FREE eBook: The Principles of Beautiful Web Design [3rd Edition – was $30]



This free ebook: The Principles of Beautiful Web Design is a methodical approach to presenting traditional graphic design theory as it applies to today’s website development industry. It presents what the author knows about designing for the Web in a way that anyone can understand and apply. Why? Because the basics of website design should be common knowledge. We all live in and work on an internet that has been blindly covering up ugly with more ugly since its inception. It’s time to break that chain and make bold moves toward better design.

This book comprises the following five chapters. You can read them from beginning to end to gain a complete understanding of the subject, or skip around if you only need a refresher on a particular topic. If you’re squeamish about choosing colors, feel uninspired by a blank browser window, or get lost trying to choose the right font, this book is for you. I take a methodical approach to presenting traditional graphic design theory as it applies to today’s website development industry. While the content is directed towards web programmers and developers, it provides a design primer and relevant examples that will benefit readers at any level.

Chapter 1: Layout and Composition: An awareness of design relies heavily on understanding the spatial relationships that exist between the individual components of a design. The layout chapter kicks off the design process by investigating possible page components. With these blocks defined, we discuss some tools and examples that will help you start your own designs on a solid foundation. To wrap up this discussion, we’ll examine Knoxville Reflexology, a real client project that we’ll be following as an example through each chapter.

Chapter 2: Color: Perhaps the most mysterious aspect of design is the topic of color selection. Chapter 2 sheds light on this as we delve into both the aesthetic and scientific aspects of color theory. Armed with these simple guidelines, and some tips for creating harmonious color combinations, you’ll see how anyone can choose a set of colors that work well together to complement the overall message of a website. Finally, we’ll learn how the palette for Knoxville Reflexology was chosen.

Chapter 3: Texture: An aspect of web design that’s often overlooked, texture is the key to creating designs that stand out. By understanding how the individual elements of texture function, you’ll learn how to use points, lines, and shapes to communicate and support your site’s message on a number of levels. We’ll then get to see firsthand how subtle textures helped shape the identity and character of our example website.

Chapter 4: Typography: The importance of typography is undeniable. Type is everywhere, and understanding the mechanics of written language is essential for any visual designer. In this chapter, we’ll dive beneath the surface of this rich topic, exploring the basics of the letterform, and investigating various typeface distinctions.

Chapter 5: Imagery: The necessary companions to any well-designed site are the images and illustrations that grace its pages. In the final chapter, we’ll discuss what we should look for in the visual elements that we use on our pages, and locate sources of legitimate supporting imagery. Of course, finding the right image is often just the beginning. We’ll also learn some image-editing basics before we see the final steps in our example project.


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