Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Taking a break with a book...

This past weekend my brother came up to help me move my stuff into my new apartment. But, as it always happens in the moving process, we got tired so we took the Saturday off and explored Barnes & Noble.

I, myself, have a lot of reading to catch up with so I mostly flipped through potential books that I might want to read in the late, late future and admired some of the trendy cover art. And then I got a bright idea: Why not look for design books?

To say the least, I am disappointed at this particular Barnes and Nobles lack of anything related to graphic design and slightly upset at the misleading sign with the words 'Architecture & Design' which really meant 'Architecture & Interior Design.' I found a grand total of 4 books that were solely dedicated to graphic design, but fortunately, one was a must have: 'Design Basics Index (Index Series)' by Jim Krauss. The book is actually straight forward and simple about most design concepts. It's jampacked with so much and have exercises for all kinds of things that it's gotten me all kinds of excited. My apartment now includes a specific section in the living room dedicated to design and web design just because I'm all kinds of excited.

As I'm fixing my spiffy little section along with the rest of my living room, I heard myself asking yet other questions: Why buy design books when there's so much on the web about it? Why buy books when there's so much more out there?

Problem with searching the web for design as with anything else on the web is that one can easily lose themselves in a sea of information and it's quite easy to get sidetracked with yet another cool interesting article/blog/image/etc. that may or may not have anything to do with what you were learning. With books there's hardly any chance of something popping out at you or have highlighted words that are just itching to be clicked to take you away to something absolutely different. It's just you and that page. It's a beauty that most people do not seem to appreciate enough and an incredible feature when you want to focus your energy on learning a single aspect well.

However, I am not denying the fact that there is a beauty to the internet as well. Internet magazines for one; forums, social networking sites another. The internet has opened doors to meet others with similar minds and create communities that otherwise would be impossible. So in that, I cannot deny the power and potential that internet has to build yourself from. But sometimes, one needs that simplicity, that piece of paper and pen to start from, that book that you found tucked away in a library or discount stores. Starting out simple isn't always a weakness but can be a great strength and will leave you in a clearer state of mind when approaching design and learning from it. It doesn't hurt to keep your eyes open and take in the day, a notebook at hand or a camera close to heart. Most of the time, you'll never know what hit you.

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