WPDFD Issue #77 - August 01, 2004

by Joe Gillespie If you've learned your design skills in the context of print, as many designers do, and you want to try your hand at some Web design, you have an excellent head start. This article examines graphic design skills and sifts through them to find out which are most appropriate when it comes to putting Web pages together. Where some of those skills are extremely useful, others have the opposite effect and can actually get in the way.

I've often heard the criticism of print designers that they can design only at one, fixed size, but that's not strictly true. Press ads have to be adapted for different publication and page dimensions. In packaging, designs usually have to work across a range of pack sizes. If you have ever done any corporate identity work, you will know that a company image has to work in a great variety of situations, from a business card up to building signage.

If you've learned your design skills in the context of print, as many designers do, and you want to try your hand at some Web design, you have an excellent head start. This article examines graphic design skills and sifts through them to find out which are most appropriate when it comes to putting Web pages together. Where some of those skills are extremely useful, others have the opposite effect and can actually get in the way.

I've often heard the criticism of print designers that they can design only at one, fixed size, but that's not strictly true. Press ads have to be adapted for different publication and page dimensions. In packaging, designs usually have to work across a range of pack sizes. If you have ever done any corporate identity work, you will know that a company image has to work in a great variety of situations, from a business card up to building signage.

Flaming Pear have been producing Photoshop format plug-in for a number of years now. I've already bought several of them and have been very pleased with the results. The WebMaster Series, as the name suggests, is aimed specifically at Web designers and is actually a set of three separate plug-ins. They are Photoshop 3 format plug-ins, so they will work in any program that supports that standard.

There is only one thing you can be sure of about text on a Web page, the amount of room that it takes up cannot be be predicted! A different computer, another browser, some other user – they will all have their own ideas what the type font and size should be. The fact that you have specified something in particular is a suggestion, not a dictate. So, if you put text into an area of fixed size but the type size has changed from your specification, and expectation, what's going to happen?