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What is Graphic Design?

4:06 PM, Posted by Ade Irawan, No Comment

Quentin Newark. 2002. Mies, Switzerland: RotoVision SA. [ISBN 2-88046-539-7. 254 pages, including index. $35.00 USD.]

On the title page of What is graphic design? Quentin Newark quotes Oscar Wilde: "It is very much more difficult to talk about a thing than to do it." When it comes to design, many technical communicators might disagree, finding it much easier to identify and discuss than to create innovative, usable designs.

Newark's book welcomes both designers and the design-challenged

into the world of graphic design. Locating design not only in the rarefied atmosphere of museums and art posters but also in the "real world" of candy bar wrappers, signs, phone message pads, and baggage claim checks, Newark illustrates the products of design as well as the process.

The book, printed in four colors on heavy, glossy paper stock, is itself a model of design and usability. It is divided into four readable and engaging sections.

The first section, "Issues," defines key terms such as design and designer, differentiates design from advertising and art, and contextualizes design in the world. In a chapter titled "The dilemma of style," Newark's pragmatic view resonates for the technical communicator: "Style has a function: it limits choices. It excludes certain possibilities, and makes others follow in a chain--it creates a related set of design decisions" (p. 18). Later in the first section, addressing "How design evolves," Newark writes. "Like everything in the broader culture, design is shaped by forces that pull and push it into new forms" (p. 34). Among these forces are technology, commerce, standardization, aesthetics, and utility--once again bringing to the forefront issues that technical communicators grapple with daily.

Newark begins the second section of the book, "Anatomy," with the following disclaimer: "Dividing up graphic design into categories is essentially a fruitless exercise" because design "covers a number of interlaced activities that do not fall into distinct parts" (p. 62). Nonetheless, he proceeds to divide this section into five groupings of 31 elements. I'm taking a chance here as I name the groupings, because he doesn't; he relies instead on spatial arrangement to hint at the relationships he sees. One group seems to cover what I ,night call the building blocks of design (alphabets, modules, typefaces, characters, and languages); another revolves around layout (typography, grids, hierarchy, and page elements); a third concerns images and other illustrations; and the fourth group comprises chapters about tools (pencils, materials, paper, and computers). The final grouping of chapters in the "Anatomy" section is loosely arranged around what Newark calls "Disciplines." His organizing principle for this last grouping is as follows: "There can be no corporate identity without understanding of logos or no packaging design without addressing the principles of publicity and information design. All these disciplines are joined by their articulation of word and image" (p. 118). Among the so-called disciplines--which we might call genres or publication formats--he includes logos, packaging, and publicity, as well as books, magazines, signs, exhibitions, the Web, and film.

The Graphic Design Business Book

4:05 PM, Posted by Ade Irawan, No Comment

The Graphic Design Business Book By Tad Crawford Allworth Press, 2005 $24.95, 247 pages

By Tad Cmwford

With strategies for creating a business plan, managing a studio, presenting portfolios, and web marketing, not to mention sample contract forms and listings of professional organizations, this volume should be a good place for aspiring professionals to start. Tad Crawford is an attorney, as well as the president and publisher for Allworth Press, and has written many other business

books for creatives, including A Legal Guide for the Visual Artist and Business and Legal Forms for Graphic Design. Establishing competitive prices for design work, negotiating contracts, and getting clients to pay are covered, and Crawford also includes much information on copyright and trademarks, taxes, and insurance.

"Graphic & Design Business" from North American Publishing.

4:02 PM, Posted by Ade Irawan, No Comment

North American Publishing Co. (NAPCO; Philadelphia, PA) will begin the publication of Graphic & Design Business magazine with an issue in October. The new quarterly title will have an initial controlled circulation of 10,000, increasing to 25,000 in 2004.

NAPC0 said the title will be targeted to professionals responsible for design budgets in excess of $1 million, including design firm owners, agency and corporate art department managers, and art department managers of large
consumer magazines and catalogs. The company said the magazine will provide coverage of industry news, including "the firms, people, products, technologies and services that make up the graphic design industry, on both the vendor and buyer sides."

Editorial will cover news related to all types of media including print, the Internet, outdoor, broadcast and corporate video, as well as management issues, hardware and software, and new technologies and systems.

NAPCO group publisher Mark Hertzog said "our research of the graphic design market revealed that there was a demand for information on technology, workflow and business management not available in other graphics pubs." NAPCO's Print Media Group also includes PrintMedia, BookTech and InPlant Graphics magazines and PrintMedia Inbox newsletter.

Defined Exhibits

3:49 PM, Posted by Ade Irawan, No Comment

We are an innovative company, with fresh ideas for trade show success.

Combining experience, energy and talent, we tailor our exhibit design and production to your specific needs.

We are different because we listen.

We offer solutions, and we create an environment that attracts potential customers.

Just as we we've done for MOLDFLOW CORP. and many others.

"Our booth looked great," reports Keri Souza, marketing communications manager. "We got so many leads, there is lots of follow-up to do."

Your company, too, has a story to tell, products and services to market.

Defined Exhibits can make it happen — with marketing solutions that work.

Brand Experience Design

3:40 PM, Posted by Ade Irawan, No Comment

Within every brand there’s a compelling idea. Our passion lies in uncovering these ideas and bringing them to life every time the brand engages the customer.

Starfish was born of a desire to provide clients with marketing solutions that aren’t bound to any one discipline. Because consumers experience brands through a myriad of touchpoints, we design and execute programs that ensure each customer interaction is a full and satisfying expression of the brand.

Our business model is unique in that it balances strategic rigor with elegant execution across a wide range of disciplines. And because we source executional expertise from our network of best-in-class talent, we are able to provide solutions that are tailor-made to fit our clients' individual tastes and needs.