May 1999

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Illustrator 8 for Windows and Macintosh by Elaine Weinmann and Peter Lourekas. Peachpit Press, $19.99 (Visual Quickstart Guide).

Whether you're an experienced Illustrator user who wants to start using version 's new features, or a novice with PostScript illustration programs, this book is a good place to start. It covers all the features and functions of Illustrator 8, uses lots of screen shots and graphic illustrations, and is a lot cheaper than a training session. Most of the instructions are given in step-by-step format, making it easy to learn this complex program.As will all the books in this marvelous series, it's short on commentary, long on explanations, and easy to use.


The Little iMac Book by Robin Williams. Peachpit Press, $17.99.

The best way to read this remarkable book is to use the index to find whatever you need to know. It covers everything about using the iMac from basic Mac system information to specific guides for using the installed software. The chapter on the Internet, e-mail, and surfing the Web is helpful to anyone using a Mac and another chapter on periphals It explains what it is) gives iMac users a good idea of what's available and how to buy them. Although the iMac is easy to setup and use, Robin Williams makes even that easy learning curve a pleasure to explore and profit from.


Photoshop Studio Secrets, 2nd Edition, by Deke McClelland and Katrin Eismann. IDG Books, $49.99 with CD-ROM (Macintosh and Windows).

This beautifully developed book is like having twenty-one of the world's top digital artists teach you how to use Photoshop. Each artist takes you through a project with step-by-step instructions for using a Photoshop command or feature. You'll be surprised at how these people work, often breaking the rules to create dynamic artwork. Inspiring and instructional, there is much to learn by letting so many talented and experienced Photoshop users show you how they make digital images dance. The accompanying CD includes QuickTime movies and interactive VR artwork, phone interviews with featured artists, and a special episode from Deke McClelland's cable TV show, Digital Gurus.

On Book Design by Richard Hendel. Yale University Press, $30.

In this elegant book, nine talented book designers take you through the approaches and working methods of designing books. The size, shape, and choice of typefaces are discussed with reference to manufacturing and budget limitations.Anyone who reads, writes, or designs books will find the material here not only fascinating, but also informative. The reader enters into the history and culture of publishing, learning about the process of how written words are translated into communication designs. And for anyone putting text on paper, just the typographic information provided by these experts is worth the price of the book.

Adobe Photoshop 5.0 Productivity Kit, Adobe Press, $39.99 with CD-ROM, Mac and Windows.

This book consists of 26 ready-made projects for print and screen for use with Photoshop that include adding borders to photos, creating a masthead for a newsletter, creating a photographic background for a slide presentation and using layers to animate a Web banner. The step-by-step projects take you through the process and include valuable design tips for executing similar projects with reference to other applications such as Illustrator, PageMaker and ImageReady where appropriate. You learn how to apply special effects like quick masks, hand coloring, beveling, and embossing. Whether you're a Photoshop novice or pro, the Productivity Kit will help you reach your project deadline with time it spare, especially if you use the dozens of professionally designed templates, backgrounds and actions provided on the CD-ROM.


The Non-Designer's Scan and Print Book by Sandee Cohen and Robin Williams, Peachpit Press, $24.99.

Before you select your scanner in Photoshop, read this book and learn how to get the most out of your scanner, the scanner software, and Photoshop. Whether you're scanning for screen or print, scanning photographs or line art (there is a difference) or using a digital camera or stock photography, this book will have much to teach you. These two bright and funny ladies who have taught us so much about Illustrator and Freehand (Sandee Cohen) and how to make type really work (Robin Williams) guide you through every step of the process, from original scan to final page, whether it's print or Web. They tackle all the issues like resolution, line screen, and trapping and make sense out of them so that your scans will be "picture perfect."