Visual Design Solutions
You might not be able to judge a book by it’s cover, but whether you know it or not your audience is making snap decisions about your learning materials at first glance. It DOES matter what your stuff looks like and if you’re looking to up your visual design game you should definitely read Connie Malamed’s latest book, “Visual Design Solutions: Principles and Creative Inspiration for Learning Professionals”.
At the very top of a long list of reasons for reading this book is the way it blends the process and principles of graphic design with accessible ways to apply those sometimes fuzzy concepts to your own actual, real world projects.
Connie has included a boatload of practical examples to illustrate each concept. The examples alone would make this book worth checking out. When they come as a follow-up to plain english explanations of the underlying principles — they are elevated to “must see” status.
This book is divided into four sections:
PART 1: THE BIG IDEAS
In the Big Ideas section, you’ll learn why visuals help improve learning outcomes and how to do it the right way. (Decorating is VERY different than designing!) In my opinion, understanding foundational multimedia design principles if one of the most important things a learning designer should master.
PART 2: THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF DESIGN
Part two covers the building blocks of design in a casual, easy to follow way with lots of great examples along the way. This section will get you up to speed on graphic design concepts like layout, typography, and imagery.
PART 3: POWER PRINCIPLES
In the third section, you’ll get the “Power Principles” and learn how to unify your designs by making conscious decisions about color, visual hierarchies and other ways to make great looking cohesive designs.
PART 4: PRACTICING DESIGN
And finally in part four, you’ll see even more great examples and ideas for putting everything into practice. Great stuff like converting boring bullet points to appealing graphics, how to make numbers interesting and more.
I challenge anyone to read this book and NOT walk away with great ideas you can start using immediately. This book is always within reach, right at the front of my book shelf and if you design learning content it should be on yours too!