Adobe Photoshop 7 Web Design with GoLive 6
Book Review

Adobe Photoshop 7 Web Design with GoLive 6
by Michael Baumgardt

Adobe Press / Peachpit Press
ISBN 0-321-11561-9, 321 pages
Price: $45.00 US, $69.99 CN, £33.99 UK
303 pages, all in color
No CD (image file examples and tutorials must be downloaded)

Adobe Photoshop 7 Web Design by Michael Baumgardt is a very
comprehensive study in Web design. Pages are beautifully illustrated with colorful samples and diagrams. The author goes into great detail explaining many nuances of this craft that the most of us tend to ignore.

The book starts with design basics and concepts, which include interviews with professionals in the trade, plus many examples of successful designs in practice. The middle of the content gets into some Photoshop and ImageReady techniques that have application in Web design. There are a few tutorials that some readers may find helpful in reinforcing concepts.

Maybe my expectations were confused by the title, but I found Adobe Photoshop 7 Web Design to be disappointing in its treatment of Photoshop as a Web design tool. The focus of the book’s substance seems to be on the left brain area, to the detriment of any creative potential that might otherwise be discovered.

When I want to educate myself in the technical areas, I’ll buy a book devoted to that subject; to pursue the potential that Photoshop offers in Web design I’ll search for a book that focus on the creative. There is really very little in this volume that does that and there are other books that do it better.

If your basic desire is to understand, for example, color depth, information architecture, content authoring, image compression, the LZW algorithm, and similar topics, Adobe Photoshop 7 Web Design should probably be in your library. They are important matters but ones I don’t want to deal with when I’m in a creative mode.

So therein lies the reason for a negative evaluation. What I expected from this book, based on its title, was 300 pages of Photoshop techniques geared to the artistic Web designer. Instead, I found more of an overview of Photoshop fundamentals sandwiched between lots of technical information.

There is no accompanying CD so any images needed for tutorials or experimentation must be downloaded. Nor is there any demo of GoLive software, which would have been helpful, since a good portion of Adobe Photoshop 7 Web Design with GoLive 6 deals with this application. There are portions of the book that are very well explained and others that are labored and awkward.

Because of these disappointments it would be hard to recommend this book to any serious or aspiring graphic artist other than for the purpose of acquiring a broad perspective on Web design. Those who want a more creative approach would be better served elsewhere.

Attractively presented but lacking in important content
MacMice Rating: 2 out of 5

Wynne Stevens

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