The New Basics

I recently finished reading a new book I received for my birthday a few weeks ago, Graphic Design: The New Basics by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips. What a great read! As its title expresses this book is focused on the basic principles that designers use every day. Each chapter focuses on one principle, such as pattern, transparency, point/line/plane, and layers. Using examples from professionals as well as many student projects from MICA, including one from my friend Meghana Khandekar, the book illustrates how these established elements of design are used in contemporary design practice. I really enjoyed how the book featured media that I frankly did not know much about in its examples. The book showcased several design pieces that were created using computer code, usually using the open source Java program Processing. The New Basics takes the model of teaching teaching design by principle and practice from the Bauhaus updates the principles to reflect current design practice. If I were taking a Design Basics class again I would definitely want this book at my side.

Stay tuned for my thoughts on another great design book that I’ve run into lately, as well as my ongoing posts on Graphic Design Theory by Helen Armstrong.