Looking Good in Print

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Looking Good in Print, Sixth Edition, provides expert advice and invaluable techniques for the desktop publisher. This thoroughly updated edition features special sections on working with large documents and publications, design pitfalls to avoid, and how to create more impact with your designs. The new edition also features numerous design tips that you can use as they are or customize to your own needs. Whether you use a PC or a Mac, and regardless of which design and layout software you prefer, the techniques ...
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Overview

Looking Good in Print, Sixth Edition, provides expert advice and invaluable techniques for the desktop publisher. This thoroughly updated edition features special sections on working with large documents and publications, design pitfalls to avoid, and how to create more impact with your designs. The new edition also features numerous design tips that you can use as they are or customize to your own needs. Whether you use a PC or a Mac, and regardless of which design and layout software you prefer, the techniques and tips presented will be indispensable.

The strength of this latest edition of Looking Good in Print is found in its expert advice and indispensable creative insights on the art and technique of design as it applies to desktop publishing. Some of the important topics covered in the new edition include: designing with fonts and type styles, using illustrations and photographs to make impact, using color effectively, working with large documents, and avoiding common design pitfalls. The new edition also includes a special section on designing printable documents for distribution on the Web. Over 200 hands-on examples are provided.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
If you can afford only one book on desktop publishing, this is the one.
MacWeek
A graphic design primer for anyone who wants to design better-looking... desktop-published printed material.
PC Week
Looking Good in Print is an excellent and valuable resource.
School Library Journal
YA-Not only a must for beginning desktop publishers, this succinct compilation of design basics will also prove useful for more experienced teenaged hackers, clearly setting down instructions for what may have been achieved previously through trial and error or intuition. Focusing on elements such as relevance, consistency, and contrast, Parker steers clear of trendiness and emphasizes functionality in his description of and formulae for ``looking good.'' On nearly every page, visual or textual examples demonstrate how a few clicks of the mouse or command key can make a document difficult to read-and how to fix those problems. Chapters cover the ``Tools of Organization'' (grids, subheads, etc.), the ``Architectures of Type'' (typefaces and kerning), and ``Working with Color.'' Later chapters apply these basics, outlining prototypes for designing newspapers, advertisements, books, and business communications. Because the book is not specific to a particular computer system, it won't become dated quickly.-Jennifer A. Phillips, Carnegie Millon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Booknews
New edition of a clear and thorough guide to good design for desktop publishers. Advises on directing the reader's eye, choosing images, choosing type, creating balance, and avoiding common mistakes that undermine impact. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566040471
  • Publisher: Ventana Communications Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/14/1993
  • Series: The Ventana Press Looking Good Series
  • Edition description: 3rd ed.
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 423

Meet the Author

Roger C. Parker is a noted authority on desktop publishing and newsletter design; he gives seminars throughout the U.S. and Australia. Among the 13 titles (exceeding 750,000 in print) he has written are the first editions of The Makeover Book and Newsletters From the Desktop, the previous four editions of Looking Good in Print, and Roger C. Parker's One-Minute Designer, and Looking Good in Print, Fifth Edition from Paraglyph Press.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 6: Do It In Color

The first question to ask yourself when considering color is not how to use it out whether to use it at all. Nearly any document can benefit from the use of color, if it's applied properly. The size of your budget is the primary consideration. Using color bumps up the printing costs, and although it's not as expensive as it used to be, it's still not a decision to be taken lightly.

Some documents require color-for example, a black-and-white clothing store catalog wouldn't be much use to potential customers, but most documents won't have this sort of built-in mandate, so you'll need to ask yourself some questions:

  • Can I afford to use color? If you can't afford to use color, and you don't have an idea for its use that's earth -shattering enough to prompt a budget rearrangement, forget about it. Don't despair. Black-and-white isn't without its charm. Why do you suppose photographers still use it, with color film available just as cheap?
  • Does my document really require the added impact or beauty provided by color? This may seem like an odd question, but certain documents are pretty bland by nature, and you probably won't lose much by forgoing color-your readers won't be particularly disappointed by its absence.
  • Will my document have to compete with color documents? If you're printing black-and-white product brochures while everyone else in the industry is using color, you may be at a distinct disadvantage. When readers expect color, its absence becomes a liability. Of course, a well-designed black-and-white document will still beat a shoddy color document.
  • Which page elements would I set in color? After determining a set of elements to be "colorized," you might discover that your document would include several pages displaying no color at all or in amounts too negligible to draw much attention. Printing essentially black-and-white pages in full color doesn't give you much bang for your buck.
  • How many different colors would I need? If you could limit yourself to two colors, for instance the printing cost would be cheaper than for full-color work. Don't forget to count black, if you're planning on using it.
Choosing Colors
Successful color documents follow a color scheme.

