BASIC DESIGN TEXTS (2)


246. Lindbeck, John R. Designing Today’s Manufactured Products.

Bloomington, IL: McNight & McNight, 1972. 260 pp. Index, bibl., B/W

illus. ISBN 8735-440-5.

    Intended for industrial education and art teachers this text surveys

design history, design problem-solving methods, visual organization

theory, and design techniques and applications in specific materials. The

recommended design method includes statement of the functional, material,

and visual requirements of the problem; analysis and research; possible

solutions; experimentation; and final solution. Individual chapters on

designing for graphics, crafts, and industrial design emphasize three-

dimensional objects. The two-page section on color as a design element

gives brief overviews of color preferences and associations and the Prang

and Munsell color systems. The general design bibliography includes a

now dated list of audiovisual materials.


247. Linton, Harold. Color Model Environments: Color and Light

in Three-Dimensional Design. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold,

1985. 250 pp. Index, bibl., B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-442-25893-3.

    This excellent text begins with an overview of design elements and

basic materials and techniques. It features a unique section that relates color

and light to three-dimensional design principles. In turn, this information is

applied to the planning processes and models used by architecture and

design students and professionals. Many fine color illustrations enrich this

handsome and useful book.


248. Maier, Manfred. Basic Principles of Design: The Foundation Program at

the School of Design, Basel, Switzerland. New York: Van Nostrand

Reinhold, 1977. 384 pp. B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-442-21206-2.

    The Foundation Program at the School of Design in Basel,

Switzerland consists of an intense year-long program that devotes 42

classroom hours each week to the study of materials and tools, drawing,

color, three-dimensional studies and aesthetics. This book documents the

course sequence mainly through illustrations, which are accompanied by

minimal text and very brief course descriptions. One color course consists

of exercises that explore color as material through painting and collage

techniques. A second course focuses on changing color relationships as

colors vary in hue, value, intensity, and proportion. This book will be most

useful to readers seeking an overview of the highly regarded curriculum,

and to those looking for studio exercises that range from studies of letter

forms to experimental work with fibers or clay.


249. Mills, Kenneth H. and Judith E. Paul. Applied Visual Merchandising.

Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1988. 254 pp. Index, bibl.,

glossary, B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-13-043373-X.

    Intended as a text for college students, this thorough introduction to

visual merchandising provides an overview of the purpose and history of

display in retail establishments. It enumerates relevant design principles and

trends and notes common errors in displays. A brief chapter on color

includes guidelines for usage in displays and covers lighting and signage.

The remaining chapters focus on display trends, practice, aids, and the

visual merchandising team. Activities and projects conclude each chapter.

Inclusion of current information on color perception, preferences, and

symbolism would improve this otherwise useful work.


250. Moholy-Nagy, Lazlo. Vision in Motion. Chicago: Paul Theobald, 1947.

381 pp. Index, endnotes/footnotes, B/W illus., color illus.

    Moholy-Nagy’s design education writings stem from his innovative

teaching at the Institute of Design in Chicago. His design ideas and student

exercises are inspired by an interdisciplinary approach that draws freely

from art, science, and technology. While color is mentioned only

occasionally and briefly in the text, the 16-page chapter on painting includes

interesting treatments of color perception, harmony, and historic color usage

by painters. Some of his free-wheeling discussions include helpful notes

and documentation. His approach to art remains visionary and future-

oriented as he moves from pigment to photography to light -- indeed, he

predicts that “most of the visual work of the future lies with the ‘light

painter.’ ”


251. Myers, Jack Fredrick. The Language of Visual Art.

Perception as a Basis for Design and Instructor’s Manual. Fort

Worth: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1989. 352 pp. Index, bibl.,

glossary. B/W illus. color illus. ISBN 0-30-12604-5. Instructor’s

Manual, 198 pp. B/W illus. ISBN 0-03-27562-8.

