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Good Graphic Design Resources?


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hi all-


i do "some freelancing", which means helping my friends with their entreprenurial idea's websites pro bono, and i occasionally land a paying contract here and there. i know my way around enough to get the jobs done, but i want to expand my horizons more. usually, when im working on a site, i will come up with mockups of the design. when i get stuck, i surf other sites and use components of several sites for inspiration.


what i want to do is learn design theory to know why im choosing these components. i work full time and am getting my MBA at night, so taking some graphic design classes is most likely out for the time being. I am open to taking classes in the future though. For now, I would love to hear some feedback on good books or websites that provide insight into the following topics:


1) Graphic Design/Layout Theory

2) Color Theory

3) User Habit Patterns

4) Font Design

5) Non-Web Design (Business Cards, Brochures, etc...)

6) Logo Design


Thanks in advance!



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Hey FSUchucky,


I have accumulated nearly 200 great links on exactly these topics. If you want to PM me your email address I'll zip them up and send them over.


As far as books - first thing I would reccomend is subscriptions to Communication Arts, Print (even if you don't do a lot of print yet, the principles are the same, and you'll often find more inspiration in print sources than online), and HOW magazines. The subscriptions will give you far more bang for your buck than a couple of $50 books. That said, of course there are some great books out there too.


For the absolute best guides to the basics, you can't go wrong with anything by Robin Williams (no, not that one :). Off the top of my head: The Non-Designer's Design Book dont-leave-home-without-it! (don't be put off by the title, nearly everyone can learn a thing or two from this one - feel free to hide it when your clients come over :) another good one from her is the Robin Williams Design Workshop


I know you didn't ask for this specifically, but if you're designing websites, a great book about the new improved way of doing things (css, and separating content from presentation etc...) is Designing With Web Standards by Jeffrey Zeldman


That's all I can think of off the top of my head, but let me know if you want more and I'll dig through my bookshelf and brain :)


Cheers, and best of luck,



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Doggone it Gabe! Robin Williams' books are the ones I like to tell folks about! :D I thought I was the only one that had ever heard of them but they are excellent from my point of view anyway.

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Hee hee. Yes, she has a really great, easy-to-read style, and the information is spot-on. I like to look at the David Car5on :D books as much as the next fella, but you can't learn much about the basics from them!


I also really love "Creating Motion Graphics" books Volume One & Volume 2. Right up there among the best instructional books ever written, IMHO.





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