and why it is important to know about its history. Learn the importance of this medium, its impact on industry, and its place in the arts.

Design with Type – Design with Type takes the reader through a study of typography that starts with the individual letter and proceeds through the word, the line, and the mass of text. The contrasts possible with type are treated in detail, along with their applications to the typography ofbooks, advertising, magazines, and information data. The various contending schools oftypography are discussed, copiously illustrated with the author’s selection of over 150 examples of imaginative typography from many parts ot the world.

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