Design Elements, Using Images to Create Graphic Impact by Aaris Sherin and published by Rockport is an interesting title. Design Elements aims in a general way to be a practical guide book on how to best use imagery in an evocative manner. I came into this title quite arrogantly assuming from many years of professional experience this book would just cover an array of givens. Surprisingly I found Design Elements to be very informative and I think a must have resource for any graphic designer, or perhaps a designer from another field who wants to excel at presentation.
Design Elements tackles really important fundamental questions on why we should even be using images in the first place. Who should use images and where they should be used and what type of images should be used? You will find chapters on:
As you can see a lot is covered in its 162 pages. It is fitting that a lot of imagery is used to explain a book on imagery and this is certainly the case. As they a picture is worth a thousand words. These illustrations are well annotated and help drive home the main teachings in the text which are really concise and practical which I say with much adoration. Diagrams are also used to illustrate space and colour very effectively. All the teachings are told with a level of authority that can sometimes be found wanting in other titles. It is often the case where authors try and be vague and be very suggestive, however Aaris Sherin isn’t shy in expressing opinions and from my personal experience I see Sherin’s points to be highly accurate.
Each chapter is concluded with a “How it’s done” section which shows a real world example of how to apply the lessons being taught, or at least part of the lessons. I find these sections to be highly valuable as application is king and it is a nice way to break up the chapters. Sometimes these sections can just seem like massive big ads for the artists/designers involved but this doesn’t seem to be the case here fortunately as the focus is very much on the project.
It is worth noting that Design Elements, Using Images to Create Graphic Impact is part of a series of ‘Design Elements’ books from Rockport Publishing and some of these I have reviewed previously. I have always thought really highly of this series because it has unique, highly practical information that is beautifully told through text, images and diagrams. This title is no exception and I absolutely recommend it to any student or professional from any design field, as really who these days isn’t stuck into Photoshop, Illustrator or Indesign. Information within could help you produce an amazing portfolio of your work or it could help you deliver an effective visual presentation of a project to your teacher, boss or colleagues.