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The Principles of Beautiful Web Design

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  668 ratings  ·  49 reviews
The Design Book for Non-designers

Clipart, Comic Sans, and clashing colors ... If any of these fail to make you cringe, this book will teach you why they’re design no-nos.

SitePoint’s best-selling design book, The Principles of Beautiful Web Design, has been revamped to cater to a variety of web professionals without a graphic design or art school background.

By the end of th
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Kindle Edition, Second Edtion, 180 pages
Published (first published January 31st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,395)
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Chad Warner
An excellent introduction to the artistic side of web design. Beaird teaches that a site’s design should reinforce the identity of the organization, and expertly shows how to use layout and composition, color, texture, typography, and imagery. He explains the concepts of design theory, then applies them to a website that he builds throughout the book.

The book is full of colorful illustrations and screenshots from many websites. I read the first edition from 2007, so the specific CSS and graphics
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Dhuaine
Aug 23, 2009 Dhuaine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: webdesign beginners who are serious about it
Shelves: tech
This book covers all essentials needed to start webdesign job: sketching, layouts, color, typography, imagery plus copyrights, and mending it all together. The information in it is accurate and although it is presented in very reader-friendly manner, the book provides a lot of useful data. There are no gaps filled with unnecessary words here. Beaird presents process of designing a website on an example, but - unlike in Sexy Web Design - it was actually useful, although a bit cheesy.

I can recomm
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Morgane
Don't take design advice from anyone who wrote a book with a terrible color palette, terrible leading, and terrible jokes. Who makes fun of someone's accent in a chapter on layouts? Is it relevant? Is it anything other than vaguely xenophobic and demonstrating a close-mindedness you DON'T want designers to have? Man 2007 must have been a wacky time for design. Maybe that's why all his examples of his own work are laughable.

Also spare me any color theory discussions that start with a banal diatri
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Daisy
Absolutely superb, a must read for anyone creating websites!

I have an ever growing library of books on css, html, (web)design and web development but this is definitely one of my favourites, both for its excellent content and for Beaird's warm, friendly tone. I remember having plenty of "light bulb moments" on the first read and get something more out of it each time I dip in (which is freqently).

The first section on layout and composition is superb and has already helped me improve existing des
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Dave
If I was a beginner, I would definitely give this book a better rating. As an intermediate, I can only give it three stars, mainly because some of the examples he uses are kind of cheesy. However, this is a well-organized book and as an experienced web designer it does offer a nice refreshing view of the author's design process. Definitely a worthwhile read (or skim) for anyone in the web field.
Kat
We can't expect a technical book to be timeless. This is definitely outdated but I still appreciate the good sense of structure of the author. Web design examples weren't so bad.

I read this twice in different years. 3 years ago, this was still somewhat amazing for me. Today, some suggestions just wouldn't work.

I liked the chapter on color and I still do. Basic color theory always helps.
HaNaDy
I can recommend this book to every beginner. it covers all essentials needed to start webdesign job: sketching, layouts, color, typography, imagery plus copyrights, and mending it all together.
Alea
A very basic guide to designing a webbsite. Some good tips and tricks for beginners. A really quick read too.

Personally I don't really know what I think about this book. It could be a good start, sure. But for me it's a bit to basic and some of the things they say in this book goes against things I've learned from a lot of other places. The writing is also quite personal sometimes. Which may be a good thing for some, but for me it just makes it feel less professional.
Krom
For a web design noob, this book is a nice place to start. It solidly hits several topics concerned with design elements that are at play when designing a web site to be pleasing to the eye. Especially of interest were links to websites for further reading. The chapters about color theory and fonts were the most memorable and enjoyable.

This book doesn't talk at all about web server configuration, URL re-writing schemes, web frameworks, or Cascading Style Sheets other than to reference CSS as th
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Francesca Tessari
Ottimo per chi vuole una prima infarinatura nel mondo del web design. Scritto bene e scorrevole, con esempi sempre chiari e comprensibili anche dai non addetti ai lavori.
Amy Bailey
This is a very helpful book that looks at web design less from a technical perspective but more from an aesthetic point of view. It covers all the basics you'll need to consider, from typography and layout to color schemes. It was very easy to understand and very helpful. The color illustrations and examples were fantastic. Then again, much of this is common sense. The main point is that the site themes and color schemes should be appropriate to the task at hand. You don't want to create an ulti ...more
Cassie Kabrick
Every chapter in this book was very easy to read except the one on fonts. i enjoyed this text book.
Ed Arias
Definitely an "essentials" book. Filled in some gaps in terminology and techniques that I was familiar with, but couldn't identify by name. The flow of the book, from business card to website (*.PSD) was interesting. And the chapter on typography was surprisingly very good and immediately helpful.

