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Web Design in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition by Jennifer Niederst Robbins

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Chapter 3. Web Design Principles for Print Designers

If you are accustomed to designing for print, the Web introduces a number of new concepts and new ways of doing things. Part of what makes web design unique is that the pages are displayed on a computer monitor, not paper, requiring familiarity with new color models. In addition, you need to work within the unique environment of the web browser. The HTML markup language brings its own limitations to the mix.

This chapter discusses some basic web design concepts, which may be new for print designers or for anyone who is just getting started in web design. It provides necessary background information about the web environment, including how browsers deal with color, graphics, and typography, so that you can make design decisions that are appropriate to the medium.

The Web Is Not Like Print

Designing pages for the Web is fundamentally different from designing a printed page. The single most difficult challenge in making the transition from print to web design is that on the Web, you cannot control absolutely the way your page looks to the end user. The way the page displays is a function of the browser it is viewed on and the user’s preference settings, as shown in Figure 3-1. By its nature, the Web forces designers to give up control over the very things designers are traditionally responsible for controlling, such as page size, alignment, fonts, and colors. The experience is a shock until you get used to it. Becoming a good web ...

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