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 5: Fool’s Golden Ratio: Understanding Proportions

Proportion is key in making things look beautiful. Our eyes seem to be naturally attracted to a sense of order in the things that we see. You may have heard someone talk about proportions before: “His nose is out of proportion with the rest of his face.” But what does it really mean for something to be “out of proportion”? Better yet, what makes something “in proportion”?

Although tastes do, and always will, differ, a great deal of study and thought has been given to proportions throughout history. What is it that makes the face of a model beautiful? Similarly, what is it that makes a sculpture beautiful? What makes a logo beautiful? Beautiful proportions are a hidden but important factor in all these cases.

In this chapter, I explain what proportion is and how proportions have been used throughout history to make things beautiful. This is a topic that has fascinated many philosophers, mathematicians, and, of course, artists and designers for millennia. Proportional patterns have been found in nature, as well as in artifacts from ancient societies. These patterns have been studied and then used deliberately in an attempt to crack the formula for beauty.

As I’ll explain, although understanding proportional relationships can help you understand what makes things beautiful, there is no one particular formula that you must follow. Instead, like many things in design, there are more simple guidelines that can get you creating ...

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