This would be [amazon text=Design Basic Index&asin=1581805012] by Jim Krause. This is a book that serves as an introduction to the concepts of good graphic design. This books does have some technical exercises but it mostly focuses on the underlying concepts.
After reading the book I will never look at visual advertisements again. I will now consider the visual flow and hierarchy of the message. I looked at a newspaper and saw it in a brand new way. Not many books have changed how I see something as ubiquitous as advertisements.
As someone who never studied visual art before I found this a fascinating book. He illustrates his points with examples. Very often the page lay out itself will demonstrate the concept he is describing, which is a nice touch.
I have never done graphic design, and I have no interest in developing the skill set in depth. However I now want to get a handle on the basic programs seeing as how it is an invaluable skill when making web sites, which I am interested in. It makes it much easier to judge quality when you yourself have even rudimentary knowledge of a subject compared to complete ignorance.
Some of the changes he proposes are very subtle but make a big effect. The example most vivid in my memory is on page 30 where he shows the poster for Downward Potential. I can’t find an example on the internet and I don’t have a way to capture it so I guess you’ll have to get the book for yourself if you want to see it. He moves the producers name slightly up and the title slightly down ward to create a noticeable amount of visual energy. I am definitely going to take more care with visual placements in the future. Small adjustments can produce big effects.
There was also a large chapter on fonts. I am going to look more into the world of fonts more now. I was ignorant of the artistry of typography. He also stressed the importance of being aware of the effect of align center, right, left or justified can have when your text is paired with visuals.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in visual arts or work in a field where visual arts play a role.
[amazon text=Buy it from Amazon today!&asin=1581805012]
Or not. Its up to you.