Basic Design: The Dynamics Of Visual Form || Maurice de Sausmarez

This is a reprint of a quite technical classic which first appeared in 1964 and in this second revised edition in 2001.

By no means something for the casual practitioner, this is an in-depth study of how form can be both represented and manipulated in both two and three dimensions. The book is copiously illustrated with both drawings and diagrams and also semi-sculptural objects which show how forces, movement and dynamics are observed visually and can be captured and transformed into artistic representation. Although actual artworks are included, they do not form the majority of the illustrations and this is not a book which is, on the whole, led by its pictorial content.

The intended reader is, without a shadow of doubt, the serious art and design student and this is much more of an academic textbook than a practical manual. There is also no doubt that the intended reader will have it well-thumbed, probably before they even get it home from the shop. It’s one of those books that tells you everything you need to know about its subject and then flips round and tells you even more. As such, it’s a snip at £14.99 and it’s one of those books that only a few publishers are able to produce in these more commercially-aware times so, once again, this website takes its hat off to Black’s (Herbert Press is their imprint) for doing it.

First published 1964, first revised edition 1983, second revised edition 2001, reprinted 2006

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