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114 The Principles of

114 The Principles of Beautiful Web Design Figure 3.35. Brian Nathan Hartwell's portfolio While some people might say his site lacks interest, I’d argue that Brian has simply removed all unnecessary distractions. It’s an extremely minimal, monochromatic layout that serves one purpose: delivering content. Since that content is primarily about his awesome work, it makes sense that he lets his work speak for itself. Eliminating texture and imagery from his design ensures that you’ll do just that. Avoiding the use of texture in your design doesn’t mean it has to be as stripped down as Brian Nathan Hartwell's site. There are plenty of examples of textureless, minimal designs out there that provide more to look at than just plain text. The T-shirt site, Shirts in Bulk 17 in Figure 3.36 is an example of minimal texture design. 17 http://www.shirtsinbulk.com/

Texture 115 Figure 3.36. Minimalism in Shirts in Bulk The focal point of this site is the supersized header welcomes new visitors. Like the cover of a magazine, the logo, navigation, and content description are overlaid on top of the main imagery. The print design look is continued below this as the content is divided into tight, grid-based columns. It has the appearance of a printed catalog, but on the Web. Starting Your Own Textural Trends As illustrated by the websites I’ve featured above, texture can have a big impact on how people perceive your design. Staying on top of current web design trends is essential to creating effective contemporary designs, but having a knowledge of past modes that occurred outside the ethereal history of the Internet will help you to establish your own style and original designs. Some of the most useful web design resources can be found in the art history section of your local bookstore or library. Becoming familiar with the architectural patterns of the High Renaissance, investigating the realism movement (and understanding how it influenced artists like Van Gogh and Cézanne to break all the rules on texture in paintings), and learning how modernism set the course for the design trends of today will help you do more than answer Jeopardy questions. A knowledge of graphic design history will expand your visual toolbox, giving you the creativity to develop a style that’s all your own, and the artistic variety to suit any client’s needs. Ultimately, the image that your clients are trying to establish, and the communication goals they’ve set, should be the determining factors in how much and what types of texture you apply. And speaking of clients, it’s about time for us to check back on how it’s all going with the Southern Savers redesign.

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