course notes 2015/16

graphic design principles

Dec 2nd 2015

heather hansen, emptied gestures
Emptied Gestures © Heather Hansen

Design is a fluid process, something that will change with each project, each challenge. Intuition if often a good starting point. Following the well-trodden paths which are influenced by long standing principles is another.

Let’s take a look at some established as well as popular graphic design principles and their possible inspiration for design for the web. While working on your next mini project, start your initial design process by considering how some of these established concepts might contribute to your design.

PLEASE NOTE: some of the examples shown in the slides have since been updated, or no longer exist. I’m keeping the references as this now allows us to compare their current to their new design, or recognise the relatively temporary nature of some websites.

design principles I

site references I

design principles II

site references II

Designing for promotion

In preparation for your next mini project – let’s have a closer look at the design concepts behind these examples:

  1. The Shape of Design by Frank Chimero
  2. HTML & CSS by Jon Duckett

book and brush iconTask
Choose one of the examples and summarise the effectiveness of the current design. Select one single page and produce a rough mockup to show a different design approach.
Present your findings to the class.

book promotion

mini project

Choosing a web design or development related book, work with graphic design principles to create an informative and effective single page design to promote the sale of the book.

this project spans two weeks. Let’s team work and use the comments to share initial ideas and give/receive feedback.

deadline: 16/12/2015


  1. Hannah Boom

    Dec 5th 2015

    Here are some initial ideas I have for my book promo site. The Elements of User Experience is sort of Jesse James Garrett’s thesis on a five-plane diagram he created to explain the levels of user experience design.

    Some initial images and thoughts on the project are on my course blog:

  2. prisca

    Dec 7th 2015

    Nice choice, Hannah :)
    glad you found something that inspires you, curious to see what you’ll come up with.

  3. Claudia

    Dec 9th 2015

    Hi Prisca, here’s what I have so far:
    see you tomorrow :)

  4. Aisha

    Dec 9th 2015

  5. Sasha

    Dec 11th 2015

    htmlandcssbook is not actually responsive, i had to double check it on mobile just in case they made it device and not screen responsive.

    decided to redesign, so far pencil progress on ideas

  6. Theresa

    Dec 16th 2015

    Here’s my book promo:

  7. L u n g

    Dec 18th 2015

    Book Promo _ Final Result

    Book Promo _ Thoughts