Graphic design basics

Clarity in web page design
Making a clear web page depends on making the most important elements appear important, less important stuff less important, related stuff look related, and different stuff look different.
Colour
General guidelines on how to use colour in web pages.
Contrast
The importance of contrast in graphic design for the web
Readability
Making pages easy to read by design
Effective text
The strengths of using HTML text rather than words as graphics in web design
Imagery
How to use imagery to best effect
Attention Map
A low-tech tool for planning page layout, helping you plan what your page should do before you get your hands dirty

Page layout

Layout for web page design
Overview of the major graphic design devices
Containment
Containment is a layout tool that says visually "This thing is part of that"
Alignment
Using alignment in visual design for the web to associate related elements
Grouping
Associating elements through relative positioning in space
Rhythm and repetition
A further technique for associating elements is through repeating common styling
Logical order
Importance of logical order of visual components in web page design

Visual techniques

3D Effects in graphic design for the web
Guidelines on how to use 3D effects effectively in graphic design for the web
Logo design
The four attributes of an effective logo: shape, presence, weight, and contrast
Text-based logos
Why text-based logotypes are very effective
Favourite logos
A collection of my favourite logos from around the web, with analysis of why I think they work.

Case studies

Artorg: Worked example
Tweaking the layout to ehance the user experience of a nice community site for graphic artists
Case study: Business Improvement Network
Applies a totally new look and feel to the web site of a business networking organisation
Case study: Foruse
A new clean look and a simpler tone of voice for the site of a usabilty engineering company

Other resources

The 10 best-designed web sites in the world
My personal list of 10 favourite sites, and why.
Design Melt Down
Wonderful insight into all kinds of aspects of web design, with a focus on "2.0" style.
Free icons for your site
A fantastic collection of icons, collated by Kirk Montgomery, published for free or under GPL/CC licenses etc. Some really nice stuff here!
LogoMaid
I can recommend LogoMaid for affordable, high-quality logo design
 



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