Thursday, 2 February 2017
A graphic look that kids will enjoy
An ambitious attempt to present the basics of a creative process that fills up so much of daily lives from a supermarket flyer, concert tickets, menus, DVD covers, exhibitions, packaging, magazines, highway signs and web pages et cetera. They all have common elements like the use of space, color, graphics and typography.
The book is wire bound so it opens flat and the six tab pages reveal each section. There's a bit of multi media to make the whole more interesting for kids. The Portfolio chapter has two pockets containing ten pull-out cards with biographies of ten designers on the front of each and examples of their work on the back. Open the My Studio tab to find a black tipped-in envelope containing five pieces of clear plastic with shapes cut out of them, the idea is to encourage youngsters to use the shapes and create a graphic, maybe a logo. The Step-by-step chapter has a six-page fold-out explaining a Concept which is then developed to a Final presentation with type, graphics and color. Typography is perhaps the common element in all graphic design and there are pages that visually show the different types historically and the essentials of the point system.
With this sort of subject the author probably had the problem of what to include or leave out, there is no reference to paper or printing techniques for instance. Overall I thought the pages did a good job of showing what graphic design is about. This book is much better at doing this than designer Chip Kidd's take on the same subject. His presentation is rather flamboyant and he used several examples of his work to explain an idea but I thought the designs (for an adult audience, after all) too sophisticated for a young audience.
Graphic design for kids hits the right note with it's square format and clean, straightforward layouts.