    Myers presents a compelling conceptual framework that emphasizes

perception, “patternmaking,” and meaning in design in this ambitious text

with an exhaustive scope. The advantage, he says, is that students learn to

organize patterns well, which leads to formulating successful compositions.

A major section called “The Anatomy of Color” thoroughly covers light,

vision, color mixing systems, an innovative pigment color palette, and color

psychology. There is also an excellent section on light effects. Black-and-

white illustrations and diagrams on nearly every page, 14 colored pages of

mainly fine arts images, and useful summaries at the end of every chapter

make this highly challenging and comprehensive text more accessible to

students. Painting and photography are well represented, graphic design

less so. The author’s occasional references to the scientific literature in the

form of brief notes and the selected bibliography are helpful. This fine

“instructor’s edition” and the separate instructor's  manual would strongly

support a one-year core foundations program.


252. Ocvirk, Otto G. , Robert E. Stinson, Philip R. Wigg, and

Robert O. Bone. Art Fundamentals: Theory and Practice. 6th

ed. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown, 1990. 304 pp. Index, bibl., glossary,

B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-697-03959-5.

    This popular introductory text is intended for study of art

appreciation as well as for studio practice. It assumes that subject, form,

and content are the main ingredients of art. Individual chapters focus on

form, line, shape, value, texture, color, space, three-dimensional art,

content and style. An elegant special feature of this sixth revision is the

distribution of fine color plates throughout the book within discussions of

the nature, properties and phenomena of color, and color relationships and

usage. Other useful features include vocabularies for each chapter, a

comprehensive glossary, and a three-page chronological outline of Western

art. Projects for students are now available in an instructor’s manual.


253. Papatore, Philip Carlo. Art & Design: Field-Event Theory. Augusta:

University of Maine at Augusta, 1981.   pp. B/W illus., color illus.

    In this presentation of field-event theory as “a conceptual model for

the study of design,” design principles are identified and related to a broad

range of academic disciplines. Thus this thought-provoking book supports

a conceptual and interdisciplinary approach for instruction of introductory

design. Although brief, the sections on color focus on light and vision, and

touch on simultaneous and successive contrast.


254. Parker, W. Oren, and Harvey K. Smith. Scene Design and

Stage Lighting. 4th ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 616

pp. Index., bibl., glossary, B.W. illus, color illus. ISBN 0-03-020761-4.

    The authors explain that theater designers must constantly work with

the dynamics of color both as light and as pigment. A refreshing overview

of the basic elements and principles of design is followed by an excellent

12-page color chapter which covers the general attributes of color and light,

color in paint, and interaction of colors. Other discussions specific to scene

design address the modification of the appearance of painted scenery and

dyed costumes by light. Color illustrations include Itten’s 12-hue circle and

proportional hue circle. Other fine color plates show what the authors call

“reactions” of adjacent colors caused by chroma and value, and the

influence of colored hue surrounds on neutral grays. Additional

explanations and demonstrations include cast shadow colors, color

reflections, application of additive mixing principles to stage lighting, and

control through color schemes and plots. The clear explanations of the

practical application of additive color principles in the theater are inspiring.


255. Richardson, John Adkins, Floyd W. Coleman, and Michael J.

Smith. Basic Design: Systems, Elements, Applications.

Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1984. 274 pp. Index, bibl.,

endnotes/footnotes, glossary, B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-13-060l86-l.

    This design text builds on the past experience and wealth of ideas

compiled and integrated by three authors. The first section touches on

conceptual problems that face designers and traces the evolution of design

education and applied art. Here they introduce their curious term Nordic

Modern, which they apply to the German Bauhaus designers and Swiss

typographers who emphasized the functional and systematic, and then

compare with the “post-modernist” reaction. The authors claim to

synthesize the advantages of both approaches. Next they examine

traditional and contemporary approaches to composition in a “systems”

section that looks at grids, modules, forms, and patterns. The third section

relates design elements and application of design principles to various kinds

of designs and media, including illustration. The last section surveys

application in graphics, domestic architecture, and conceptual art. Eleven

pages of excellent color plates present subtractive and additive color,

Munsell and Ostwald, pigments and printing inks, process color separation,

simultaneous contrast, and a 12-hue circle. Notes for each chapter provide

useful documentation for this ambitious and comprehensive work. The text

seems accessible to beginning as well as to advanced students.