Okay, so you've decided to use color in your document. The next question you must address is which colors to use. This is not merely a question for jobs involving user-chosen ink colors; even if you're printing in full color, you're going to need a color scheme. Two colors that look nice by themselves might look horrid when used together. Appropriateness is also a factor-certain colors evoke moods which might not fit your document's intended message. Finally, like all other design tools, color is susceptible to overuse. If you shove every color of the rainbow onto a single page, your reader is more apt to be nauseated than impressed.

Finding A Color Scheme

Color wheels show relationships between colors and can be a help when devising a color scheme. The color wheel familiar to most people uses red, yellow, and blue as the primary colors from which all other colors are mixed. Colors that result from mixing two primary colors are called secondary colors-for example, the primary colors red and yellow combine to create the secondary color orange.

A safe way to generate a color scheme is to pick a set of analogous colors-three or four adjacent colors on the wheel. The similarity between analogous colors gives them a good chance of working well together. They tend to create a unified look, albeit one with little color contrast.

If you crave contrast, you could choose colors located opposite each other on the color wheel, known as complementary colors. (The name is a bit misleading. It's meant to denote two colors that neutralize each other if mixed together. That doesn't necessarily mean they'll complement each other if used together-there are certain red-green combinations I wouldn't even use on a Christmas card.) A better scheme for finding high-contrast colors that work together is to use a triad-three colors roughly equidistant from each other on the color wheel. Red, yellow, and blue are a triad, and they generally work well together.

Remember, these are just suggestions on how to get started. They're particularly useful if there's one color you know you want to use. You may generate a set of analogous colors or a triad using your color as a starting point and hit upon a workable scheme faster than you would by just picking colors at random....

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Table of Contents

1 Getting started 3
2 Tools of organization 23
3 The architecture of type 49
4 Building blocks of graphic design 73
5 The art of illustration 91
6 Working with photographs 121
7 Publications 139
8 Advertisements 163
9 Sales materials 181
10 Business communication 197
11 Response devices : forms, surveys, and coupons 213
12 Designing large documents and publications 223
13 Common pitfalls 235
14 Redesign 257
15 Designing documents for Web distribution 283
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First Chapter

Before the advent of desktop publishing, graphic design was the exclusive domain of art directors and design professionals. The knowledge and equipment needed to produce printed publications were in the hands of a select few; if you needed design work done, the only logical option was to hire a professional.

Nowadays, the equipment needed for successful design–a personal computer and some layout software–is available to everyone. You don't need to hire someone to create your business cards, advertisements, newsletters and full-color brochures; you can create them yourself, right on your own desktop. Fantastic, eh?

Well, maybe and maybe not. It's certainly convenient that do-it-yourself design is possible, but the necessary expertise is not as easily acquired as the necessary equipment. Layout software does not magically transform you into a designer, any more than the acquisition of a whip and a chair would turn you into a lion tamer. It's just a tool of the trade, not the trade itself. If you don't have some design sense to go with your tools, you're not saving any money by "doing it yourself"–where's the triumph in avoiding the professional's fee, if you don't end up with professional-looking results?

Looking Good In Print is a design guide for computer users–particularly for those with little or no design experience–who want to make the most of their desktop publishing investment.

Cultivating Your Design Sense

Regardless of your level of experience, you already may have more design skills than you suspect. In fact, you probably have an inherent, but as yet undeveloped, sense of good design–often referred to as "good taste."

Your experiences as a reader and consumer probably reflect this. See if any of these scenarios sound familiar:

• You find your community newsletter difficult to slog through, even though you're interested in the information.

• While shopping for wine, you get a sense that one brand is better than another just by looking at the labels.

• At some restaurants, you browse the full menu even if you're pretty sure what you want; at others, you simply order the first entrée that looks good.

• You're able to recall meeting a certain businessman because he gave you a full-color business card.

In such instances, your inherent sense of design is screening the messages you receive: effective designs are getting noticed and appreciated, while ineffective ones are being suffered or ignored. This book will teach you how to hone your innate sense into a useful skill–you'll learn to consciously analyze your preferences, and apply these findings to your own designs.

Who Should Read Looking Good In Print?

Looking Good In Print is a practical design guide for anyone discovering the challenges of desktop publishing. If you want to improve the appearance and effectiveness of your desktop-published projects, you should find this book to be a lasting reference tool.

Looking Good In Print is intended for users of all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned pros. Although many of the techniques described within will be familiar to experienced desktop publishers, the book is not intended solely as a teaching aid: it also functions as a methodical, fully-illustrated compendium of design possibilities. The next time your creative well runs dry, try browsing the pages of Looking Good In Print; find a chapter that discusses the type of document or page element you're working with, or just flip through randomly, looking at examples. You're bound to stumble upon something useful–a neat design trick you haven't used in years, perhaps, or an unusual layout structure you hadn't considered.

