by Mike McNamee Published 01/06/2002
The Illustrator 9 WOW! Book
One of the better ways to improve skills in your chosen activity is to find a good book. This can be quite a task. As a beginner you may have trouble in telling if a book contains relevant material as well as being confronted by shelf upon shelf of offerings, all claiming to be the ultimate in their subject area. By way of example, the Borders, close to the office has thirty shelves (yes 30!) of books on web design and at least 6 on PhotoShop alone. Some of the books on PhotoShop are so big that they almost need a shelf to themselves! This issue we look at four books in an attempt to make your choice simpler. We have deliberately selected a wide range to suit a variety of requirements.
The Photoshop 6 WOW! Book
This is a series of books, all of which are unreservedly recommended. They are available for PhotoShop, Illustrator, Painter, Web Design and CorelDRAW. Coming complete with tutorial CD's they will keep both beginners and experts out of mischief for many months. The editorial policy for the series is to appoint a hardcore of editors and authors who then draft in satellite contributors to furnish a gallery of images and effects demonstrations. The result is a series that is packed (and we mean packed) with information. The PhotoShop offering runs to almost 500 pages and by the clever graphic design not a page is wasted. Whilst only a few people will benefit from every idea presented, you will only have to pull a couple of them off in order to get a return on your investment. Perhaps the greatest benefit from these books is that they take over where the manuals leave off. Manuals make very dry reading, you can browse WOW's over a cup of coffee and it does not feel like work!
For those with a bent toward web design the preset styles create everything from plastic to chrome at the touch of a button. For the social photographer the explanation of shaded vignettes and the time saving tip that comes with it will be invaluable. The Illustrator version is equally close packed and an ideal introduction to those who need more control over their illustration, this will get you into unique, stylish borders faster than any paintbrush! The WOW series is published by Peachpit at £37.34 each (RRP).
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