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  1. Web Foundations Thursday, October 24, 2013 LECTURE 18: The Principles of Design

  2. The Principles of Design The elements and principles of design are concepts that are often taught in design school, to help students create more considered and compelling designs. Both should be used to guide the designer, in making aesthetic decisions that can result in more unique designs with distinctive areas of interest. Think of the elements of design is the basic components involved with creating any designand the principles of design, as the rules of design. In other words, the principles are the rules you should follow, and elements are the things that will help you follow those rules for the best outcome.

  3. The Principles of Design This means that, if the principles of design are like the laws or rules of design, then to have a good design, you should consider each of these principles carefully even if you end up ignoring them deliberately, or going against them completely. Like the elements of design, there is some debate over how many principles there actually are, depending on whom you talk to. For today's lecture, we will be examining tenprinciples of design. They are, in no particular order: Contrast Emphasis Balance Unity Pattern Movement Rhythm and Repetition Proportion Simplicity Gradation

  4. Contrast If you think about what the word contrastmeans, comparing two or more things and noticing their differences, you get a rough idea of how it can be used in terms of design to create visual areas of interest. In formal terms, contrast is the juxtaposition of opposing elements by way of using different colors, tones, directions, lines, shapes, et cetera to show emphasis. Creating contrast is a skill that often develops over time. However, you can jump start your own use of it by paying attention to your site's content, and deciding in advance the relative importanceof each element in your design.

  5. Contrast Most Important Elements? • Logo • Header • Navigation • Banner • Article • Search Bar • Gallery • Footer • News Items • Sidebar • Slider • Featured Items No two sites are the same. And every client will have specific needs. If you know in advance which areas need contrast, this can help inform and improve your design process.

  6. Contrast Here are some examples of using contrast. You can choose opposite colors on the color wheels, such as violetand yellow. You could use different tones or values such as blackand whiteor lightand dark. You could play with directionby using both horizontal, verticaland diagonalelements. You could play with thickand thinlines. You could work with hardand softedge shapes. You could choose harmonious font pairings like a serifwith a sans serif. Pairing textures and patterns with smooth surfaces can often create contrast and set areas of interest. And you can also create a sense of balance by placing a busyarea next to an area with lots of white space. Unless you're going for a chaoticand confused look, carefully consider the elements of a design as you construct your web layout.

  7. Emphasis The second of the ten principles of design is emphasis. What exactly does emphasis mean? Merriam-Webster defines emphasis as force or intensity of expression that gives impressiveness or importance to something. In plain English and with regard to web design, emphasis occurs when attention is focused on a single area within a design, to assist the viewer in understanding visually that this particular area is more important than other areas.

  8. Emphasis We need to find a way to show the viewer what's most important in our design. Certainly, we can easily accomplish this with size and placement of certain key elements like a set of large photos, or one big rotating banner. But what about text? How do we teach web visitors what they should and should not focus on when they come to a new website? The answer is simple: using harmonious hierarchical font styles or what some designers call typographic hierarchy. This term refers to the specific way of using fonts that creates a sense of flowand emphasison a page. By deliberately varyingthe size, weight, colorand spacingof your text, your text not only looks great, but it also aids visitors in understanding which elements on your site are more important than others. For instance, you can make certain text bold, italic, or all caps, and you can tierthe size of your elements in pixels, percentages, or ems, or any other unit of measure using cascading style sheets.

  9. Emphasis We need to find a way to show the viewer what's most important in our design. Certainly, we can easily accomplish this with size and placement of certain key elements like a set of large photos, or one big rotating banner. But what about text? How do we teach web visitors what they should and should not focus on when they come to a new website? The answer is simple: using harmonious hierarchical font styles or what some designers call typographic hierarchy. This term refers to the specific way of using fonts that creates a sense of flowand emphasison a page. By deliberately varyingthe size, weight, colorand spacingof your text, your text not only looks great, but it also aids visitors in understanding which elements on your site are more important than others. For instance, you can make certain text bold, italic, or all caps, and you can tierthe size of your elements in pixels, percentages, or ems, or any other unit of measure using cascading style sheets.

