My background is in fine art, not computer design. I’ve been frustrated by the digital, screen-based presentation of web sites. I want to get my hands dirty. I want to scrape, scratch, paint, and draw. My attempts at reproducing texture on web sites has been spotty. I wrote about my desire to integrate art techniques into web design a year ago on my personal site, www.tdrake.net.
Design Meltdown has a great post and folowing tutorial about spray paint texture and how to use it in your web design. It would be interesting to use this technique with alpha transparency to give your site a new dimension.
I’ve been using Color Schemer for several years. It’s a simple tool that allows you to find complementary and harmonious colors for your web site. I didn’t have the bookmark on this computer and did a search for it. Openmodo has a great collection of online color palette tools. When you need to choose a color, let these tools help you out.
Before you let an anonymous color generator determine your web site’s look and feel, you should take some time to learn about color theory. The authoritative book on the subject is The Elements of Color by Johannes Itten, of the Bauhaus School. While this book is small and fairly expensive, the knowledge you’ll gain will make it a worthwhile investment. You could also find it at your local library.
Hedger Wang responded to my desperate plea for help on the z-index issue with a simple test page on his blog with an ingenious iframe solution. How people imagine these solutions is simply beyond me. So, then I started going through his blog and was blown away by his tests and solutions. CSS, JS, AJAX, you name it, this is a goldmine on info.
Icon Buffet has begun releasing free sets of icons to the masses. It’s these same masses, you and I, that have the power to distribute these little bundles of goodness. You see, each person is assigned a set of icons, I have the Shanghai set. You then trade these sets with your buddies.
So, if you really want another set, for instance the Marseilles Cafe set, you arrange to share your icons with your Marseilles laden buddy. That being said. If anyone has the Marseilles Cafe or Taipei Plastic Primates and would like to trade, leave a comment. Or, if anyone needs the Shanghai set, do the same.
I now have the following sets available for trade:
- Shanghai Tech
- Maseilles Cafe
- Oslo Atmosphere
- Durango Research
Mike Cherim just announced the beta version of his new contrast-testing site. Graybit.com allows you to see what your site looks like when colors are removed.
What does it answer?
- Is your site still usable?
- Is there enough contrast?
- Are you telling people to click on the cute red button?
- Do your forms use color to distinguish required inputs?