We have seven books to read for
this class—the order has changed slightly from the syllabus due
to problems with procurement. The books are listed in the order in which
I read them, accompanied with commentary.
The Non–Designers Type Book, Robin Williams:
Excellent introduction to type—I will never look at a printed
page in the same way again—blast, these em dashes are moer time
consuming, but I weem to have the hang of them. I was much more impressed
by this book than by The Non–Designer's Web Book, possibly
because I was much less familiar with the topic. I have been aware
of type for a long while due to my interest in web page and book design,
but I never got much beyond the font selection stage. This book has
opened up wide new vistas, though I doubt I will be incorporating
the wilder type–design examples used in the book any time soon.
Robin williams, has encouraged me to be more aware of my font selections
and to be more conficent in them... I really liked some of the quotes
used in the book;
Boldness Has Genius,bla
And Magic In It.
- Illuminating Letters, Paul Gutjahr, et al.:
This book is a collection of essays about the power of typography
in shaping the meaning of a text. Particularly interesting are the introduction
and its survey of typography and the essays by Gutjahr on the history
of typography in the printing of the St. James Bible and how this affects
and reflects the current interpretation of the text, Sarah Kelen's discussion
of how type can be used to create objective distance in readers from
the subject of the printed work, and Gene Kannenberg's essay on the
tyography of comics. Note:Remember Isaiah Thomas—Colnial American
self–made man, idealis, and philanthropist. He produced the first
American edition of the King James Bible in 1791 with the express purpose
of showing that American products were as good as anything coming out
of Great Britain. This edition was widely acclaimed as the most beautiful
book ever printed in America—Benjamin Franklin himself
praised the work.
- The Story of A, Patricia Crain:
A history of the alphabetization of America in the period from 1650
through 1850. Very interesting discussion of the history of the teaching
of the alphabet in America, higihlighting the forms of the books, images
and rhymes associated with individual letters, and the alphabet itself.
Crain goes on to note the increasingly gendered rendering of the alphabet
and the teaching of literacy beginning in the 1840s as part of the cultural
transformation of the roles of women occuring during the same period.
Women were considered the trustees of the new generation of Republicans
commited to democracy. Crain begins to lose me when she starts talking
about the eroticization of the alphabet, however, making the last few
chapters of the book quite difficult to get through...
- Photoshop Retouching & Restoring, Katrin Eismann:
This book is an excellent guide to using photoshop—lots of good
advice, clear, straightforward examples, and written in an accessible
manner. Eismann encourages the reader to experiment with different methods
to touch–up photos, constantly reinforcing the fact that photoshop
offers multiple pathways to improving images—and that experimentation
is the best way to learn photoshop.
- Visual Explanations, Edward R. Tufte:
Interesting—a book about images and quantities, the history of
the use of images to quantify reality.
- Don't Make Me Think, Stephen Krug:
An excellent work written by a webpage usability expert on how to produce
usable webpages. Krug sets out a number of principles for the development,
production, and testing of webpages. The book uses commercial websites
for its examples, but the principles discussed apply across the board
to all presentations on the internet. Particularly useful are the guidelines
for useability testing for organizations without a budget for testing.