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Designa: Technical Secrets of the Traditional Visual Arts

(Wooden Books)

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Following the success of Quadrivium and Sciencia, a compendium of six titles on art and design in the acclaimed Wooden Books series appears here in one volume.
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Bloomsbury USA (first published August 1st 2014)
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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 ·  145 ratings  ·  12 reviews


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T.R. Rankin
I love this book. It's great on several levels. For the lover of art and design, this is a great read that explains the art and science behind what we view as appealing. As a designer I also appreciate the step by step instructions in creating some seemingly complex designs. In my opinion if one is using it as a reference book it might be a bit of a struggle to replicate some of the images in here for a beginner. However, as in anything practice makes perfect and there are more than enough examp ...more
Manintheboat
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Um, how do you pronounce this book? Does is rhyme with "vagina?"
Amazing book though, despite my childish observations.
Adriana
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-design
Consisting of 6 books on related subjects and an Appendices and Index section, it's small enough that you only get the very basic of information on each point within each topic.
However, they are all great starting points if you're looking to know the basics of some classic (and ancient) techniques.
Do be prepared to read a lot about math, geometry, and complicated equations. They make up the biggest part of each technique.
The best part of this book, though, is without a doubt the very last sec
...more
M R
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must-have if you appreciate traditional art and want to know a bit more about some of the principles behind it. It succinctly covers Celtic Patterns, Islamic design, curves, perspective, symmetry and the golden section.

There's just enough here to even get some basic working knowledge of the geometry and techniques behind much art of the past. It works well as quick guide on the subjects covered that you can explore more in-depth elsewhere if you so choose. Some of it gets rather
...more
Daan Janssen
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would say this is a must read for anyone in the visual arts. For me, it did not inspire me to create masterful artwork, but it strongly interested me and got me to learn more about shape and symbolism. Knowledge is a great base for making good drawings.
David Ultis
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I especially enjoy influencing meaning of forms in design, so this book always returns a sense of value to the forms of drafting practical models in my daily works.
Jeremy Dooley
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly useful. A must have for any designer.
Elizabeth Rose
Apr 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Each of the six books that make up Designa is written by a different author on a specific subject. Since they were originally published separately, there is a little overlap from book to book, but not much.
Book 1 is Celtic Design. It offers numerous examples of the iconic winding knots most identified with Irish rock art and illuminated manuscripts. Explanations of how such designs were/are created are clear and practical.
Book 2, Islamic Design, delves into the geometry of the abstract tiling
...more
Alina
For those interested in learning the technicalities behind art, i.e. math behind the art, this book is perfect for you. As a mega-book composed of six smaller ones, you'll get to explore different eras and cultures of art, from European to Islamic to Geometric and Natural. Additionally, the illustrations provided are beautiful and well-captioned to be easy-to-understand.
Jennifer
Beautiful pictures, interesting concepts, but the text got a bit confusingly technical and sometimes repetitive. This coming from someone with a math degree! I found the appendix of how-to's even more useful than much of the text.
Hans Marijnissen
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very interesting, beautiful pictures and graphics.
Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
fun book on artistic techniques and cool artistic modes and methods. I think artists would want something with more meat but it is great for laypersons like myself. Illustrations are beautiful.
Coco Sato
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