First look at DJS and Centennial books

A little while ago, I had said I would share my impression of the DJS series of books. Now, my goal is not to offend any DJS fans. I am purely speaking of the physical materials themselves, NOT the DJS system of Gregg.

Sitting on the library shelf, they are very cheerful as a set. A very colorful looking series! Which makes them seem approachable. I took a photo of them, which I hope Blogger will let me post:

I didn't care so much for the look-and-feel of the books contents. My first visit to this section of the library, I remember looking at one of the DJS books and there was a large head-shot of a female, presumably a secretary. I remember the big hair and thinking she could have been in Cosmo magazine. I also wasn't a big fan of the color coordinated insets. The Dictation book there uses matching fuschia to give its graphical elements color. One of the books had purple for its graphical page trim. The yellow book -- yep, yellow color. I like the idea in theory, but in practice it makes the book pages look washed out, so I wasn't a fan. 

On my next visit -- when I got these pictures -- I was trying to find the big-haired secretary type. This was the best I could come up with as a sample:

I guess McGraw-Hill moved on from the Simplified message that a girl doesn't have to be a beauty to get ahead in business? :)

So the graphic design of the DJS books wasn't quite to my taste. I felt, from just viewing the books, that they were focused on female readers with secretarial ambitions. The shorthand plates looked good though. They have that same larger, bolder look as the Notehand book, which I find appealing and easy to read.

I also took a peek in a Centennial book. Holy shoulder pads, batman! (I exaggerate a bit.) There was no question that it was produced in the 80s. It was a very colorful book, and had a workbook feel to it. The office pictures featured diverse staff and the offices could have been featured on any 80s TV show. There were two copies of the book I checked, and both were falling apart. Literally -- there were many loose pages in each. I suppose they weren't made to be long lasting. I noticed that the early lessons were a mix of longhand and shorthand writing, so they followed the model of "full" articles while introducing principles, apparently. Visually, I didn't have anything against the Centennial books, but I really dislike how fragile they appeared to be.

That's about all I have to say. I thought maybe someone would get a chuckle out of how a newcomer saw these books for the first time. Enjoy -- or not. :)

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