This blog post will cover the material from week 2 of ART 170: Web Design 1.
The reading list for this week included:
Chapter 3 Texture;The Principles of Beautiful Web Design
And Lynda lectures Fireworks CS6 Essential Training Chapters 1-4
I finished reading the textbook for this class this week, and plan to go back and take notes from it for every week’s reading, so that I now have a broad understanding, but can pay attention to the specifics through every week that I reread the chapter. I am also reading Graphic Design for Nondesigners: Essential Knowledge, Tips, and Tricks, Plus 20 Step-by-Step Projects for the Design Novice as extra help, so that I can begin to have a level of understanding that helps me to design better. This book goes over white space, text, and general design ideas a little more in depth than the text book for this class.
The Lynda videos were very interesting since this was my first time using Fireworks, but I can’t say that I’m completely a Fireworks fan yet. It seems like everything it can do, I can do in Photoshop or Illustrator. I guess it’s main selling point is that I can do a little bit of vector or pixel design and editing all in one program, instead of having two open. I’d still rather use the other software, especially since the typography feels..weird in Fireworks. I’m not exactly sure why. *Edit* Found out why, here’s a quote that explains the weirdness.
This is one of the big disadvantages of Fireworks – as a graphic design software made for the web it’s unable to render fonts as they would look in real Webbrowsers. The default anti-aliasing settings which can also be seen on Photoshop (sharp, strong, smooth) are nearly unusable and you have to set up your own custom settings for font rendering for different fonts and different sizes. The Endless Fireworks vs. Photoshop Battle
The fun thing is that this is a great time for me to learn how to make better web banners, since I may take on a work project in a month or two doing the same thing for a fairly large campaign.
The textbook reading covers textures. (Hence the title of the chapter) The essence of the chapter seems to be that you need textures, but to use them smart, and make sure they don’t look like they’re from the 90s (or even early 2000s). Subtle gradients and drop shadows give a webpage dimension. Textured backgrounds (wood, distressed, subtle noise) can add character and dimension to webpage. If a website is interesting, it’s more likely to hold your attention. But it’s possible to create interest without being obnoxious, like adding noise or a gradient to a background.