Designing Web Graphics

comprehensive tutorials on web site design

Don’t make any mistake. This is not just a book about designing web graphics. It’s the fourth edition of guru Lynda Weinman’s best-selling compendium of web design tutorials. She offers a manual of digital design which deals with far more than its title suggests. It covers all the basics of graphic design for the web – typography, browser safe colours, and the differences between HTML and XHTML. Almost every point is illustrated with a coloured screenshot; there are lots of tips and tricks in callout boxes; and she gives sources for free software such as XHTML editors, clip art, JavaScripts, and downloadable fonts.

Serious designers will be interested in the fact that she includes lots of advice about getting work as a freelance designer. There’s also guidance on web project management, usability, and content architecture. She offers a particularly good explanation of how to organise the structure of a site and design its navigation system. And for anyone who wants to make their web design politically correct, there’s a clear account of current ‘accessibility’ requirements.

On graphics, she favours Photoshop and Fireworks in her coverage of all aspects of graphic files. These include JPGs, GIFs, scalable vector graphics, Flash, and PNG. She also covers colour pallets and compression techniques, plus effects such as transparency.

She’s very keen on rollovers, and devotes a lot of effort to explaining the JavaScript and Flash approaches to creating them, complete with examples of code.

She also explains tables, frames, and cascading style sheets, arguing for the advantages and disadvantages of each one, and she has lots of tips and tricks.

She finishes with the elements of audio files and animations using Flash, Macromedia Director, and Quicktime, then how to promote your site using newsletters, blogs, scripts, and search engine submissions.

This is the latest edition of a very popular guide. These New Riders publications are expensive but exceptionally good quality – packed with screenshots, links to websites, and recommendations for further reading.

© Roy Johnson 2004

Lynda Weinman, Designing Web Graphics 4, Indianapolis IN: New Riders, 2003, pp.512 ISBN 0735710791

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