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Saturday 11|24|01
Designing for the Web

Dean Allen - of Textism writes a great column at A List Apart about Design and Reading on the Web.

He asks:
"How can you design for the web if you can't code? How can you direct photography if you've never worked in a darkroom? How can you design text if you're not a careful reader?"

I would agree with all those statements and have often asked that myself in past situations when working with designers who maybe great brand designers or print brochure designers but know nothing about the web.

Allen, basically, is reinforcing the notion, that a good designer should understand the medium in which s/he practices. This is not unlike a print designer understanding the differences in types of paper, in different printing processes and how those technical considerations affect the quality, the legibility and the experience of a printed message. Likewise, on the web, understanding the limitations of the media, understanding the limitations of bandwidth and the audience's needs on a particular site is equally important to the success of the design.

I think Allen reminds us, that designers need to be smart. They need to READ what they are designing. This simple act, of reading the content, understanding the message and then being clear in the intent of the design to convey the message is an important step in being seen as more than a conveyor of style that so many designers are currently complaining about.

Posted by erin at 02:10 PM | in Typography


I agree with Dean's basic emphasis. But since not only he but also this blog (and its readers I assume) are concerned with style, I'm taken aback by the bullet point list at the end. This belies a manifesto-esque bent through the whole article, and is the kind of posing he bellyaches about all the time.

Posted by Jim Jones at November 27, 2001 05:12 PM

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