You are previewing Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty.

Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty

Cover of Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty by David Kadavy Published by John Wiley & Sons
  1. Cover
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Title Page
  4. Introduction
  5. Chapter 1: Why Design Matters
    1. What Design Really Is
    2. What Design Is Not
    3. The Layers of Design
    4. Conclusion
  6. Chapter 2: The Purpose of Design
    1. Visual Design and Its Relation to User Experience Design
    2. Sometimes a Visual Design Is Just Good Enough
    3. Sometimes Visual Design Is Your Advantage
    4. Reverse-Engineering the Twitter User Experience
    5. Knowledge Applied
  7. Chapter 3: Medium and Form in Typography
    1. The Tragedy of Misuse: Why You Hate Comic Sans
    2. The Shackles of the Typographer: The Unalterable Word
    3. The Formation of Our Alphabet
    4. The Birth of Our Letters
    5. The Type That Has Lived On
    6. Garamond Today: Why You Don’t Use Garamond on the Web
    7. Knowledge Applied
  8. Chapter 4: Technology and Culture
    1. How Trends Are Created
    2. SEO Is Design
    3. Knowledge Applied
  9. Chapter 5: Fool's Golden Ratio: Understanding Proportions
    1. What Is Proportion?
    2. Proportion and Design
    3. The Broken Promise of the Golden Ratio
    4. Other Pleasing Proportions
    5. Proportions in Our World
    6. Proportions at Work
    7. Knowledge Applied
  10. Chapter 6: Holding the Eye: Composition and Design Principles
    1. Compositional Relationships
    2. Design Principles
    3. Why the MailChimp Logo Is Beautiful: Use of Composition and Design Principles
    4. Knowledge Applied
  11. Chapter 7: Enlivening Information: Establishing a Visual Hierarchy
    1. What I Mean by “Hierarchy”
    2. Hierarchical Factors in Isolation
    3. Hierarchy at Work
    4. Knowledge Applied
  12. Chapter 8: Color Science
    1. What Is Color?
    2. The Tricks Your Eyes Play
    3. How the Visual System Works
    4. Defining Color
    5. Color Models and Data-Driven Graphics
    6. Thinking in Hexadecimal Color: Understanding the Colors of the Web
    7. Color Models in Action: Why Your Business Card Doesn’t (and Never Will) Match Your Website
    8. Knowledge Applied
  13. Chapter 9: Color Theory
    1. Color Response throughout Human History
    2. Color Response and Human Biology
    3. The Power of Red: Why You Don’t Stand a Chance in the “Target Challenge”
    4. Research on Other Colors
    5. Color and Culture
    6. Color Schemes and the Color Wheel
    7. Color Choices and Web Conventions
    8. The Interaction of Colors: Why Monet Never Used Black
    9. Color Schemes
    10. Creating a Mood with Color
    11. Tools for Creating Color Palettes and Schemes
    12. Knowledge Applied
  14. Appendix A: Choosing and Pairing Fonts
    1. Classifying Typefaces
    2. Looking At Letter Structure: The Form of the Skeleton
    3. Pairing Fonts
    4. All the Fonts You’ll Ever Need
  15. Appendix B: Typographic Etiquette
    1. Distorting Type: What Not to Do
    2. Setting Body Copy
    3. Tending to Typographic Details
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Chapter 3: Medium and Form in Typography

Understanding the right tools for the job is always important to the hacker. You know better than to use the font tag for typographic control and tables for layout (unless economic considerations say otherwise, as in Chapter 2). Instead, you use CSS. It has taken a while, but web standards are finally such that content and style can be separated in this way. Understanding these technologies and their intended uses enables you to make wise decisions such as this. You probably hardly even recognize it as a decision – it’s just the way you do things.

Just as a hacker knows to separate HTML from CSS, a skilled designer can pick the right font for any situation in an instant. Thousands of hours of manipulating typography (making subtle changes that alter the hierarchy of a document) and thousands of hours spent admiring typefaces and understanding and studying their differences makes the trained designer able to picture a typeface as readily as your mother could picture your face.

Knowing the right font to use takes an understanding of the emotional response your audience will have to it. But an understanding of this emotional response stems from an understanding of the tools, people, and philosophies that are behind the letterforms. Not understanding these factors makes choosing fonts a guessing game.

In this chapter, I’ll explain how tools have shaped one of the most important elements of design: typography. I’ll show you how a mediocre font ...

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