Graphic Design Rules: 365 Essential Design Dos and Don’ts


  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln; Flexibound edition (2 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711233462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711233461
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 10 x 6.3 cm
  • Stefan G. Bucher (Foreword), Peter Dawson (Author), John Foster (Author), Tony Seddon (Author), Sean Adams (Author)

Ask any graphic designer the world over about their preferred approach to setting type, choosing a colour, or beginning a new layout, and you will rarely get exactly the same answer twice. Every creative has their own individual approach, or more importantly their own combinations of the thousands of techniques one can apply when planning a new design project. But there are some dos and don’ts that always figure strongly in any heated debate about what one should or should not accept as the right way to create the best graphic design.
Packed with practical advice but presented in a light-hearted fashion, Graphic Design Rules is the perfect book for the ever-growing group of non-designers who want some graphic design guidance. And for more experienced designers, individual entries will either bring forth knowing nods of agreement or hoots of derision, depending on whether or not the reader loves or hates hyphenation, has a pathological fear of beige, or thinks that baseline grids are boring.
In the style of a classical almanac, 365 entries combine a specific rule with a commentary from a variety of experienced designers from all fields of the graphic design industry. Grouped into six colour-coded chapters – typography, colour, layout, imagery, production, and creative thinking – the reader can either dip in at random or use the book as the source of a daily lesson in how to produce great graphic design.

I bought this book as much out of curiosity as anything else, to see if the rules were the same as I remembered them to be 🙂 It’s proven to be not only a good source of amusement (the writers have taken a witty approach to the subject at times) but also a handy reference and reminder as to the numerous pitfalls in graphic design. The description says the reader can either dip in at random or use the book as a source of a daily lesson – there are 365 Essential Design Dos and Don’ts after all 😉 But I would find it difficult to stop reading after just one ‘lesson’. It’s the type of book which draws you in to the extent you can spend quite a while flitting from one page to the next. Though if anyone takes one rule from the book it should be rule 001Thou shall not use Comic Sans.

Although I said the book was wittily written (try saying that fast after a few drinks) that does not detract from the fact that the book is full of accurate and informative rules, and I’d say there are many folk out there today that would benefit from owning a copy.


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