5611Re: web design
- Apr 5, 2006Hi Jason
I don't disagree with anything you have said here. My first experience
with the net was, as Lys similarly pointed out in her own posting,
when "text-based and command-line driven" was all there was. I was an
online information retrieval specialist for a time back in the
mid-1970s. The visual imagery of the icon-based "web" was a welcomed
But as Peter pointed out it all really is information design. This
applies, as you suggest, to fine press books as well. I suspect one
could, and should, go back to Beatrice Warde regarding the rationale
for all of this. No one cut through the crap and essentially saw it
all for what it really is than she. Especially in her later writings
on the legibility of text faces.
The clueless "innovative" bookmaker printers, the wedding invitation
slam-bangers, the clever web designers, etc, all will come and go.
There is fickle fashion and then there is what has proven to work and
remain valid beyond the style of the times.
The direction of web based design, however, hardly seems driven by
graphic designers themselves, but rather the need for more valid
imagery and speedier and more reliable transmission. This is more a
technological issue than it is a design issue. The latter is more
after the fact. Even though there seems to be more and more
accessibility and ability to participate, in reality, the controls in
regard to software are far less user based than they were previously.
If one is "designing" for the web, it is at a very superficial level
compared to what is offered and restricted by the technology.
--- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Jason Dewinetz" <jason@...> wrote:
> "It's bad design, not good design, that makes an impression."
> Yes, but what sort of impression?
> Would the same argument hold up for book work? Perhaps, but, once
> the goal to make "an impression" or to fascilitate the reader's
> Just as on the web, the world is full of bad print design, from
> with hidden TOCs and ridiculous typography to books with completely
> inadequate margins, sloppy word-spacing and solid leading set in a
> completely inappropriate type. All of this makes an impression, and
> it is bad design and difficult to read.
> Good design on the web doesn't mean inaccessable, any more than it
> print work, and both require serious restraint guided by a
> the reader before anything else. I agree that many "graphic design"
> break all kinds of rules, often making the user's experience
> but so too has much book work in the name of experimentation and
> Such sites aren't necessarily meant for continuous reading or even
> information gathering, they are for showcasing graphic design.
> What I was refering to, however, were specifically sites representing
> publishers and book-ish things, and what is good for the goose (book
> should also be important to the gander: clean, well designed content
> format that is pleasing to look at.
> The headline and lead in the article you linked to miss the point
> as far as I'm concerned. Ugly doesn't mean easier to read or more
> accessible. At best it might mean not cluttered with gimmicks and
> remove the gimmicks and Flash and web developers are not left with
> they're left with the same basic principles of book work; it's just
> very few people have the skill or experience to know how to blend
> accessibility, functionality, with clean layout & typography.
> Again, the word you used is in my top three hit-list in the electronic
> publishing class I teach at the University of Victoria: I tell the
> every year that marks will be deducted from their projects if I'm
> into using any of these three terms: "clever," "cute," or "cliched."
> three are signs of inexperience, and all three insult the
> phrase I do want to use for their projects, and anything I read on
> or in a book, is "understated yet effective."
> "Bad" design is neither of those things. Bad design just "doesn't
> offends the eye."
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Gerald Lange
> To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2006 1:34 AM
> Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: web design
> There were a couple of recent notices in Microsoft Typography about
> purposeful bad (simple) web design and how it is more effective. I'd
> tend to agree, and apparently so would eBay, Yahoo, flickr, etc.
> Here's one of the links
> The argument is that folks are searching for information, the faster
> and easier it is to access the better. Every time I go to a "graphic
> design" site and have to sit there and watch the thing mysteriously
> unwind or try to guess which icon or whatever I'm supposed to click on
> to be illuminated, basically, I'm out of there. I'm looking for
> information; I don't care how clever the websmaster is. I can find my
> entertainment elsewhere.
> --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Jason Dewinetz" <jason@> wrote:
> > I get a kick out of these applications; as though "web" development
> was an
> > "easy" thing to do like a "pro."
> > Dreamweaver (was Macromedia, now Adobe) is, of course, the industry
> > web development tool, but it can be a bit daunting for new users.
> The point,
> > of course, is that it's unreasonable to think that just because you
> > know a few HTML tags you should go ahead and attempt to build a site
> > will meet even the simplest of technical or aesthetic standards. I'm
> > of course, as both a book and web designer, but it really is
> > how many publishers and organizations are willing to have a very
> > designed and coded site represent them on the internet. That bright
> > tie with the mustard all over it says a lot about the guy wearing
> it, and so
> > does a site plagued by a distracting background, cheesy buttons,
> > typography and default link styles.
> > Don't get me wrong, I know that many publishers/organizations don't
> > have sufficient budgets to afford decent design for their books and
> > projects, let alone for their web site, but, like anything, you get
> what you
> > pay for in this arena, as in any other. Cheap & "easy" web
> applications will
> > help you to produce cheap and flaky web sites, or a college kid at
> > can do the same.
> > Bethany, good for you for seeking some outside help, you'll be glad
> you did.
> > I'm sure there are a handful of good design shops in your area, and
> > with someone local will make your life much easier when it comes to
> > & maintenance.
> > Jason Dewinetz
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Lance Williams
> > To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
> > Sent: Tuesday, April 04, 2006 10:16 AM
> > Subject: RE: [PPLetterpress] web design
> > I use WebEasy Pro, version 6.0. Available from CompUSA for $50 or
> > It's a fairly complete package, and fairly intuitive... I use it
> for the
> > Letterpress Printers of the World website as well as our business
> > and a few others I maintain.....
> > - Lance Williams
> > Williams Stationery Co.
> > Camden, New York
> > APA #785
> > > [Original Message]
> > > From: thistleberry_press <etsu4@>
> > > To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
> > > Date: 4/4/2006 12:20:37 PM
> > > Subject: [PPLetterpress] web design
> > >
> > > Hi, does anyone have a recommendation for a reasonable priced
> > > designer? I really don't need someone to design the layout of the
> > > pages but I need them to actually build the pages on the web. Any
> > > advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
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