This book is written with the intent of providing an introduction to the
underlying principles of good graphic design, whether it is printbased,
web and interactive, or environmental. The content has been
constructed to mirror, in part, how the subject is taught in college
design programs, and the illustrations, which are a mixture of
student projects and professional design work, have been carefully
chosen to illuminate specific teaching points. Many of the sections
contain step-by-step exercises and assignments, offer practical
advice, and point toward further resources.
The first part of the book, Principles, supports the idea that a thorough
understanding of design principles should support the process of
creating design works in response to specific briefs and problems,
while allowing room for self-authored experimentation and visual
freedom. As you are introduced to the basics of research, typography,
color, photography, and composition, you will learn to become
visually aware and able to articulate these design principles into your
You will also gain some understanding that these principles
cross disciplines and are the vocabulary of visual literacy.
In the second part of the book, Practice, you will be introduced to
invaluable practical skills that are important support systems to the
skills sets in research and creative process you have read about in
Part One. They do not replace them, but serve as methods and practices
for developing critical problem-solving skills, and learning to
manage complex projects.