256. Ross, Denman Waldo. On Drawing and Painting. Boston: Houghton

Mifflin, 1912. 214 pp. B/W illus.

    The author’s overriding concern is with the “attainment of excellence

in thinking and in technical performance.” Well known for his design and

color theories, Ross prescribes 48 “set-palettes” for color harmony. He

also advocates a “design” approach to drawing and painting and defines this

as achieving order through use of repetition, sequencing, and balance. The

remainder of this classic work deals with pure and applied design and

modes of representation. The general discussion of color characteristics is

relatively brief and the set-palette approach requires careful study. Ross’s

writings on his systematic formal approach had a significant impact on his

audience in the early decades of the 20th century.


257. Roukes, Nicholas. Design Synectics: Stimulating Creativity in Design.

Worcester, MA: Davis, 1988. 224 pp. Index, bibl. B/W illus., color illus.

ISBN 87192-198-7.

    In the introduction the author describes synectics as a theory of

creativity and discusses his collection of provocative design verbs. This is

followed by five lively sections on substructure of design, design and

synectics, design and signification, paradox and humor, and change. Each

section concludes with several “studio action” ideas for students that are

illustrated with examples by artists or students. In contrast to the innovative

and energetic design ideas and discussions, the color section is derivative

and minimal, limited to a replication of Itten’s 12-hue color wheel and seven

color contrasts, and two paragraphs on color chording and discordant color.

This is rounded out by a 14-page “color gallery” with color plates of

paintings, light sculpture, mixed media, and computer-generated images,

accompanied by very brief descriptive captions. Most of the many black-

and-white illustrations reflect a fine arts perspective. The author deliberately

warns off those seeking reason and order and encourages those who want

to “mobilize fantasy and ‘off- the- wall’ thinking.”


258. Scott, Robert Gillam. Design Fundamentals. New York: McGraw, 1951.

199 pp. Index, bibl., B/W illus., color illus.

    Within the context of subtractive color and paint, Scott discusses

how to change “tonal dimensions” of hue, value and intensity by mixing a

pigment with black, white, gray, or another pigment. His survey of ways

that colors are influenced by their environment includes simultaneous

contrast, wami/cool contrast, and value contrast. In a third chapter he

presents methods for achieving unified color relationships through hue and

value sequences and gradations; use of analogous, triad, or complementary

intervals; and dominant hue or temperature. Short reading lists, now very

dated, conclude each chapter. While Scott fails to provide a comprehensive

overview of color theory, some readers may find his color strategies of

interest. A fine example of a design text of the 1950s, special features of

the book include coverage of three-dimensional design and the role of

proportion in design.


259. Thiel, Philip. Visual Awareness and Design. Seattle: University

of Washington Press, 1981. 287 pp. bBbl., endnotes/footnotes, B/W

illus. ISBN 0-295-95712-3.

    This excellent introduction to visual design principles has cultural

and visual literacy as its goal. Written in the spirit of Gyorgy Kepes’s

Language of Vision, the author’s thoughtful yet experiential approach offers

a line contrast to more conventional presentations of design basics.

Eighteen chapters focus on conceptual problems such as form perception or

color expression and provide students with exercises that build basic design

skills, all the while weaving in rich excerpts of relevant readings from

primary sources. Six “problem” chapters deal with color and cover the

major theories, the Munsell color system, and approaches to color harmony.

The impact of color on space and the use of color for coding, topics not

often covered elsewhere, are addressed briefly. This comprehensive book

offers interesting ideas for the teaching of color for instructors of three-

dimensional design and architecture courses. An excellent bibliography

includes audiovisual materials. This balance approach provides a successful

model for design writers.