  10. Emphasis You can convey meaning through color, like these colors, here, which represent the warnings, over on the right: error, warning, success, and information. Of course, you can use your own colors, but these are fairly standard.

  11. Emphasis When choosing your fonts, think about how they visually pair together. For instance, you want there to be contrast, while preserving a sense of harmony. For this reason many designers will choose to pair a serif and a sans serif together for a heading and paragraph rather than put two serifs or two sans serifs next to each other. You can also use color to convey meaning. For instance, you can use size, case, and color to emphasize text as seen here. So, In The News is 28 points all caps, Apple Pie Recipes is 18 points and blue. You have the Paragraph Texts 16 points, and that Learn More is all caps but it's 14 points. The sizing and coloration helps the visitor see which areas they should focus on and which ones they can skim.

  12. Emphasis In this example, the fonts are quite large yet still tiered in size which is a popular trend these days. In this next example, the font is the same for the headings and the paragraph text in both the top and bottom rows. The top row is set in Georgia, while the bottom row is set in Gill Sans. Since the size and color are different for the heading one, heading two and paragraph text, you might think that there's enough emphasis to show visitors which parts are more important than others. This is definitely true, but this set is missing one important element that can really improve readability.

  13. Emphasis It's harmony. Using the same font for all three elements is static. Now look at the same text when the heading 1 text is set with a contrasting font. As you can see the whole text block becomes more dynamic and visually interesting. Learning how to pair fonts harmoniously is not as difficult as it sounds. There's a wonderful online game at typeconnection.comthat can help you better understand the value of smart font pairings.

  14. Balance The next principle of design we'll explore is balance. In design, balance can happen in several ways including paying special attention to the alignment, distribution, and placement of various shaped colored and sized objects in your layouts. In fact, we can say that balance occurs in a design when the elements as a whole have a feeling of equalityof weight, attentionor attraction.

  15. Balance To illustrate this idea, let me tell you a personal story. I once had a student who showed me a very simple web-design mockup she had been working on that had several objects oddly and not pleasingly scattered willy-nilly in the center of the page somewhat like this.

  16. Balance The elements in the rest of her layout look mostly balanced, the objects at the center seemed really unresolved. When I asked her if she had deliberately placed these center objects as they were, or if she had used some kind of logic in considering their placement, she replied, no, I just put them in there. And then she said, why, does it matter? Yes, absolutely it matters, I told her. It matters very much.

  17. Balance To achieve balance in a design, one must consider the placement and alignment of every single element in one's layout including text, photos, illustrations, patterns, backgrounds, and other decorative elements.

  18. Balance Often, people think of balanceas having two same sized elements placed equidistantly from each other within a defined space. Contrary to popular belief, however, balance does not mean the same thing as symmetry.

  19. Balance Symmetrymay be a component of balance, but balance can also be asymmetricalwith objects in dissimilarsize, shape, and color. In fact, what you're trying to achieve with balance is an overall sense of formal harmony.

  20. Balance Conceptually, it may help you to think of balance in terms of physics. For instance, a small shape close to the edge can balance a large shape closer to the center of a composition. Or think of the see saw analogy, two equally sized people on either side of this teeter-totter. That's one kind of balance. But you may also have balance with one large person on one side and two smaller people on the other. And you can have balance with one large and one small person on either side as long as the larger person is closer to the middle.

  21. Balance In terms of web design, the grid system makes it really easy for you to create a balance layout regardless of the actual number of columns there are in any one row. This is because the gutter space between each column is going to be the exactly same width. And that doesn't matter whether you have one 12 column cell or four 3 column cells or some other configuration like one 460 pixel column and two 220 pixel columns. Now this isn't to say that you must strictly follow the grid system to achieve balance in your web layouts.

  22. Balance There are many ways for you to create a balanced layout, especially if you're creative and willing to step out of the box a little bit. For example, you can use a photo along the bottom and place your text along the top or left to right edge. Or you can use a large photo in the background like this, and place your text and other content on top of it.

