Friday, February 10, 2006

The Elements of Graphic Design

So, as a follow up to yesterday's designy post, I wanted to blog this book. I am not a designer, but I have always been a self-aware consumer of good design. As an organization person now, I have tried to leverage design as best I can in an environment that doesn't always care about it. Currently, I have the luxury of working for an organization where design is bread and butter, so now I can indulge myself a little design wonkery. As I've discovered design has a great deal in common with organizational process, etc., so I've made up my mind to expore this more comprehensively.

So, reading this book in function of association management is a good start. First chapter talks about the job of a communicator. I think we can see that that's a useful thing to look at.
To design means to plan. The process of design is used to bring order from chaos and randomness. Order is good for readers [ed. members or other stakeholders of your organization], who can more easily make sense of an ordered message [the image your association or organization puts forward]. An ordered message is therefore considered good design (1).
Alex White (the author of the book), does a tremendous job of writing clearly about the discipline of design, and of course, gets in to some (fairly but not overly) technical details about graphic design specifically. I will use this book as an outline for more writing about how to use design more as a metaphor for abstraction in organization, but for now, I have to give the book back to the library because I've had it too long. Guess I'll go out and purchase.

By Alex W. White
ISBN # 1581152507

UPDATE: While I'm on about design subjects, just read Emily Chang's thoughts on Design 2.0. Reminds me of a Google "quote of the day" a few weeks ago from Antoine de St-Exupery: "You know you’ve achieved perfection in design, not when you have nothing more to add, but when you have nothing more to take away."