I was inspired to write Visual Design Solutions when I realized there were no graphic design books specifically for people in the learning industry, even though we create in highly visual mediums. I also have an undergrad degree in Art Education, so I am keenly interested in this topic.
During design workshops, I see frustrated, haphazard designers transform into intentional designers as they realize that they can improve their skills by learning the foundation principles of design and applying them in practice.
Some wonderful people have already been reviewing my book for the blog book tour. See the list below, which I will update regularly. It was fun hearing about something they learned from the book.
Learning Solutions Magazine: Bill Brandon wrote a detailed review of Visual Design Solutions, covering each of the four sections. As someone who has been involved in publishing in a previous life, he was happy to see a lot of detail in the typography section.
Cammy Bean’s Learning Visions: In this article, Cammy (author of The Accidental Instructional Designer) describes the four sections of Visual Design Solutions and does a great breakdown of the content. She also lists who would be interested in the book. I think she thought of more audience groups than I did! Cammy learned what makes PNG files special. Read her review to find out.
Kapp Notes: Karl, author of great books on gamification, interviewed me for this article. He asked some great questions where I actually had to think, such as, “What is the most difficult part of writing such a visually appealing book?” And you know how hard thinking is.
Usable Learning: Julie Dirksen, of Design for How People Learn fame, wrote a concise review with pictures. I like the way she arranged them and this quote made me happy, “Connie’s book does a great job of giving people the basics of a visual vocabulary.” That was one of my intentions. Julie learned what the Rule of Thirds is about.
Bozarth Zone: Ms. Bozarth, author of many books including, Show Your Work, related how my book has helpful tips when working in an environment with meager budgets and dry content. Sound familiar?
Discovery Through eLearning: by Tracy Parish: In this review, Tracy talks about what was affirmed from reading Visual Design Solutions and a few things that she’s going to add to her repertoire, like writing a Style Guide. She mentions how in a year’s time, one would have a nice collection of Style Guides.
eLearn Magazine: by Ryan Tracey, author of eLearning Provocateur. Ryan mentions the breadth of topics and principles covered in Visual Design Solutions. He particularly likes the last two chapters on Storytelling and Making Numbers Interesting. Ryan thought that I may have delved too deeply into typography and I respect his opinion. My reasoning is that I wanted to offer some depth for readers who have some experience in design.
Experiencing eLearning: Christy Tucker, long-time instructional designer and blogger, wrote a long review of Visual Design Solutions. For Christy, two chapters in particular stood out. She liked learning about layouts and the consistency that comes from using a grid. She also found the chapter on storytelling helpful, because it helped her see ways to visualize stories. I liked her suggestion that the book could have used a concluding chapter.
eLearning Brothers: Those wild and crazy eLearning Brothers reviewed Visual Design Solutions. My take away from their review is that they liked the way it teaches visual design in light of creating instructional materials. The design principles and creative ideas are discussed in the context of learning. The focus is on enhancing instruction and aesthetic pleasure.
Visual Design Solutions is available from Amazon where you can “look inside” of the paperback (not the Kindle) edition and ATD (discounted for members), where you can also download a chapter or two. Note: The paperback book looks better than the Kindle, so I would suggest buying the paperback.