Review: The Non-Designer’s Design Book

Today, I’m doing a book review. It’s been ages since I’ve done one and I have a title here that may be of interest to self-publishers like us. The book is The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin P. Williams. Just a warning before we go forward – the edition of the book I’m reviewing is an early edition. A second edition has since been put out with a few changes.

The Non-Designer’s Design Book is exactly what it says on the tin. The book’s subtitle is “Design and Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice.” If you are someone who doesn’t have the slightest clue about graphic design, then this is the book for you.

The text itself explains the basic principles of design. Each one is explained by itself (there are four total) and then how it is used in practical applications. The four principles are then shown when utilized together.

The other aspect of design the book talks about is typography. It explains the different categories of typefaces and how they should be properly used. As before, practical applications and exercises are demonstrated on how to use said typefaces.

The book is definitely informative. It’s meant for the person who has no clue how to do graphic design. It’s intended for the secretary who has to do the company newsletter, the churchgoer asked to design the church bulletin, the businessman who needs to work up flyers, and so on. The only downside of the book is that it is NOT a replacement for a degree in graphic design. Don’t think that you can strike out on your own as a graphic design expert just by reading this book.

Anyway, this blog is about comics. A lot of you are wondering what exactly does a book on graphic design have to do with making comics. If you are a do-it-yourself type like me, it’s tricky to layout textual information for your comics, zines, and books. This manual can help you do all that with the knowledge inside. As I do not have experience with graphic design, I’ve studied it and used it in making promotional flyers, business cards, ads, and pages for my trade paperbacks.

Overall, the Non-Designer’s Design Book is a good purchase for anyone wanting to do their own books and doesn’t have the knowledge of design for doing so.

The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin P. Williams, Pearson Education, 1995, ISBN 0076092006329

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About Max West

I am a freelance artist and the creator of Sunnyville Stories, an independent slice-of-life comics series.
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