Roger shares Tips & References
DT&G Roger, you know that the readers are going to want to hear your comments on software. Any insights on this or that page layout software? Web software?
I bounce back and forth between PageMaker 6.5 and Publisher 2000. Both are great and both are "intuitive." More and more, however, I find PageMaker's lack of multiple Undos to be a major problem. It frustrates me that I can't easily return to a previous typeface or line spacing or return a resized photograph to its original size. I like the way Publisher 2000 permits me to Undo my way out of a jam, when I start proceeding in the wrong direction.
Web-wise, there's a lot to like about Net Objects Fusion, especially the way you can easily see the structure of your web site so visibly.
DT&G Okay -- here's another loaded one: If you had to recommend a book to help new or intermediate designers, and could not recommend your own, (hee, hee) which one would it be?
There are several that are really important. I'm very enthusiastic about the second edition of Alex White's Type in Use. Alex teaches by example. You leave his book motivated to try new, but simple, techniques on your own. The emphasis is not on fancy effects but on the sizing and placement of text. I love the organization of the book.
Partnered with Alex White's Type in Use, I'd have to return to Robert Bringhurst's The Elements of Typographic Style. This "gentle," and that's the only word for it, volume is a gem you'll never get rid of.
Finally, as mentioned earlier, I feel that the forthcoming Type Sense by Susan and Gary Wheeler (W.W. Norton) will be a worthwhile edition to any designer's library.
Colorwise, Rockport Press and North Light Books have several specimen books that contain color palettes (combinations of colors that work particularly well together) that are organized around emotional themes. The Color Harmony series is one example. These books can be particularly useful.
DT&G What about web sites? Got favorites you'd like to tip our readers on?
Roger: In terms of simplicity and impact, there's an English web site I really like. Its URL is www.eos-magazine.com. English design is often refreshingly simple and straightforward. It has a lot of lessons to teach. I frequently return to it, not only because I enjoy reading about cameras but because the site projects such a feeling of optimism.
DT&G Roger, I don't want you to get away without plugging your own work. I love the One Minute Designer -- and can highly recommend it to anyone in the field -- Anything new in the pipeline? New books, etc.?
Like I said, I feel my new Microsoft Publisher 2000 book, Getting Great Results with Microsoft Publisher 2000 (Osborn/McGraw-Hill, is in many ways one of my strongest books. I think it does a better job of relating design and marketing fundamentals to specific software commands than anything I've done before. Publisher 2000 is an embarrassingly rich program for its price, and I've tried to relate its capabilities to the needs of most small business owners.
And, I'm excited about my Relationship Marketing and the Internet book for Adams Books.
Most small business web sites fail because they are not integrated into the firm's day-to-day business and they're built around a "one size fits all" philosophy. I've tried to show how web sites can be used for different purposes at the five stages of customer involvement.
DT&G Is there a single "most important" design tip you'd like to leave our readers with today?
Roger: Yes, of course. . .
- Design for your reader, not yourself and not your client.
- Do whatever it takes to balance attention with readability
- Use typogrpahic and color contrast to attract attention
- Make titles and headlines stand out
- Strive to make your body copy as "transparent" and easy to read as possible.
DT&G Always excellent advice, but difficult to live by!
Well, Roger, looks like we've run out of time... but one last question... Can we persuade you to visit with us again in the pages of DT&G again in the future?
Roger: Of course. I look forward to it.
DT&G Fantastic! Thank you so much for visiting today! And best wishes to you in all your future ventures.
There you have it folks! What a great chat with Roger Parker ... plus a promise to come back and visit with us again. In the mean time, just visit Roger at:
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