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Distinctive Design: A Practical Guide to a Useful, Beautiful Web by Alexander Dawson

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Chapter 4: Design Concepts and Theories

Principles, elements, and ideas about design

With so many theories, ideas, and philosophies that make up design, web designers must know how objects make up a page, what visual effects implicate their effectiveness, and how to use the tricks of the trade for a polished result.

Within this lengthy chapter, you dive into the basic principles and elements of design that explain the aesthetic appeal and construct of visuals you produce. You also explore rules that many designers use to forge clean, balanced, beautiful designs. To round off the chapter, I examine the two most prominent figures in web design — color and typography. Understanding these fundamentals gives you the boost that you need to dodge basic mistakes as well as keep things cross-compatible.

Powerful Design Principles

Design wields its influence in almost everything web designers do — from the way you portray your content to the underlying construct of your site’s architecture. Another critical aspect of distinctive design is the power of visual design and how your decisions impact a visitor’s ability to find what they want when they want it.

Building on their artistic leanings, the many theories of design take into account the principles and elements that make up a distinctive interface. These rules are often flexible and apply not only to print and the web, but also to photography and sculpture. Yet, although they have a wide focus, the choices you make in your design directly ...

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