Graphic design for the Web encompasses a very wide range of decisions about
the visual dimension of a website. On one hand, graphic design is broad and integrative.
We see this especially in page layout, an important aspect of graphic design.
On the other hand, graphic design entails many highly specific decisions. So,
for example, various people on a design team may contribute to the idea of a fictitious
"Mama Ragu" welcoming visitors to the website that promotes Ragu Italian
food products. But it is very likely the graphic designer who chooses the photograph
and, if necessary, alters it to fit the design.
These are the main goals of graphic design for the Web:
• Adding aesthetic appeal
• Helping to express the theme of the website
• Helping to show the logical relationships among all elements that appear
the graphic designer is involved from the earliest stages when concept sketches are being drawn. On large projects, the graphic designer may be working full-time; on smaller projects, the graphic designer may be brought in at strategic intervals. When there is no professional graphic designer, someone must step into this role, though it is a challenge for a non-specialist to achieve really good results.
Professional graphic designers cross many boundaries in their work. They are often skilled at interface design, information design, and creating core visual
content, especially illustrations. Many small Web design firms are staffed entirely by graphic designers or consist of a single graphic designer. This chapter will provide you with a quick education in graphic design, especially as it pertains to the Web. Here is what we cover:
• Aesthetic appeal on the Web
• Uses of line, shape, and color
• Designing screen text
• Expressing theme with style and mood
• Principles of composition
• Strategies for page layout