Chapter 3. Web Design Principles for Print Designers

If you are accustomed to designing for print, the Web introduces a number of new concepts and new ways of doing things. Part of what makes web design unique is that the pages are displayed on a computer monitor, not paper, requiring familiarity with new color models. In addition, you need to work within the unique environment of the web browser. The HTML markup language brings its own limitations to the mix.

This chapter discusses some basic web design concepts, which may be new for print designers or for anyone who is just getting started in web design. It provides necessary background information about the web environment, including how the browsers deal with color, graphics, and typography, so that you can make design decisions that are appropriate to the medium.

Color on the Web

The Web requires designers to think about color in new ways. In part, it means understanding color in a more technical manner—the appearance of a page can benefit greatly if a designer knows what’s going on “under the hood.” The peculiarities of working with color in web design are functions of the following simple principles:

  • Monitors. Web pages are displayed on computer monitors, therefore the basic rules of how computers and monitors handle color apply to web pages as well.

  • Browsers. Because browsers have built-in resources for rendering color when running on systems with limited color display capacity, they can alter the appearance of the colors in ...

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