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negative space

Negative Space

Let’s talk about white space—or more accurately, negative space, because it doesn’t have to be white.READ MORE

alignment

Alignment

The most obvious sign of professional design is the use of alignment. Invisible axes give structure to a page.READ MORE

hierarchy

Hierarchy

One fundamental design principle is hierarchy. A design should have one dominant feature. One thing that catches the attention of your audience. Subordinate to that can be one or two or several supporting concepts. If they’re still looking, the next level is to add details. You might have additional levels in your hierarchy. At the lowest level is the fine print that has to be there—but you don’t care if it gets read.READ MORE

Where will your path lead?

Become the Creative Force in Your Life

Book Review: The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Frtitz

What does a musical composer know about creativity that he can teach the rest of us? Robert Fritz knows enough to be able to say, “You can be the predominant creative force in your own life.” My own experience bears this out.READ MORE

Stradjectives

Strategic Adjectives

When in the beginning stages of a design, I recommend using descriptive words before you settle on colors and imagery. READ MORE

everyday things

Great Design Puts People First

Book Review: The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

Have you ever been confused by a piece of technology? We know electronics can be complicated, but what about the shower in a hotel room? If you have failed to figure out how something works, you are not dumb. The fault is with the designer! Don Norman is an advocate of user-centered design and has lent his expertise to Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, and others. His book The Design of Everyday Things is a classic, and a comprehensive introduction to design thinking.READ MORE

vertigo lettering by Saul Bass

Spotlight on Saul Bass

A prolific and groundbreaking designer, Saul Bass designed posters for the film industry, including many Hitchcock films. His clients loved his kinetic hand-lettering so much that they asked him to create movie title sequences. His breakthrough approach turned a boring list of credits into a mini-film that set the emotional tone for the feature that followed.READ MORE

Design tips for programmers: before and after

Design Tips for Programmers

The line between back-end and front-end programming is not always distinct. Many times programmers have to make design decisions on the fly. This guide is intended to help avoid the worst transgressions. As with all rules, there are exceptions—but leave those up to the professional designers.

READ MORE

Spotlight on Paula Scher

Do you recognize this album cover? In Make It Bigger, Paula Scher describes the design process that she oversaw as art director at CBS Records. She thought the idea of a guitar-shaped spaceship was “idiotic.” After a lot of back and forth with the band, the product manager, and the illustrator, the hit album of 1976 was released with this cover.

Scher’s book tells the story of her career as one of the most well-known designers of our time. She candidly describes how politics, personalities, whims, and luck affect the design that is ultimately produced.READ MORE

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