  23. Balance What about your web navigation? Should your navigation link text be evenly spaced or approximately spaced? Should the words be center aligned, left aligned or right aligned on the page? Remember too, that balance also involves even or deliberate measurements in distribution of shapes within your layout.

  24. Balance Think of symmetry and asymmetry. Symmetry helps keep good balance but it's not necessarily the best solution for all designs. Remember also that dark can be balanced with light and a symmetrical balance creates an interesting tension that draws the viewer into your design. You can play several small shapes on one side balanced by one larger shape on another or even place a dark shape next to several light objects. Remember, darker shapes tend to appear heavier than lighter shapes so that, that fact alone will affect the placement of your objects as you strive for balance in your design.

  25. Unity The next principle of a design we will examine is unityor what some people refer to as harmony. In web design you can achieve unity through a pleasing balance of the elements of design like color, form, shape, and space. Another great way to keep the design cohesive and promote unity is to customize your hyperlink styles with cascading style sheets. Simply put, unity refers to the pleasing arrangement of all the parts within a composition. In design, we're often trying to communicate some kind of idea, promote a brand, or evoke a feeling.

  26. Unity So, in terms of design, you can think of unityas the relationship between the individual parts and the whole of the design used creatively to express a particular idea or emotion. When a design is not unified or harmonious, it's pretty obvious because the design can seem either boring or too busy. And bland design is not engaging. Even worse, chaotic design is often so disorganized and unharmonious that the human brain rejects it.

  27. Unity Here's an example of a super unharmonious design. And I'll just scroll down so that you can see how not good it is. I'm sure you're thinking to yourselves, oh, I'd do that differently, I'd do that differently, I'd do that differently. And let me show you an example of a more harmonious design.

  28. Unity When done well, unity in a design presents information in a logical structure. There's a nice sense of order with visual interest that really engages the viewer.

  29. Unity As a designer, you also need to consider the unity of the user's experience. For instance, how will hyperlinks look and behave differently from regular text? These two is a design decision that can detract from or assist in achieving unity. After all, you can create several sets of link styles depending on their location and function within your design. For instance, you have navigation links, in line text links, featured item links, buttons, icons, and footer links.

  30. Unity • As you likely already know, the default appearance for hyperlinks is underlined in blue for unvisited links and underline in purple for visited links. • standard link: #0000FF (blue) • visited link: #800080 (purple) • active link: #FF0000 (red) • As you've learned, you can override these settings with CSS. There are four link states that you can style with CSS. Link, Visited, Hover, and Active. Keep in mind however that on touch-enabled devices, the Hover state is irrelevant. • The most obvious change you can make when styling your hyperlinks to improved unity is to edit the color to match your layout.

  31. Unity The most obvious change you can make when styling your hyperlinks to improved unity is to edit the color to match your layout. In addition, for each of the four link states, you can turn the underline on or off. You can add a background color behind the text. You can work with borders or even change the font. Remember, however, when you're styling your links, not to go overboard, as extreme complexity leads to over-stimulation. Links do not need to scream, click me, to the visitors. Conversely, don't be too timid since too little styling can lead to under-stimulation.

  32. Pattern As you discovered in an earlier lesson, unity, or harmony in a design happens when all the visual elements are creatively and satisfyingly integrated into a unified whole. One way to build harmony in a design is to work with pattern, which is the fifth principle of design. Pattern offers you a way to keep your design organized while also providing a really nice sense of harmony through the use of repeating elements. There are many ways to use pattern in a design. For instance, pattern can be employed by creating elements that are the same size, like thumbnail graphics on a gallery page.

  33. Pattern You can also use pattern in the form of repeating shapes. So, for instance, maybe I want to have circles for my thumbnails instead. Pattern can also be applied as decorative elements. You can also create pattern by applying the similar color scheme throughout your entire layout.

  34. Pattern You can also use pattern in the form of repeating shapes. So, for instance, maybe I want to have circles for my thumbnails instead. Pattern can also be applied as decorative elements. You can also create pattern by applying the similar color scheme throughout your entire layout.

