Synopses & Reviews
Why did Monet never use the color black in his paintings?
Why are 'Web 2.0' graphics rounded?
What can modern web designers learn from graffiti left on the walls of ancient Pompeii more than 1900 years ago?
Design for Hackers explains the classical principles and techniques behind creating beautiful design. Inside, designer David Kadavy provides you with a framework for understanding good design, with a special emphasis on interactive mediums. Design for Hackers breaks down the classical principles and techniques for creating beautiful design by explaining color theory, the role of proportion and geometry in design, and the relationship between medium and form - all while illustrating important cultural and contextual considerations in communicating clearly to a particular audience. By reverse engineering design samples as varied as the paintings of Monet, the graffiti of Pompeii, Apple's iPhone and the New York Times, the design principles at work can then be used in your own web designs, mobile apps, or other digital work.
-Understanding Design: What Makes a Design Good?-Why Design is important-Design has Purpose -Why a lost dog poster is beautiful-Design has constraints -Medium and Form -Why You Don't Use Garamond on the Web -How today's web fonts are designed with the screen in mind-How some fonts have embraced the limitations of the pixel-Why Web 2.0 Graphics are Gradated and Rounded -SEO is Design, Too -Proportion: What You Can't See May be Beautiful -Leading the Eye -Why on its own, the golden ratio is not the most attractive-Size & Scale -Color: The Sculpture of Light -Color Science -How to avoid using black on the Web-Color Theory -Split Color Schemes on the Web
Discover the techniques behind beautiful design?by deconstructing designs to understand them
The term 'hacker' has been redefined to consist of anyone who has an insatiable curiosity as to how things work—and how they can try to make them better. This book is aimed at hackers of all skill levels and explains the classical principles and techniques behind beautiful designs by deconstructing those designs in order to understand what makes them so remarkable. Author and designer David Kadavy provides you with the framework for understanding good design and places a special emphasis on interactive mediums. You'll explore color theory, the role of proportion and geometry in design, and the relationship between medium and form. Packed with unique reverse engineering design examples, this book inspires and encourages you to discover and create new beauty in a variety of formats.
- Breaks down and studies the classical principles and techniques behind the creation of beautiful design
- Illustrates cultural and contextual considerations in communicating to a specific audience
- Discusses why design is important, the purpose of design, the various constraints of design, and how today's fonts are designed with the screen in mind
- Dissects the elements of color, size, scale, proportion, medium, and form
- Features a unique range of examples, including the graffiti in the ancient city of Pompeii, the lack of the color black in Monet's art, the style and sleekness of the iPhone, and more
By the end of this book, you'll be able to apply the featured design principles to your own web designs, mobile apps, or other digital work.
"If you want to learn to create great design yourself...there simply is no way to do so with lists of rules. Instead, I want to provide you with a new set of eyes through which you can see the world anew."---DAVID KADAVY
WHY DID MONET NEVER USE THE COLOR BLACK IN HIS PAINTINGS?
WHY IS THE GOLDEN RATIO NOT ALL IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE?
WHY IS COMIC SANS SUCH A HATED FONT?
It's amazing what you can learn about great web design by asking questions like these. Award-winning designer David Kadavy uses this "reverse-engineering" process in Design for Hackers to deconstruct classical design principles and techniques from web designers. Using an eclectic array of reverse-engineered examples, ranging from Twitter's latest redesign, to Target's red shopping carts, and ancient graffiti from the walls of Pompeii, he explains:
- COLOR THEORY: How can you enliven your designs by understanding how colors interact?
- PROPORTION AND GEOMETRY: How can you establish a grid that is suitable for the device on which your design will be displayed?
- SIZE AND SCALE: How can you create clean design just by choosing the right type sizes?
- WHITE SPACE: How can you use it elegantly to communicate clearly?
- COMPOSITION AND DESIGN PRINCIPLES: How can you use them to make your designs more compelling?
- TYPOGRAPHIC ETIQUETTE: What tiny typographic details can make a huge difference in what you're communicating?
About the Author
David Kadavy is a user interface designer whose clients include Silicon Valley startups such as oDesk, UserVoice, and PBworks. He led the design departments at two Silicon Valley startups and an architecture firm, taught a college course in typography, and studied ancient typography in Rome. David blogs about design at kadavy.net, and his Twitter handle is @kadavy.
Table of Contents
Part I: Understanding Design.
CHAPTER 1: Why Design Matters 9
CHAPTER 2: The Purpose of Design 19
Part II: Medium and Form.
CHAPTER 3: Medium and Form in Typography 37
CHAPTER 4: Technology and Culture 75
Part III: Composition.
CHAPTER 5: Fool's Golden Ratio: Understanding Proportions 105
CHAPTER 6: Holding the Eye: Composition and Design Principles 133
CHAPTER 7: Enlivening Information: Establishing a Visual Hierarchy 167
Part IV: Color.
CHAPTER 8: Color Science 195
CHAPTER 9: Color Theory 235
Part V: Appendixes.
APPENDIX A: Choosing and Pairing Fonts 291
APPENDIX B: Typographic Etiquette 311