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Topic: D.I.Y. Design it Yourself, Ellen Lupton - Book Review  (Read 1961 times)
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HotGlueBurns
« on: April 26, 2006 10:46:38 AM »

Came across this browsing in the bookstore. Original and hip. Love the section on wedding invitations. And, of course, Tshirts. I'm a big fan.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009 12:06:07 PM by jungrrl - Reason: Made title more descriptive » THIS ROCKS   Logged
blueblythe
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2006 11:01:31 AM »

I went to a talk she gave, she's amazing. I have the book skin it's really interesting, I'll definitely have to check this out.
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nyssa1231
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2006 02:19:12 PM »

I got this book a little while ago, and it's what started me in on DIY stuff! I saw the section on making your own business cards, and, being an attorney, I was attracted to her non-conventional approach. I won't be making business cards out of cakes anytime soon, but my interest in making my own business cards has spiraled out of control and now I'm obsessed with making everything!

I definitely recommend the book. The designs are inspiring and very easy to follow. Enjoy!
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suzies_litlgurl
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some supermodel wannabe...


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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2007 02:09:16 PM »

im trying to get this book from a bookstore instead of ordering it online. has anyone bought it yet? and if so do you like it? is it worth the money? ive bought DIY books before and some of them are hit and miss.
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...the girl cant help it....
TrentSketch
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2007 12:02:08 AM »

D.I.Y. Design it Yourself is ok.  It's really not that great.  All of the categories listed on the cover (from blogs to logos to t-shirts to zines) are really just glossed over in a few short pages, but those pages are filled with a lot of great pictures.  The book really shines when it goes into the history of design theory and an overview of the basics of graphic design, but that is only a
short portion of the book.  The best section by far is on CD/DVD packaging, but even that does not go into much detail. 

D.I.Y. Design it Yourself actually seems to abhor detailed descriptions of anything.  The embroidery chapter actually had me laughing out loud when it claimed there were but three stitches to use on a machine: satin stitch (ok, that's one), step stitch (uh...it looks like straight stitch to me) and outline stitch (who in the what now? oh, you mean a straight stitch again).  But then the very next page they show a design that they just call zig-zag stitch and never specify that that is also one of the many options.  And then they just say use an embroidery machine or pay to have it stitched by someone else.

Instead of providing any type of guide as to how to accomplish the looks in the book, more often than not, the DIY solution is to have it commercially printed or purchase a single-purpose kit to accomplish it.  I don't know what planet these authors live on, but where I'm from a quality CD labeling kit with centering tool is pretty darn expensive, yet it is ranked as the cheapest and easiest option for CD packaging.  Wouldn't it be more akin to a Design It Yourself philosophy to suggest using readily available sticker paper from the store, print/paint/draw/screenprint/stamp/lino-block/other a design onto the paper and then trace out and cut handmade CD labels and carefully position and trim them to the disk?  Also, while I liked that CD section, it seemed to ignore what is fast becoming a standard, eco-friendly (and they do seem to like patting themselves on the back for being eco-friendly quite a few times) packaging is folded recycled paper containers, where the CD goes in one pocket and the booklet goes in another.

The interview section (all eight pages of it) covers some pretty interesting people, but relegates it to blind praise rather than any real insight into design.

I will give the book one thing: it's designed very well.  The photo quality, text size, color, font, and layout are wonderful, and the book has a nice heft to it that betrays the softbound cover in a good way.

This book is best used for inspiration and a general introduction to design theory (the theory, design, branding, and logo sections and like tidbits throughout the book are some of the clearest explanations I have ever seen of design theory, but lack any real depth), but should not be seen as a guide to actually Designing Anything Yourself.  It's an inspiration book, and one with a pretty hefty price tag (SRLP $19.95, I got it for 30% off).
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purpleone
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2007 03:11:19 AM »

I've got this book and it's a nice 'coffee table' flick-through read but short on good practical projects  Undecided
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