  1. 260.Wallschlaeger, Charles and Cynthia Busic-Snyder. Basic

Visual Concepts and Principles for Artists, Architects, and

Designers. Dubuque, IA: W. C. Brown, 1992. 527 pp. Index, appendix, B.W

illus. color illus. ISBN 0-697-00651-4.2.

    The authors model the structure of their book and their “problem-

solving process/ form generation model” on Bloom’s Taxonomy of

Educational Objectives (1952) and Mager’s Preparing Instructional

Objectives ( 1962), which they summarize in their introduction to this book on

visual studies in drawing, two and three dimensional design, and color.

Some of the topics in this exhaustive reference include problem solving;

visual elements; volume and structure; the visual and physical attributes of

form; perceptual principles of organization; and symmetry. Other

interesting topics include reviews of historical influences on visual

education; Gibson’s innovative study of gradients in depth perception

(1950); perception of figure and form related to Gestalt psychology; and

Gerritsen’s color concepts (1975), among others. The excellent 64-page

color chapter surveys 16 historic circles, provides color plates and

explanations for Ostwald, Munsell, and Pantone; and covers subtractive,

and optical color mixing; traditional color harmonies; and afterimage and

successive contrast. The discussion of color proportion is credited to Itten.

Three-dimensional color studies using dowels are reminiscent of student

problems in Dimensional Color by Swinoff (1989), which is not cited.

Much of the documentation consists of lists of references that conclude each

chapter but are not included in the index. Interestingly, the illustrations

include student work from many educational institutions surveyed by the

authors, and many exercises for students emphasize three dimensional

experiments. The information from many sources on the historical,

theoretical, and perceptual basis of design, and special coverage of

industrial design concerns make this a well balanced text that will challenge

students.


261. Wingler, Hans M. The Bauhaus. Rev. ed. Cambridge: Massachusetts

Institute of Technology Press, 1969. 652 pp. Bibl., endnotes/footnotes,

B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 262-23033- X.

    This book documents the history of the life, works, and culture of

students and teachers of the German Bauhaus, the school whose students

and teachers were some of the foremost designers and design educators of

the 20th century. An encyclopedic archive of documents and pictorial

material originally published in German in 1962, the book deals very little

with color directly, although it contains some material from Kandinsky’s

color course. However, the inclusion of the early work of Itten and Albers

is of special interest in light of the influence of their later writings on art and

design education.


262. Young, Frank M. Visual Studies: A Foundation for Artists

and Designers. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1985. 191 pp.

Index, B/W illus., color illus.ISBN O-13-942508-X.

    This well-organized text introduces visual studies through 60

problems, explained in terms of “task, materials, and considerations” that

address visual perception, color theory, two and three-dimensional

composition, drawing systems, analysis and manipulation of three-

dimensional forms, physical structure and materials and processes.

Following an introductory chapter on Gestalt principles, the color chapter

briefly explains Munsell, Ostwald, and Prang color systems, depicts 12

historic hue circles, covers subtractive and additive color, and presents eight

color problems. The clear, first person writing style and the range of the

exercises make this an approachable text for beginning students as well as

for the general reader. The excellent illustrations mainly of graphic and

product designs, include a nine-page chart of objects in daily use from 1850

to the present.


263. Zelanski, Paul and Mary Pat Fisher. Design Principles and

Problems. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1984. 292 pp.

Index, glossary, B/W illus., color illus. TSBN 0-03-051166-6.

    This excellent text thoroughly covers design process,

principles, and elements. A chapter devoted to each design element

combines discussion with studio problems and illustrations drawn mainly

from fine arts and student work. The 34-page chapter on color provides

brief but complete coverage of additive and subtractive color, color systems,

color characteristics, subjective color, and color phenomena. The chapter

on the third dimension lists color and time among the seven elements

discussed. Readers will appreciate the clear and concise presentation of

information and the carefully described studio problems.



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