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The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

...because all things did not start with the computer. Required text (the old version anyway) in my Foundation Drawing class. Even if you don't intend to become a professional illustrator, this book helps sharpen your artistic vision.


Adobe Photoshop 6.0 Classroom in a Book...

If you're a true beginner with design software and looking for step by step exercises with a CD, this is the series for you. Don't get me wrong though, intermediate users will also get their bang for their buck. Used for official Adobe certification classes.


Photoshop 6 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart

Photoshop is a program that can easily overwhelm you with the sheer amount of books on it. Personally, I prefer the QuickStart series of books for starting out and for their reasonable price range. Add this one to your reference library and you'll be able to find quick answers so much easier. I include Photoshop 5.5 for Windows and Macintosh... in case you have the older version of Photoshop.


Adobe Photoshop 5 Classroom in a Book

If you'd like to save a little money but still get your foot in the door, pick up this version of the book, it still covers the basics and Image Ready.


Illustrator 9 for Windows and Macintosh...

Go with this book for now whether or not you've got version 9 or 10. Ilustrator 10 books are not yet published but meanwhile you can hone your skills on this version without spending alot of cash.


Adobe Illustrator 9.0 Classroom in a Book

Same applies for this version, plus you get the handy CD.


Quark XPress 4 for Windows: Visual QuickStart

Quark XPress 4 for Macintosh: Visual QuickStart

I recommend the Visual QuickStart series in general for software books, but I particularly liked this one for QuarkXpress4 when I compared it to the other books out there on the same subject. Great to learn the program, or just have as a reference.


Dreamweaver 4 for Windows and Macintosh:...

Another winner from the QuickStart gang.


HTML 4 for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart

While there is a plethora of html guides on the web, this book puts everything in a concise order and you won't have to switch endlessly from your screen to a web page which may or may not be there the next time you look.

Not just for beginners, I include this in my reference sections as well