  35. Pattern Most often, when people think about pattern, they think about background patterns like a wallpaper. With the magic of cascading stylesheets, you can apply background patterns to actually as many elements on a web page as you like. So here's a very busy decorative pattern.

  36. Pattern You can also do something like stripes. Just a single tiling background graphic will repeat endlessly to fill up the browser menu. When adding the patterns to your background, you would apply the style to the body tag of your page. But, that doesn't mean you have to stop there, you could also have the pattern applied to the wrapper, the containing element that holds your design in place within the center of the layout if that's the way you've created your design.

  37. Pattern What's really great about working with patterns, is that your patterns don't have to be super loud or super fancy to creat a sense of harmony. Rather less is more, a subtle hint of design that can add a great amount of order and unity. So these little samples here, there's not much to them. They're very simple, elegant patterns. The bottom row, of course, is a little more complex but still within the same color scheme. So simply applying a subtle amount of pattern here and there can help provide that unity.

  38. Pattern To get free background patterns for your web projects you can visit several sites online. Here's a short list of some sites you might want to check out. You can also create your own patterns by scanning fabrics or other materials into your computer, or even by drawing your own designs in a programmer like Photoshopand then converting them into digital patterns to use in your web mockups. • http://subtlepatterns.com/ • http://dinpattern.com/ • http://squidfingers.com/patterns • http://pattern8.com/ • http://backgroundlabs.com/ • OneExtraPixel: Pattern Sites

  39. Movement The sixth principle of design will explore is movement. There are several ways to add a sense of movement to a web layout including working with line and shape. In this lesson, however we'll concentrate on adding movement with various scrolling and animation effects. In graphic design, we can say that the principle of movement refers to the suggestion of action or direction, since nearly all graphic design is two-dimensional. On the web, however, we can work with both impliedand actual movement.

  40. Movement For instance, movement can be the invisible path that our eyes follow across a design.

  41. Movement Or movement could be the illusion of motion that happens when a design or illustration includes static elements such as horizontal, vertical, curved, or diagonal direction lines.

  42. Movement The same thing happens with angled and curved shapes, or even a rotated object.

  43. Movement In fact, even illustrations and photographs can imply movement. However, motion need not always be implied.

  44. Movement It can also happen in a web design through actual movement. So, let's explore a few ways to use scrolling and animation to create real movement in a web design. First, when building websites with background images on the body element, the default scrolling style is scrolling, whether you specify it or not in the CSS. A scrolling background travels with the text as you scroll down the page like so. The other option that you can use for scrolling with the background graphic is fixed. With a fixed background, the image stays put, and the content scrolls on top of it. • Demo – Scrolling: Maggie • Demo – Fixed: Jean

  45. Movement Another way to add movement is with parallax scrolling, which when done well can be really wonderful. Essentially what happens with this type of scrolling is that the background images shift slower than the content in the foreground, creating this wonderful illusion of three dimensional depth. • NetTuts • Boy-Coy • Lexus Asia • Hot Dot • Madwell NYC • Teapot Creation • Dangelico Guitars

  46. Movement Easing is one of several popular jQueryanimation effects. It's another really cool way of adding movement to a webpage. • Jquery Easing Effects

  47. Movement if you're a flash action script or java script coder looking to harness your skills in the jQueryworld, check out the green sock animation platform at greensock.com. With HTML5and CSS3 as well as with jQueryand other code tools like greensock.com, designers are creating all kinds of great interactive, moving, and animated features to their sites. Without the use of flash. This is not to say that as a designer, you also need to be a coder or programmer. • greensock.com

  48. Rhythm & Repetition The next principle of design we will explore is rhythmand repetition, which has to do with how objects are placed within a web layout and the overall flow of your design. Rhythm and repetition occurs when one or more elements in a design are repeated often enough to create a visual rhythm. When considering this principle, it might be helpful to think of it in terms of music. For instance, you might have a base line and a melody, each having its own distinct beat and flow.