A Design Manual (2nd Edition)

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9780137592340: A Design Manual (2nd Edition)

This book focuses on the basic essentials of generic 2-dimensional design— helping readers think about and explore ways of approaching their work in their chosen design field. Often using common-place illustrative materials, this book first explores each of the elements of design individually, then explains the principles of design, and finally, shows how elements and principles are combined in the design process. Artists and designers in any field.

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From the Publisher:

This basic introduction to the components used in the design process, features a conversational and humorous tone that encourages readers to think about the components of design and then develop their own creative methods.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

We human beings haven't evolved enough so that it's possible to run before learning to walk. The same is true of any learning. Our minds have to start with fundamental "first steps." As we absorb information and try our first "mental" steps, we can "walk" with ideas and then "run" with them.

Sometimes, as full-fledged artists or teachers, we forget our own faltering "first steps." We must remember that we didn't always know what we know now. As designers, we will always be evolving.

My goal with this book is to offer those very basic "first steps." Design is the ability to transform thoughts into a visual idea. The development of more sophisticated concepts and skills will come with practice and time.

I have arbitrarily tried to communicate by using a direct, simple conversational tone—with, I hope, a little humor.

As this book is about all kinds of design, I have not based the illustrations on art history alone. The technological world we live in does not introduce us to abstract ideas or visual images. I have deliberately chosen mostly representational artwork that can be readily recognized by my chosen audience: design students. Some illustrate the "art-history world," but many others give the reader a look at work being done today by established and emerging designers.

This is NOT a "how-to" book. It is NOT about specific tools, media, or techniques, although some are mentioned. It is also, as I have stated, NOT restricted to one area of design. It IS a skeletal look at the essence of design: a book to make us think and explore ways of approaching our work in the design field.

If this field is that of teaching design, the teacher can expand upon the material or further develop an idea based on the individual class. At the end of each chapter there are ideas for discussion, a keyword list, and a review, as well as some project ideas. This also gives the teacher an opportunity to share his or her own work and creativity.

I hope the student (and artists/designers are ALWAYS students) will open his or her mind to the information. Perhaps it will inspire him or her to seek out other books and other teachers or artists. I realize that many students today are often balancing academic demands with other obligations while still trying to define, or even reinvent, themselves. The aspirations for being a designer may not always be obvious to others, but with perseverance, that initial interest can grow and turn into a passion for what they want to do.

The passion in creating any design is tied to our emotions—it's when we feel the challenge, feel the excitement while DOING, then we feel the "rush"—and then we're "running"!

Acknowledgments

This book is based on my own teaching methods of design. My experience as an active, producing artist and contact with fellow artists have helped immensely to broaden my scope of knowledge.

This edition would not have been possible without the support and technical help from my artist son, Evan Brainard; the research assistance and proofreading from my sharp 95-year-old mother (who also put up with my tantrums); my friend and former student, artist Jim Ferguson, who critiqued the second edition and offered ideas; and, lastly, the anonymous reviewers who gave suggestions.

Many of my fellow artists are represented with illustrations of their work. My thanks to them for their interest and generosity.

A thank-you also, to the many museums, galleries, and private enterprises that shared reproductive material or helped me find a particular designer/artist.

And, of course, a thank-you to assistant editor Kimberly Chastain who gave me a challenge; the publisher's staff; production editor Louise Rothmans layout artist Wanda Espana; and cover designer, Bruce Kenselaar. Thank you one and all!

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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