Originally Posted by Keith2
I have a copy of Ian Roberts' book. It's nicely printed, has plenty of good pictures and there's a free DVD on composition included. Yet I didn't learn much from it, and I can't explain why.
For books on composition, I prefer "The Simple Secret to Better Painting" by Greg Albert. It gives clearer, more specific advice on the subject.
I am inclined to agree with your opinions but with a few qualifications. If you are not familiar 7 or so design 'elements' and 8 or so design principles Greg Albert's book will be the better of the two. If that is not the case, and you need an overview of design and composition, you need to two pages of Ian Roberts' book titled “What Is Composition”. Here Ian lays out and describes each of the 5 picture planes. A complete and too my way of thinking a very useful framework for visual design.
What I didn't like about Ian's book, is his failure to follow through on the development of this framework. I didn't find the DVD useful. On the other hand Greg has one 'secret' change the weight, texture, colour, value, etc... every 2 inches, but his book is well illustrated on design elements and principles . IMHO good but not better than Rex Brant, Tony Couch, and/or Frank Web, books on design and composition.