From the IFD Mailbag …
Valuable Design Resources

Hi all,

This week, let's start out with this question from James:

"Can you recommend any books on graphic design to build a graphic reference library?"

Excellent question, James! There are so many great graphics books out there that it is difficult to pick just a few. Sometimes, I like to browse the graphic design section in my local bookstore, get a cup of coffee, and settle down in a comfy chair to check out what's new.

But here are some books that I simply could not live without:

  • Handbook of Pricing & Ethical Guidelines – Graphic Artists Guild
  • One-Minute Designer – Roger C. Parker
  • Looking Good in Print – Roger C. Parker
  • Layout Index – Jim Krause
  • Design Workshop – Robin Williams
  • Designing Direct Mail That Sells – Sandra Blum

And while we're on this subject, we would like to hear from you. What is your favorite design book or resource? If you've found a book that's proven invaluable, please share it with us by sending an email to me at:, Attn: Kristin Schwarz.

One more question – this one from Julie:

"In order to be successful in direct-mail design, do I absolutely HAVE to have an expensive program like Photoshop?"

Julie, when you are just starting in graphic design, you will probably be able to lay out all of your sales letters and course assignments in a word processing program like Word. But once you move on to more complex assignments (like magalogs), you may want to invest in a page-layout program like InDesign, QuarkXPress, PageMaker, or Publisher (Windows only). We will feature these programs in an upcoming issue of IFD so you can learn about the advantages and drawbacks of each one.

Once you are working on pieces that have lots of images, you'll want to have control over cropping them, resizing, or altering them in other ways. To do that, you will need an image-editing program (like Photoshop). By then, though, your business will have taken off and you'll be happy to invest in this expensive – but great – tool.

That's it from me for today. Remember … we always love to hear from you.


The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

Click to Rate:
No ratings yet
Published: August 11, 2005

Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)

This name will appear next to your comment.

Your email is required but will not be displayed.

Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters

Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)