The Elements of Graphic Design 3rd ed

“Elegance is not the abundance of simplicity. It is the absence of complexity.”

The Elements of Graphic Design: Space, Unity, Page Architecture, and Type is in its 3rd Edition, published in 2022. The 1st and 2nd Editions have sold 85,000 copies and the book has become a standard text in graphic design programs across the US and in a dozen foreign countries.

This 3rd Edition, wholly revised and updated with essays on design thinking by seven industry leaders and a wealth of new images, provides designers, art directors, and students ‑ regardless of experience – with a unique approach to thoughtful, convincing design. In full color with guidance on the rules of design and how to break them for the reader’s benefit. 

Contributing essayists in the 3rd Edition are Niklaus Troxler, Geray Gençer, Ashley Schofield, Brian D. Miller, Fons Hickman, Max Shangle, and Tad Crawford.

The Elements of Graphic Design, Third Edition describes how to:

  • Employ white space as a significant component of design
  • Define and reveal dominant images, words, and concepts
  • Use scale, position, and color to guide readers through levels of importance
  • Use type for maximum comprehension and value to the reader

Educator, author, and 35-year design veteran Alex W. White has assembled a wealth of information and examples in his exploration of what makes visual design both stunning and powerfully attractive to readers.

Here are eleven spreads from the book to give a good idea of its contents:

EoGD2-Chinese2015Following the first edition’s translation into Chinese in 2012, the second edition was translated into Chinese in 2015.

“Student or professional, if you need the ‘simple’ basics – or want to get to more ‘complex’ basics – if you don’t yet know the necessities of successful graphic design – or have forgotten them in the complexity of today’s overwhelming possibilities, here is the book for you. It’s by a guy who as quite a track record of speaking to both.” Ed Fella, AIGA Medalist

The Elements of Graphic Design’s first editions have been among the most useful books on the details of design and effective visual communication. The third edition builds on the two earlier successes with contributions by some of my most esteemed colleagues.” Sharon Werner, founder of Werner Design Werks, has work included in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, Victoria and Albert Museum, Musée des Arts Decoratifs, and the Cooper-Hewitt.

“Alex W. White provides one of the clearest and most thoughtful introductions to graphic design that I’ve read. This book is also one of the few to really demystify the idea and use of white space in design, a topic that at once confuses young designers and causes seasoned clients to curl their lips with disdain. Read and learn.” Alexander Isley, Lecturer at Yale Graduate School of Art, past President of AIGA NY

“This book explains what I try to get across to my designers: how to make all parts of a design work together. My office has a big library and this is the book I hand over when breakthroughs are needed.” Matteo Bologna, founder of Mucca Design

The 3rd Edition was published by Allworth Press in 2022. The 2nd Edition was published by Allworth Press in 2011. The 1st Edition was published by Allworth Press in 2002.