Friday, 27 April 2012

Design of a design book

I was at the library today in the cookbooks section when a mis-shelved title metaphorically leapt off the shelf and demanded to be taken home. This visually striking book is a design book published in 2010 called David Stark Design.

The cover is compelling; I couldn’t help picking it up. Why, though? Partly I think it’s the simplicity of the design: only three words on the entire front page and only two basic colours. The serif typeface chosen for the title is also simple, as is the strong left-alignment. The contrast of the cover also hit me forcefully. Yellow and purple are opposites on the colour wheel, and the contrast is further emphasised by the spot glossy surface of the text compared to the matt cover. 

The design elements of the cover (simplicity, bright colours, contrast) are echoed in the design and layout of text elements inside the book. 

For example, in the table of contents the section titles are highlighted with yellow, and the background of the page is pink. The contrast is also echoed in the font choices: the section titles are in a standard sans serif typeface, whilst the sub-headings are in a serif typeface reminiscent of type-writers. The highlighted section titles are very easy to find.

The text pertaining to the artwork on each double-paged spread is also contained in a yellow text-box, repeating the colour theme from the cover. This is also a clever way to put text on top of a photograph.

The section headings overlay the narrative text. I'm uncertain about this design choice - it is striking, but the heading makes reading the underlying text difficult.

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