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The New Graphic Design School: A Foundation Course in Principles and Practice, 4th Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-15131-0
February 2012
The New Graphic Design School: A Foundation Course in Principles and Practice, 4th Edition (1118151313) cover image
The principles and practice of graphic design

Graphic Design School is a foundation course for graphic designers working in print, moving image, and digital media.

  • Practical advice on all aspects of graphics design-from understanding the basics to devising an original concept and creating successful finished designs.
  • Examples are taken from all media-magazines, books, newspapers, broadcast media, websites, and corporate brand identity.
  • Packed with exercises and tutorials for students, and real-world graphic design briefs.

This revised, fourth edition contains specific advice on how to adapt designs to suit different projects, including information on digital imaging techniques, motion graphics, and designing for the web and small-screen applications.

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Part One: Principles.

Unit One: Research and Early Concepts.

Basics of research.

Linear reasoning/lateral thinking.

Exploratory drawing.

Visualizing ideas.

Theories of image and text.

Audiences, markets, and concepts.

Scheduling, organizing, and finalizing.

Unit Two: Fundamentals of Composition.

Basics of composition.

Form and space.


Basic principles of layout.

Styles of layout.

Pace and contrast.

Size and format.

Coordination and identity.

Photography and illustration.

Unit Three: Fundamentals of Typography.

Typography and meaning.

The anatomy of type.

Understanding and selecting typefaces.


Readability and legibility.

Typographic emphasis and hierarchy.

Typographic rules/boxes and ornaments.

Text as image.

Unit Four: Fundamentals of Color.

Color terminology.

Color legibility, contrast, and harmony.

Color associations.

Color as information.

Part Two: Practice.

Unit Five: Tools and Technologies.

Photography basics and image sourcing.



DTP applications.


3D graphics.

Flash/After Effects.

Unit Six: Production Process and Issues.


Printed color.

Digital printing.

File preparation and sending.

File types and compression.

Workspace, monitor, and calibration.

Paper stocks and finishing.

The role of PDFs.

Correcting color proofs.

Press check.

Electronic media production.

Unit Seven: Web Design Basics.

Visual design and coding.

The languages of the Internet.

The building blocks of a web page.

The graphical user interface.


Web standards, validation, Doctype, and SEO.

Designing for different browsers and platforms.

Web design software.

Web-based self-publishing.

Unit Eight: Commercial Applications.

Core/specialist skills.

Logo design and brand identity.

Motion graphics.

Web design.

Editorial design.

Game design.


Information design.







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David Dabner returned to academic life as a lecturer in design after working in the print and design industry for several years as a typographer. He teaches at the renowned London College of Printing and is Course Director of the Higher National Diploma in Typographic Design. He is the author of How to Understand and Use Design and Layout.

Sheena Calvert has over 20 years experience in graphic design and typography, and in art critical theory, gained both in the UK and the United States. She has taught at various universities and art schools, and she has established a New York-based design studio-Parlour. She has a particular interested in letterpress printing as an experimental medium.

Anoki Casey is a San Diego-based graphic artist and was web designer specializing in print, illustration, advertising, and identity development for small businesses, non-profits, start-ups, and creatives of all types. Check out his website: www.anoki.net.

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