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D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself: A Design Handbook
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D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself: A Design Handbook

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,058 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Not satisfied with the new T-shirts on sale at the local mall? Maybe you'd like a wedding invitation that expresses your own vision, not your party planner's? How about some personalized stationery? An upgrade to your website? A business card? A poster for your political campaign? A CD package for your band? Sound good? Then get up off your couch and Design It Yourself! Av ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published January 19th 2006 by Princeton Architectural Press
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Dec 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: DYIers, crafty people, hipsters
Shelves: own
this has some great ideas in it and it breaks everything down for you in simple terms.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
While thorough in covering the many mediums of art people can use, where this book failed was providing its readers with a comprehensive guide that would truly allow them to produce these things completely on their own. They mention screenprinting multiple times throughout the book, but never once, even so much as briefly touched on how one screenprints. However, they do tell you how to prep to submit your work to a screen printing company, which is not very do-it-yourself. If you’re just trying ...more
Jun 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is laid out in a very user-friendly way. Each chapter clearly lets you know what will be discussed. Skipping one section and reviewing another would be simple and would not leave the reader at a loss. The graphics, images, diagrams, and system for explaining expense and time are stellar. The color, fonts, and organization helped to keep me intrigued. Also, each section is written by a different person, so it stays fresh. It does assume the reader knows how to do certain things without ...more
Feb 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
There were a lot of great things about this book—there were some very good projects featured, and some clever ideas here and there.


The chapter about photo albums that begins on p. 125 did me in. I am pretty much finished with the notion that scrapbooking is some kitsch hobby stuck in 1984, one "real" design professionals can snicker at behind scrapbookers' backs. Case in point:

"You can make personal and original photographic documents while avoiding the extra layers of vellum, lace, and
Daniel J DeMersseman
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
D.I.Y. is well-designed--as any "design handbook" should be--though its best, most interesting parts come, unsurprisingly, from the book's experienced editor and her sister, Julia, an experienced designer. Their essays on D.I.Y. theory and history start the book off right, but the essays and craft ideas that follow are often merely serviceable, if somewhat spotty. You should, however, expect as much from a beginner's design handbook whose contents comes mostly from current design students.

Jul 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a book about designing all sorts of products to promote yourself or your business. It takes you through the basic processes of setting up a blog, designing T-shirts and business cards, or putting together a press kit, but it’s primarily a book of ideas and inspirations, with tons of photos of other people’s projects. Some of the ideas are immediately accessible (you can use their gift wrap suggestions right away), whereas others (such as putting together a website) are going to require s ...more
Mar 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: craft-design
This was interesting -- it's not quite a craft book, and not quite a design book, though there are elements of both. There are projects you can make (but without super detailed instructions) there is information on a variety of design principles (layout, branding) and there are tons of ideas to steal and repurpose.

It's the kind of thing I might pick up again if I wind up doing some specific project that's covered in the book -- branding for an organization, creating a newsletter.

The cool thing
Apr 24, 2007 rated it liked it
Was recommended by a couple people, but I think I came away a bit disappointed. Its very interesting for its observations on the revolution of people taking design, in all its various forms, into their own hands. Had some cool ideas and a solid overview of different techniques to apply. However beyond that, the book seemed to lack the significant content that I was expecting. I thought I would be blown away or really impressed so maybe I approached it wrong. Still interesting enough to keep my a ...more
Sep 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: craftiness
Great concept. Illustrated well. Clearly done as a project of some sort by the grad students in the program, all of whom are artists and not writers, so I suppose I can forgive the truly egregious repetitive spelling errors and similar... A good glimpse of what makes designers better than the rest of us at seeing what works and what doesn't in form, color, etc...
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent range of topics covered. All covered quite lightly but get a good feel for design in general from the entire book. One of the best over views. BUT not that technical other than a few scant pages at the beginning & there could be more practical advice. Some of the examples might quickly look dated.
Dec 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
I am so glad I didn't ask for this book for Christmas, because I just read the whole thing in an hour. While it has a lot of great ideas, DIY doesn't really explain how to do much. It only points to where you should start. It's great for a beginning, but I was looking for something less basic and more instructive.
Jan 03, 2008 rated it liked it
I have to say I was impressed by this overview of design principals (for the untrained masses) -which is clearly written, engaging, practical, and fun to flip through. Makes you want to get your DIY on. Don't skip the interviews in the back -they are insightful and worth the read.
Waziri Garuba
Mar 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great book - gets you thinking about how to design everything around you to fit YOUR tastes and not somebody in a dark room sketching out ikea furniture and poorly designed jeans.

If you have the spark to actually go and create your own stuff - then this is the book for you...
Louise Cochrane
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Anytime I'm at a loose end and want to kick start a new project, I find myself coming back to this book again and again.

Although some of the examples of work can look a bit dated, the processes behind them are still relevant and can be applied to your own personal style and way of working.
Jun 06, 2008 rated it liked it
There were some clever things peppered here and there throughout the book. I think this would be somewhat helpful for someone who has no design background and is looking to embark on doing some projects (ie, making a business card or invitation) on their own.
Andrew Hunt
Jun 18, 2009 rated it liked it
It's an accessible book, but it's definitely written for the pure novice. As an amateur who pays attention, I didn't really learn much from it.

That said, the book is full of interesting ideas that you could try.
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
I really, really wanted to like this, but it just wasn't practical. Some sections were way too complex to actually be undertaken by a novice, while others were just common sense. Plus, the whole thing is riddled with typos. Guess they DIY-ed the editing, too.
Nov 23, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
Nice idea generator. Provides a little background info about starting out with different forms of media, and then shows off some possibilities. Some of the sections are quite short (especially the zines one, unfortunately), but it is good visual fodder for getting the creativity churning.
Feb 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, design
A fun book, full of inspiration. What's presented is good design from people who already know what they're doing, so you won't read this book and then run out and design things as well unless you're already a designer or have a latent design aesthetic, but it's fun and encouraging.
Jan 17, 2009 rated it did not like it
I wanted to love this book and I had such high hopes for it. What it does is tell you to design everything yourself, which I totally agree with it. Unfortunately it doesn't show/teach you how to do it yourself (DIY) so I felt this book was falsely advertised.
Jun 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
A good book, with good ideas for graphic design! :)
Ellen Lupton is so funny. I just checked out her website and watched the video about her next book, Design Your Life. I learned why most women wear the wrong bra, among other handy things:)
Sep 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diycookbooks
I bought this immediately after checking it out from the library. Its an incredibly helpful tool for anyone who needs to market themselves and their wares/services.
Deborah Berberi
Jun 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
cool book...shows you how to do lots of crafty projects yourself
Aug 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crafty
I love reading the projects over and over.
Jun 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book has some wonderful and awesome ideas, I just wish I had time to do some of them.
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great book for young designers.
Kisha Munson
Oct 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book. I'm going to pick up her other books as well. Good for folks who are into Graphic Design and are having problems coming up with original stuff.
anique Halliday
Mar 23, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Not nearly as helpful as I was hoping it would be, but a good way to get started. Provides you with some good ideas, but falls short on the execution instruction.
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic_design
I don't really ever recommend designing things yourself if you want it to be professional but if you need a logo for your yearly family reunion, hey, why not? fun book to look at though.
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