In all, the book wasn't as thorough as I'd hope, and the designs developed and covered were circa 2007-styling, pre-buttony Obama, so while the mock up and samples were nice, they also looked overtly d
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Alessandro Pellizzari
Una bella panoramica di tutti gli argomenti che riguardano il design di siti web, dalla scelta dei colori a quella dei font, passando per le foto, gli spazi e gli ingombri. Naturalmente, vista anche la lunghezza, non scende in tutti i dettagli per ogni argomento, e non può inculcare il gusto grafico, ma dà buone basi e consigli per evitare le combinazioni più disastrose. Una buona base con buoni spunti per approfondire gli argomenti.
Niniane Wang
Use a grid. Draw the eye around the page.

Colors convey connotations, e.g. Warmth (orange, yellow), calm (blue), nature (green). Also consider contrasting vs similar color hues.

Consider a textured background for the page.

Typography has serif vs San serif, fixed width vs not.

Images should be framed well. Consider drop shadows or inset. Use diagrams and icons to make it more interesting, appealing, and relevant.
Shaphron
May 01, 2009 Shaphron rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shaphron by: Parlicoot
Shelves: web-stuff
A very useful book on how to make designing a new website easier for those of us who have no formal training in design. Well documented with case studies, and easy to read throughout, nothing is too difficult to understand, although proper terminology and ways of looking at design, colour, typeography etc is looked at and discussed. I will be going back to this book to refresh myself of it's ideas regularly.
Nihar Sawant
This book emphasizes on creating Standard Websites. It covers aspects such as color-schema, layout, Importance of choosing appropriate fonts, importance of each color, impact each color makes etc.

Except for the 'Textures' Chapter, rest of the book is informative. However this is book is not much help to create Web Applications. But its helpful for creating portfolio, blogs kind of websites.
Matthew
A great overview to web design, split into five sections: layout and composition, color, texture, typography, and imagery.

There are lots of links to useful tools, websites, and blog posts scattered throughout the footnotes.

Overall it's a very informative intro to design, and after reading it through once I'll be using it as a reference!
Kevin
I think this book is a really good primer. Quite easy to read. This book covers the basics of design and can help people get started if they had little or no experience in web design. For those with a bit more experience, or for those who would like a refresher on some topics, you can probably have a quick glance at some sections.
Kahlil Angeles
A Great book if you're just starting out, but also good to fill out some knowledge gaps if you're already experienced in web design. I found the Layout and Color Theory Chapters most helpful—as it's always good to know other creatives' work process, and now I also feel more confident with learning more advanced color theory.
Peter
Apr 23, 2008 Peter rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Starting Web designers
This book offers great, albeit short introduction to many of the core concepts relating to web design. The author does a great job of explaining the basics of color theory as well as perspective.

This book was one of the few that inspired me and made me want to go hack away on some new designs and ideas right away.
Huu Khiem
It's a good book to read if you 've just started web design.
As the title suggest, it's more on the theory of design than practice. Especially good for hardcore coder.

Things covered are layout principles, building your color palette, typography (fonts), usage of patterns and pictures.
Diane
Discusses all the basic elements of good design in relation to websites. It has TONS of websites that are good resources for color palettes, stock images, CSS and just plain inspiration. I learned a couple of things and would recommend it to others. : )
Nick Carter
from the perspective of a non-designer with aspirations of one day maybe becoming one, this guide is a treat.

Definitely not for design students, this is instead a perfectly-paced, layed-out and easy to digest book for lay persons.
Elizabeth
Some worthwhile information, but the book is strongly geared towards the completely clueless freelancer. There's lots of how to talk to your client who doesn't know what s/he wants that was not actually design information.
Jerry
Excellent starter for those who want to go into deisgning web pages. This is not a technical, step-by-step book rather one that gives the general principles involved in buildign attractive and useable web site.
Sean
An excellent introduction to the aesthetic side of website design. Paired up with the book, Above the Fold, it should give a beginner a very good basis from which to launch into website design
Tamara
Eh. Either I'm dense or this book is.
Couldn't even understand the rule of thirds based on the examples given.

Suggested some good websites for inspiration, so I'll probably end up there instead.
Esteban Mulki
Un buen resumen sobre tópicos básicos de diseño web, alternando conceptos de diseño con ideas básicas sobre programación front-end. Un buen punto de partida para introducirse al tema.
Vitor Hugo
If you want to go beyond simple coding, if you want to learn the Design principles behind Web Design, this is a very good way to start. I'd recommend it to both developers and designers.
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