- The ultimate primer on graphic design's basic visual toolkit—dot, line, plane, texture, space, and contrast—and how these basics underpin all successful layouts
- An in-depth look at color—from its optical qualities and its effect on type to its potential for communication concepts and emotions
- One of the most thorough compilations of typography concepts to be found—including information on letterform structure and optics, combining typeface styles, the mechanics of detailed text typesetting, and using type as image
- An extensive overview of imagery—the endless possibilities of medium, depiction, abstraction, stylization, and how these all communicate effectively
- Methods for integrating type and image, including a tutorial on using grid systems to structure layouts
- Twenty rules for making good design—and the best ways to break them
Being a creative designer is often about coming up with unique design solutions. But when the basic rules of design are ignored in an effort to be distinctive, design becomes useless. In language, a departure from the rules is only appreciated as great literature if recognition of the rules underlies the text. Graphic design is a "visual language," and brilliance is recognized in designers whose work seems to break all the rules, yet communicates its messages clearly.
Timothy Samara is a graphic designer based in New York City, where he divides his time between teaching, writing, lecturing, and consulting through STIM Visual Communication. His 20-year career in branding and information design has explored projects in print, packaging, environments, user interface design, and animation. He has been a senior art director at Ruder Finn, New York’s largest public relations firm, and senior art director at Pettistudio, a small multidisciplinary design firm. Before relocating to Manhattan, he was principal of Physiologic in Syracuse, located in upstate New York. In 1990, he graduated a Trustee Scholar from the Graphic Design program at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. Mr. Samara is a faculty member at New York’s School of Visual Arts, New York University, Purchase College/SUNY, and The New School, and has published six books on design and typography, all through Rockport Publishers: Making and Breaking the Grid; Typography Workbook; Publication Design Workbook; Type Style Finder; Design Elements, Design Evolution, and Letterforms. Mr. Samara and his partner live in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.