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A BOOK ABOUT DESIGN by Mark Gonyea Kirkus Star


Complicated Doesn’t Make It Good

by Mark Gonyea

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-8050-7575-5
Publisher: Henry Holt

A clean, clear, lighthearted look at the communicative clout of color, contrast and contour. With a playful wink and lots of white space, Gonyea speaks directly to readers, inviting engagement as a vehicle to understanding fundamentals of design while allowing bright, bold graphics to speak for themselves. Ellipses and parenthetical asides affect a cozy, conspiratorial tone. Amusing, sometimes enigmatic chapter headings like “1:3:9” (an exponential ratio of weight and balance in composition) introduce dynamic demonstrations that prove the power of the purposeful arrangement of the parts of a picture. Heeding its own advice and avoiding highfalutin’ theory, this pithy, deceptively simple work is far more visual than verbal (under 450 words), offering an experience in graphic communication rather than a treatise. Artists, educators and other fans of Molly Bang’s bible, Picture This (2000), will delight in this energetic treatment of the whys and wherefores of relationship and relativity in illustration and will want it in core collections. It should find a place in every collection. (Nonfiction. 6+)