Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles

When It Comes to the Classroom, Peachpit Wrote the Book

  • Print
  • + Share This

When It Comes to the Classroom,
Peachpit Wrote the Book

Over the years, Peachpit's Visual QuickStart Guides have won fans from all walks of life, making it our all-time best-selling series. But there's one niche in particular for which these books are a natural: the classroom. All across the country, you'll find instructors using Visual QuickStart Guides as primary texts in graphic arts departments, adult education programs, and technology classes, at schools such as the Parsons School of Design and the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, Georgia's Savannah College of Art and Design, and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

A Unique Approach to Learning

By focusing only on what a person needs to know to make good use of a program, the Visual QuickStart Guides offer students a way to quickly gain skills and confidence. The series' unique approach to learning reduces the sometimes daunting learning curve involved in mastering some apps. As computer programs grow more numerous and more complex, that's something both students and teachers can appreciate.

"The Visual QuickStart Guide for Photoshop just amazed me. The program is getting quite complex.... The text was so clear that the students couldn't have gotten through the course without it!" reports Anne Seidman, of the Moore College of Art in Philadelphia.

As introductory texts, the Visual QuickStart Guides offer clear and concise step-by-step instructions, illustrated by tons of screen shots and examples so students know just what their screens should look like. The books explain each important feature of a program in a two-page spread that focuses on a particular task. As a result, readers can zero in on the information they need so they can get right to work on their own projects; there are no lengthy passages or chapters to wade through to find that one explanation you're looking for. Teachers can cover the basics quickly, and students then have a handy reference guide they can refer back to.

Beth Kiggins, director of the Center for Technology and Learning at the University of Indianapolis finds the guides indispensable as reference materials - and not just for students. I've placed a series of the Visual QuickStart Guides in an instructional technology lab, because I'm confident it will save me time.... Faculty can use the guides to answer their questions rather than continually rely on me.

Our authors are teachers, too

Perhaps one of the chief reasons these books are so popular among teachers is that many of the authors of the Visual QuickStart Guides are instructors themselves. For example, take Elaine Weinmann, who teaches at the New School Computer Instruction Center in New York, and Peter Lourekas, who is on the faculty at the Parsons School of Design and also teaches at the Cooper Union School of Art. Together, they've written several of our best-selling Visual QuickStart Guides, for Photoshop, Illustrator, and Painter. Their years of teaching and interaction with students drive their decisions about what to cover and how to cover it, and they focus on paring details to what's essential for students and other beginners.

The VQS series covers everything from desktop publishing, graphics, and multimedia to Web design, operating systems, and general office applications. In recent months, Peachpit has released guides for hot Web page editors and Web authoring tools, such as HTML 4, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and GoLive CyberStudio; VQSes on coding and scripting tools such as DHTML, JavaScript, and VBScript also have proved to be popular in the educational market.

But the steadiest sellers of all have been titles that focus on traditional graphic design and multimedia apps, such as QuarkXPress, Illustrator, Photoshop, Director, and PageMaker. These stalwarts are the topics on which the series has built its reputation, and they're the ones that continue to attract new readers. And, judging from the feedback we get, they keep old fans coming back again and again.

"I find that Peachpit Press books are consistently the best books for the money on topics involving graphic design, image editing, Web page creation, etc." says Dr. Arthur Harmon Sterngold, of the Department of Business Administration at Lycoming College.

And that touches on yet another reason why the Visual QuickStart series is a favorite among the academic crowd: the price. Each guide retails for between $16.99 and $19.99, making them an affordable choice, especially when a single class may cover several applications. Lisa Moren, a multimedia professor in the Department of Art at Southern Oregon University, reports, "I use several of your [Visual QuickStart] texts as required texts for all of my classes."

Thanks to the Visual QuickStart Guides, her students have more time and money to spend on life's other essentials - like the occasional night out.

To request a free Peachpit Press catalog or order an examination copy of a Visual QuickStart Guide, check out our Academic Resource Area.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Related Resources

There are currently no related titles. Please check back later.