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Robin Williams | Design Workshop
Robin Williams : Design Workshop Book Review

Graphic Design Learning & Instructional Tools

Design Workshop by Robin Williams & John Tollett

2nd Edition

By Chris Dunmire

Design Workshop by Robin Williams and John TollettSeveral years ago I recommended the first edition (2001) of Design Workshop co-authored by Robin Williams and John Tollett and gave a brief overview of the major sections I thought newbie designers would find useful in the book.

When I initially reviewed Design Workshop, I was studying digital graphic design in college and was extremely inspired by every one of Robin's books I could get my hands on. It didn't take long for me to notice that several of her books including The Non-Designer's Design Book and this one was stocked in the college bookstore and assigned as textbooks in several of the graphic art courses. This was exciting, but not surprising, I thought, because Robin has taught college-level design courses for many years and her expertise in the field has been spotlighted in many places, including on and in a column she wrote several years ago called "TypeTalk."

I've since graduated from the design program I was enrolled in, but I'm still a huge fan of Robin Williams and keep several of her Web design, print design, and typography books on my book shelf for reference material and creative inspiration.

In 2006 the books' publisher, Peachpit Press, released an upgraded version of Design Workshop, a second edition with a new front cover design. My recommendation for this book stands as it originally did as I wrote in my early overview:

"Design Workshop is another book by Robin Williams that I recommend, especially if you've enjoyed her Non-Designer's Design Book.

This 280-page book is a follow-up to the Non-Designer's Design Book, and builds upon the principles discussed in that book and applies them into real-life design situations. The book is divided into three major sections: Idea Sparks, Projects, and Designers & the Design Process. 

The Idea Sparks section helps you to realize the vast amount of clipart, illustration, and photography resources available to you, and gives examples on how to effectively use these elements sparingly, tastefully, and with restraint in your design projects.

The Projects section begins with a lesson on logo design and then focuses on how you can apply the same techniques to various print and electronic media including: business cards, billboards, Web sites, newsletters, and brochures.

Finally, the last section in the book, Designers & the Design Process, is a showcase of work by guest designers to help you gain insight into the design process. It includes an interesting synopsis of the process John Tollett went through in creating the cover for the first edition of the Design Workshop book."

© 2008 Chris Dunmire. All rights reserved.

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Updated 12/25/13