How To Use This Book

Looking Good In Print is organized into three parts:

• Part One, "Elements Of Design," outlines the underlying principles of design and the common tools available in desktop publishing software. You'll learn how to work with text, graphic accents, illustrations, photographs, and color.

• Part Two, "Putting Your Knowledge To Work," applies the principles and techniques of graphic design to specific projects you're likely to undertake. You'll delve into the minutiae of designing newsletters, advertisements, sales brochures, business cards, and much more.

• The Do It In Color section, the full color pages in the middle of the book, features a "before-and-after" gallery of documents which addresses a wide variety of design concerns.

Readers who are new to desktop publishing should read the book from beginning to end, with special emphasis on Section One. Intermediate and advanced users can probably skim lightly through Section One–except when fishing for ideas–but will gain valuable insights from the other two sections.

Please note that throughout this book, the terms publication and document are used to refer to any desktop publishing project, regardless of its size or content. Referring to a business card as a publication is admittedly a trifle silly, but since most design concepts are not document-specific, the general terms are very appropriate. A good technique presented in the chapter on newsletters might be just the thing for your sales brochure. Take good ideas wherever you can
find them!

How Well Should You Know
Desktop Publishing?

This book assumes you're already comfortable with your desktop publishing hardware and software. It assumes your computer and printer are up and running, and that you've gone through the tutorials or read the manuals included with your software–enough, anyway, to be familiar with the basic commands.

While not a substitute for your software's documentation, Looking Good In Print will help you get the most from your program. You may find that techniques you once found intimidating–drop shadows, perhaps, or runarounds–are less formidable if you know when and how to
use them.

Hardware/Software Requirements

Looking Good In Print is a generic guide, independent of any particular hardware or software. It will serve as a valuable resource regardless of whether you're using a dedicated page layout program such as PageMaker or QuarkXPress, or an advanced word processing program such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. Likewise, your platform can be Macintosh or PC; it doesn't matter. The elements of good design are constant and achievable in any system.

I've included occasional references–particularly in Chapters 5 and 6, which discuss the use of illustrations and photographs–to effects that can be achieved with the use of an illustration- or photo-manipulation program. Although readers of this book are not required or expected to have these sorts of programs, it seemed remiss to leave them out of the discussion entirely–those who do have them deserve to know their full potential, and those who don't might benefit from knowing what's possible. (Who knows, perhaps the possibilities will prove tempting enough to spur a trip to the local software shop!)

What's New In The Fourth Edition?

For starters, most of the examples are new. In general, they're a little more complex than the examples from past editions–this is intentional, and meant to reflect the improvements in hardware and software since the third edition of this book was published. Techniques and tricks that formerly required separate software packages and considerable expertise have become standard, easy-to-use features in today's layout programs; it's appropriate that the illustrations in this book take full advantage of them.

In addition, I've weeded out some of the design suggestions and recommendations which were beginning to show their age. Graphic design is a lot like fashion; what was "in" a few years ago can seem tired or stale today. Whenever possible, I've tried to replace the omissions with new material reflecting current styles and trends.

Last but not least, the color portion of the book is almost wholly new, with discussions of topics not explored in previous editions, and plenty of new examples to feast your eyes on. (The Renaissance Festival poster and the menu cover for the CyberCafé were created by designer Lisa Gill–although they go well beyond the average desktop publisher's abilities to reproduce, they certainly represent something to strive for, n'est-ce pas?)

All Set?

You can't loiter in the introduction forever, you know–the world of graphic design awaits! If you're ready to get your feet wet, simply turn the page.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2006

    VERY VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

    Are you discovering the challenges of desktop publishing? If you are, then this book is for you! Author Roger C Parker, has done an outstanding job of writing the sixth edition of a book that has been in print for 16 years, which is for those who want to make the most of their publishing investment. Parker, begins by exploring the organizational tools you¿ll use in creating your published projects. Then, the author discusses in some detail the rules you must follow when selecting and arranging type. Next, the author explores the graphic page elements that are used in conjunction with type, to highlight and enhance the printed word. The author then shows you how to choose graphic elements and position them on the page for maximum effect. He continues by focusing on the techniques of designing a range of documents from newsletters to business communications to coupons. Then, the author discusses planning and design techniques that are important for any larger project. He then lists and illustrates the most common errors that sabotage otherwise effective designs. Finally, the author takes a look at some sample documents that are riddled with errors, while others are teetering on the brink of success and, shows you how they can be improved, through the application of basic design concepts and a smattering of common sense. This most excellent book has grown over the years to become the ¿Bible¿ for many students and publishers. More importantly, the best part of this book is that it will encourage you to learn while practicing your craft.

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