"The Web Is Dead." This month's Wired magazine proclaims "Long Live The Internet." So what does that mean for Web designers? We must evolve to Internet Design! From apps to content everything has changed. The rise of NUI [touch screen or natural user interface] and mobile based hardware is driving lighter, simpler services and apps. This evolution has tremendous impact for designers. In Part One I covered Layout, In Part Two: Typography, In Part Three: Color. Today we I will focus on art direction & elements.
Part Four: The Art of Design
The visual metaphor, typography, textures, information graphics, surreal, illustration... you name it I have done it. Art direction is where I love to play and dramatize the idea. When it comes to apps this is where you can have some real fun! Your creativity can go wild here with texture, icons, patterns, etc. Keep in mind that design elements also play a big role in setting the mood of the design. So keep things consistent with the goals of the website and it’s audience. Also keep the design elements consistent with the other three components (Layout, Typography and Color) already mentioned.
Consistency in action
The designer of Red Velvet Art did an excellent job of utilizing the same hand drawn style throughout the various design elements. Notice how the icons, background pattern and doodles all work together. The consistency also flows through to the typography and retro color scheme.
Attention to detail
The Squarespace blog has a typical blog layout and an overall clean design, but notice the pixel perfect tick marks that line the left and right borders of the content area. It’s such a minimal design element, but it serves it’s purpose in establishing focus on the content while staying consistent with the rest of the design.
Less really is more
This design could have worked well on a white background, but Elliot Jay Stocks loves using texture. To stay consistent with the open feel of the site, he went with a light and subtle grunge texture. It works because it doesn’t take away from the minimalism of the layout and still adds another layer of interest to the design.
[examples on art direction via WDL]