The Designer’s Graphic Stew is a graphic design book I have been kindly given and asked to review. I checked with the company that gave it to me to make sure that were happy that I give my honest opinion and they said they were so here goes –
What is Graphic Stew
Graphic Stew is a book which basically breaks up design elements that you would have on the printed page and shows you lots of different things you can do with them. For example there are pages devoted to possible grid systems, colour pallettes, typeface combinations and options amongst many other items. At the beginning of the book there is also a very good grounding into page layout and good composition that would be ideal for newbies.
First Impressions of Graphic Stew
I have to admit my first impressions of Graphic Stew were not good. The cover was ok but inside the layout and style is very dated, I am not sure if this is intentional as they are playing on the idea of a menu or recipe book. I even turned to look at the first print date as I expected it to be the nineties – but read on the content was better than the look.
What’s Good about the Graphic Stew Design Book
Are you ever working on a design and get stuck in a rut with your layout or trying to get something to look a bit different then Graphic Stew could help you be a little bit more experimental. I know personally that layout for layouts sake is not my favourite thing (I prefer conceptial work) so when a client gives me some text and a few pics I sometimes sit and sketch and think ummm… what can I do different with it this time. This is where Graphic Stew could come in handy, perhaps for a bit of inspiration for a way I could use typography for a blown quote or a heading maybe using a leading symbol or an abstract background. The elements in Graphic Stew may not be works af art (or to be copied directly) in themselves but there to stimulate your creative brain to try out new things. Those small things that can make a difference to your design work are covered too – like different ways of styling folios on your pages.
Graphic Design Examples in Graphic Stew
Nearer the back of the Graphic Stew book are actual pieces of design work with an explanation to the layouts. This is a bit of a mixed bag again, with some of the work looking quite dated.
Should you buy Graphic Stew
If you want a graphic design book which is something you can flick through when you are stuck for what to do on a page layout this book is well worth checking out. If however you are looking for a graphic design book with beautiful typography and imagery this is not the book for you.
Examples of page indexing
Examples of page grids