Principles of Design
What is Design?
Design is a term that many people bandy about, but do we all mean the same thing when we use it? There are many definitions that can apply to building websites. Learn the different definitions of design and how they apply to work as a Web designer.
The Principles of Design
The principles of design are how you apply design elements to your page. These principles are some of the more accepted methods of design.
The Elements of Design
The elements of design are the basic building blocks of all design projects. The elements of design include lines, shapes, texture, color, and direction.
What Design Scares You? - Examples of Bad Web Design
There are lots of ways to do design badly. About.com readers share the designs that scare them the most.
Balance - Basic Principles of Design
Balance is a basic principle of design. Balance is the idea that large elements on a Web page should be balanced across the centerline or have a large number of corresponding smaller elements around it to keep the design even.
Contrast - Basic Principles of Design
Contrast is a basic principle of design. Contrast shows the differences between elements on the page. Big and small, black and white, square and circle - these are all contrasts.
Emphasis - Basic Principles of Design
Emphasis is a basic principle of design. Emphasis is often called dominance. With emphasis, designers showcase what is of highest priority in the design. Emphasis provides a visual hierarchy for the design.
Rhythm - Basic Principles of Design
Rhythm is a basic principle of design. Rhythm or repetition is the expression of visual harmony within a design. Repetition and rhythm attract attention in a design and allow the viewer to relax as they recognize the pattern.
Emphasis in Web Design
Trying to make everything on a Web page stand out means that nothing will stand out. Good designers learn to use emphasis wisely so that the important parts of the layout dominate without overwhelming and there is a visual hierarchy that leads the reader through the Web page. You do this through the use of design emphasis.
Getting Attention with Web Design
Learn how to use different design techniques to get attention for unique events on your website.
Direction - Basic Elements of Design
Direction is a basic element of design. Direction is the way elements in your design are facing, lined up, or positioned. It's more than layout, as a design with just element can have a direction if that element suggests a direction within it.
Flow in Design - Layout and Artwork that Conveys Motion
Visual flow carries the viewer's eye through the document. Using obvious flow elements like arrows or numbers is the most common way Web designers use flow, but there are other types of elements that can be used and mis-used to direct your readers to move along a specific path. The steps in this tutorial will show you examples of good and bad flow and help you learn the vocabulary of visual flow in design.
Lines and Linework
Lines and linework refers to the borders and dividers on designs that are made up of single or multiple lines. Lines act as a separator and delineate different parts of the design. Lines have density, length, and direction.
Shape - Basics of Design
Shape is a basic element of design. Shapes can be defined as a closed contour or a form that has the illusion of three dimensions.
Texture - Basic Elements of Design
Texture is a basic element of design. It defines the surface of objects. In Web design, texture is purely visual, but can imply a tactile sensation as well.
See How Texture Affects the Design
See the same web page rendered with various backgrounds to compare how the page looks with and without texture.
How Unity Works in Design
Unity in design reflects the elements that are part of the design and how they relate to one another. Some designers also call this proximity. This five-page article shows you how unity can affect your designs through examples with HTML and images. Learn how to create better designs by using the basic design principle of unity.
The Importance of White Space in Web Designs
White space is the space in your designs that is not content. White space affects how your deigns are perceived.
Design Page Sizes Based on Monitor Resolutions
Take a look at some of the more common monitor resolutions and how designers should think about them when they are working on a design.
One Space After a Period
Many people who learned to type on a typewriter (and some who learned on a computer), learned to type two spaces after a period to end sentences. But with computers it was much easier to create text that appeared typeset, and so the convention of two spaces after a period is out-dated. Plus, because web browsers collapse white space, it\'s very difficult to get two spaces to appear in a row.
Widows and Orphans in Web Design
Widows and orphans are words that are left all alone on a line or page. Many web designers don't worry about them because they think that they can only occur in print designs. But because web designers can't always control the width of their pages, their designs can end up with widows and orphans in the text if they are not careful.
Do you use two spaces after a period?
What do you prefer? Do you use two spaces after a period even though web pages collapse the white space? Do you go so far as to use non-breaking spaces for your spaces so that you get the two spaces every time? Find out what other designers do, and whether you should care about this convention.
Limit the number of “Things” on Your Pages
Web pages can be difficult for people to follow. By removing all but the most critical elements of any given page, you help your readers get more out of your website. Learn how to get rid of the things that are cluttering up your web design.