Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Fresh Styles for Web Designers: Eye Candy from the Underground Paperback – August 22, 2001
Featured resources for tech professionals
Explore these featured titles, sponsored by Springer. Learn more
Wow, this is a fun book. If you spend a lot of time on Web design and suffer occasional burnout, Fresh Styles is the inspiration booster shot you need to get you back to the keyboard to whip up something new. Perhaps you'd like to try "gothic organic" or "pixelated punk"? Author Curt Cloninger, who's written for the Web developer forum Alistapart.com, defines 10 "underground" Web styles using case studies of several Web sites, and discovers what makes them not just cutting edge but marketable, too. These site designs not only mimic print design, but embrace the medium of the Web with all its flaws (browser incompatibilities, sluggish download times, varying viewer operating systems, and screen resolutions).
All 10 of the design styles discussed in this book sprang from a dissatisfaction with the status quo, a love of the Web as a medium, and a passion for evocative, communicative design.
With such fun chapters as "1950s Hello Kitty Style" and "Paper Bag Style," hundreds of screenshots, and techniques for achieving these looks, Fresh Styles isn't just an inspiring kick in the pants but a cookbook/resource as well. Not everything here conforms to usability wisdom; for example, pages may not bookmark because they're in designer-defined pop-up windows or the entire site is one big Flash file. But the author encourages readers to go beyond the universally practical: "Go ahead and fiddle while Rome burns."
There are ideas here you may never have thought of using. The 8-bit gifs in the "SuperTiny SimCity Style" are the opposite of most designers' layered Photoshop creations. A link points to the perfect Web tutorial on how to get them right. For the "Lo-Fi Grunge Style," think Raygun, complete with TV scan-line effects and "that smudged, misprinted look." A sidebar shows how to mimic a noisy TV signal by placing scan-line patterns on their own Photoshop layer.
Grooviness is what this book is all about: groovy narrative, groovy illustrations, and a groovy layout by Carlos Segura. It's got a good vibe that makes you think that the future of the Web may not be so bleak after all. --Angelynn Grant
From the Back Cover
In a light and friendly voice, the author introduces the reader to new ways of styling websites. With specific examples for each of ten categories, he provides a wealth of techniques for the designer who wishes to apply these approaches in their own work. The styles are broken down into ten categories, which are:
* Gothic Organic School
* Wireframe Icon School
* Lo-fi Grunge School
* Paper Bag School
* Mondrian Poster School
* Pixelated Punk Rock School
* 1950's Hello Kitty School
* HTMinimaLism School
* DraftingTable/Instruction Manual School
Super Tiny SimCity School Further explorations in the book help designers determine which style choices would be most appropriate when changing the look of their own sites.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
But for a lot of them, "fun" turns to "frustrating" mind-bogglingly quickly. Several of the sites are electronic works of art that have incomprehensible interfaces and infuriating functionality.
I realize the emphasis of this book is sort of the anti-Neilsen, but there is, and has to be, a line of practicality in web design that just shouldn't be crossed. A beautiful website is not something that someone can hang on a wall, it's something a user is supposed to use. Neilsen gets too draconian in one direction, and Cloninger goes too far in the other. Reality is somewhere in between.
Several of the sites detailed, however, don't suffer from these problems. The "Mondrian" and "HMLMinimalist" sections are almost Neilsen-ite in their simplicity. The problem lies in some of the recommendations that Cloninger makes on how to execute such a site - the code he puts forth is often a bit sketchy and not always standards-compatible (use a new standards-complaint browser, you get a mess. Use and old browser, you get a mess).
Overall, the book is somewhat useful, somewhat not. As inspirational material, it's grand. The sites are beautiful and complex. As a "how-to" manual, the advice given is often less-than-good. Couple this book with "Don't Make Me Think" and the ORA book on CSS and you will have a much better chance of developing a workable, elegant site.
This is possibly the best web design idea book I have seen b/c it shows the reader plenty of examples and styles and gives basic tips on how to achieve that style. The most important thing the book does is it opens the reader to styles that he/she probably wasn't even aware of.
I totally disagree with the reviewer below that gave this book 1 star...the style names are a playful way of presenting some of these websites. And when you go through the examples, the sites in each category definitely do have similarities...so categorizing the sites is not faux pas by any means.
In an increasingly saturated industry, "Fresh Styles" offers not only a choice of potential directions, but also a glimpse into the incredibly innovative web design scene at the start of the 21st century. Highly recommended.
It was nice to see someone advocating something that might not have been coded "by the book." That thumbed its nose at "fuddy duddy" web design. But this book careened a little too far off the path for my taste.
I was taken aback that anyone could suggest, as this book did, that the designer was being "playful" by hiding navigation elements. This is just bad web design, no matter whether you are designing a web page for a cutting edge alternative rock band or for a law firm.
The section on Sim City smashes any theories of usability all to hell. I was literally raked over the coals in a web design newsgroup for committing the unpardonable Sin of specifying pixel sizes. I'd love to see those same people review the sites featured in this book. Especially any site based on the Sim City design... 8px? Uh, yeah, RIGHT! You sure better know who your audience is before you undertake wild site designs like most of the ones featured here.
And entropy8 -- or more accurately, its new incarnation, entropy8zuper.org ... I'm invoking the rule my mother taught me long ago: If you can't say something nice....
I'm not sure how much this book would help anyone who designs web pages for a living. It's a nice coffee table book, but it's not a book that will sit beside any of my other HTML or web design books. No, they won't have it. And neither will I.
Now, I'm off to e-Bay to see if I can unload this four-day old unrefrigerated fish.