Visual Design Ninety-five things you need to know. Told in Helvetica and Dingbats.

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 8/23/2014
  • Publisher: New Riders
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Visual Design speaks design, through design, to designers, presenting 95 core design principles with concise text and a touch of visual wit. Author of the bestselling Index series on design basics, Jim Krause uses a combination of Helvetica and Dingbats to teach a wide range of design topics (both conceptually and compositionally related) in a one-topic-per-spread format. Using humor, practical tips, and inspiring visual examples, Krause makes it clear how each of the 95 axioms of effective design are relevant and applicable across all forms of visuals: print, Web, and fine arts.

In this book, you’ll learn how to:
• Direct the eye through your designs using size relationships, color, visual pathways, and typographic hints
• Design effective compositions through grids, frames, outlines, dynamic spacing, symmetry, asymmetry, shading, patterns, and textures
• Fool the eye with shadows, depth, op-art, and visual subtraction
• Understand how color works and how to use it effectively
• See and use type by understanding type rules as well as when and how to break them

Visual Design is the first title in the brand new New Riders Creative Core series, which aims to provide instruction on the fundamental concepts and techniques that all designers must master to become skilled professionals.


Author Biography

Jim Krause has worked as a designer and illustrator since 1982. His clients have included Microsoft, Boeing, Seattle Schools, Washington Apples, and dozens of others. His first book, Idea Index, was published in 1999 and immediately became the best-selling art/design-related title at HOW Books. Krause lives and works in Bellingham, Washington.

Table of Contents

10   Introduction

Directing the eye
16    Size relationships
18    Coloring with punch
20    Visual pathways
22    Pointers
24    Opposites attract
28    Typographic hints
30    Corner elements
32    Linear helpers

Creating spaces
34     Proportional considerations
36    Unexpected outlines
38    Intentional confinement
40    Framing    
42    Gridding

Dividing spaces
44    Dynamic spacing
46    Static presentations
48    Varying sizes    
50    Echoing forms
52    Curvaceousness
54    The golden mean
56    The invisible grid
58    Freeform    
Filling spaces
60    Symmetry
62    Asymmetry
64    Busy
66    Minimal
68    Patterns and textures
70    Shading
72    Depth of interest
74    Images as filler

Avoiding unsightliness
76    Tangents that hurt
78    Trapped spaces
80    Illogical waste
82    Visual competition   
84    Buzzing colors   
86    Out of sync

Infusing with intangibles
88    Conceptual echoes
90    Thematic agreement
92    Stylistic considerations
94    Shock value
96    Creative radar
98    The power of juxtaposition

Delivering visuals
100    Realism
102    Twisted realism
104    Degrees of simplification
106    Casting themes
108    Being in-step
110    Containment

Fooling the eye
112    Shadows
114    Depth
116    Op-art
118    Visual subtraction
120    Much ado
Harmony and lack thereof
122    Avoid the middle ground
124    Set: more than a game
126    Variation within harmony
128    Radicalism
130    Color as connector
132    Nothing in common

Comprehending color
134    The color wheel
136    The language of color
138    RGB, CMYK, HSV
140    Practical color
142    Building trust

Color relationships
144    Value is everything
146    Monochromatic
148    Triads
150    Complements
152    Split complements
154    Analogous
156    Muting

Speaking through hues
158    Punching with Color
160    Establishing agreement
162    When dark is light
164    When light is dark
166    Power personified
168    The power of one
170    Borrowing palettes
Seeing type
172    Details within details
174    Conventional conventions
176    Breaking rules
178    Spacing
180    Minding trends
182    Establishing hierarchy

Gathering ideas
184    Inspiration is everywhere
186    Getting to the root
188    Fitting in
190    Standing out
192    Taking notes

Idea development
194    Digging deep
196    Going it alone
198    Collaborating
200    Hide and seek
202    Exploration       
204    Banking ideas

206    Setting it aside
208    Looking in reverse
210    Seeing consistency
212    Input
214    Question everything
216    When is it finished?

218    Index

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