How To Design a Website, Logo and Other Computer Graphics
Author: Evan Brown
A website is one of the quickest, most effective ways to introduce yourself and your brand to thousands of users in a single day. Web pages are used to promote companies, to promote individuals, or even to share a passionate interest. The creation of a web site, however, may be daunting for someone who has never attempted it before. Fortunately, there is a cornucopia of online articles, tutorials, and examples to help even the most basic beginner produce a web site they can be proud of. Read on for comprehensive information on designing a web site, from the text, logo, and graphics, to the computer coding that hides behind them.
Web Site Design
- World Wide Access: Accessible Web Design (PDF) – When creating a webpage, it's easy to forget that the same rules that govern physical places of business govern your webpage as well. This article from the University of Washington has some helpful guidelines to assure that your webpage is accessible and understandable for individuals who may be impaired or handicapped.
- How to Design a Good Website – A website isn't just about fun colors and a unique font (please, never use Comic Sans or Papyrus). Your website, and the content on your website, needs to be tailored towards the audience you want to reach. The University of California, Berkley, has some pointers to help you hone your website towards the tone, design, and organization you're aiming for.
- Basic Web Design Principles – Looking for a crash course on web design? Look no further than this quick online tutorial from the University of Michigan.
- Website Design: Disciplines, Subjects and Integrating Diagrams – It can be difficult to figure out where to begin when embarking on the process of creating a web page. This research article from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra has many helpful diagrams that break down the process into recognizable steps.
- Basic Web Design Tips – Need a quick overview of what makes a good web site? This article from lecturer Chris Harvey of the University of Maryland is a perfect one-stop read to get an idea of what to keep in mind as you're working on your web site.
- Web Design Fundamentals (PDF) – Designed as lecture notes for the University of Kansas, this PDF nevertheless provides a useful hands-on worksheet towards developing your web page. The notes are straightforward and packed with examples, and there is even a list of resources used for your own further research.
- Introduction to Web Design: Defining a Web Site – The University at Albany has an online web design tutorial that takes around 30 minutes to complete. In it, you'll learn the key components of creating your own web site, such as basic web design concepts, how to test and check a web site, and how you can best serve the needs of the client.
- Logo Design – DePaul University has a tremendously helpful page on logo design. In it, you'll learn what elements make a good logo, see how professional logos have evolved to match modern day usage, and how a bit of energy and enthusiasm can go a long way towards marketing a brand.
- Logo Design I – Did you know that there's more than one way to make a logo? This article from Spokane Falls Community College covers logotypes, initials, symbols, and combinations of the three, and how they all differ from one another.
- Design a Simple Logo in Photoshop – Let's say you've got an idea of what you want for your logo. How do you turn that idea into reality? This handy tutorial from the University of Vermont walks you through the creation of a simple text logo with the Photoshop editing program.
- How to Design a Logo (PDF) – Provided by the Texas Medical Association, this straightforward article on logo design will prepare you with all the tools you need to create a clean, crisp design for your company.
- Logo Design Basics (PDF) – Despite being designed for a younger audience, this resource from Hopkins Schools has a wide variety of visual examples to give you an idea of how a logo should behave, whether viewed in black and white or from a distance.
- Photoshop Logo Design: Combining Text with Shapes (PDF) – In this lesson from Amy Babkie of Treasure Coast High School, you'll learn how to combine flat shapes seamlessly with text for a logo that stands out. There are step-by-step instructions to walk you through the process in Photoshop, complete with pictures that show each step.
Computer Graphic Design
- Computer Graphics and Animation (PDF) – While your website might not necessarily call for a 3D animation, it's helpful to familiarize yourself with terms that you'll come across while working on your computer graphics. This lecture from Wellesley College will explain everything from bitmaps to real-time rendering, and will introduce you to the different options that are available when creating graphics on a computer.
- Creating Cool Graphics for the Web – From the online library at Iowa State University comes this excellent resource on creating web graphics. In it, you'll learn what goes into a web page, what differentiates a GIF and a JPEG, and how to identify legal sources of graphics for your own personal use.
- What Do I Need to Create Multimedia? (PDF) – If you want to make and include a video or audio clip on your website, then you'll need to understand what goes into the creation of multimedia, where computer graphics meets sound and video. This article walks you through everything from the hardware required, to tips and tricks for transferring media onto a computer and optimizing it for the web.
- Purpose and Guidelines for Effective Use of Web Graphics – There are rules when it comes to designing computer graphics, and this article from Sehome High School outlines each and every one of them. It also describes the purpose of graphics in web design, and how they should be used to their full advantage.
- Tips on Making Really Great Graphics – Have you ever run into those projects where you think you've thought of everything that could possibly go wrong and then – whoops! – something you never thought of goes wrong? Don't let that happen to you with computer graphic design. This article from the Good News Web Designers Association covers a variety of small tricks that you wouldn't think about unless you were in the industry.
- Image Use on the Web – Ever heard of interlacing? What about regular GIFs versus animated GIFs? Wonder no more with this useful resource from the Web Design Group, and figure out which kind of image your website calls for.
- Preparing Images for the World Wide Web (PDF) – In this extensive guide from Durham University, you'll learn how to scan images, create your own on the computer, and even how to make basic animations.
- Introduction to HTML – HTML is a special code used to format web pages and to write instructions for what you want various web buttons to do. If you're new to the world of HTML, check out this online course from the University of Brighton.
- Hypertext Terminology – The Cardiff School of Computer Science has an excellent tutorial on the basics of HTML, and this page provides you with a few of the basic terms you'll need to understand before you begin coding your web page.
- Basic HTML Elements: Quick Reference (PDF) – If you're unfamiliar with skeletal tags, header tags, or layout formatting tags, this resource may be for you. The University of Bristol has a manual that walks you through the basics of HTML as well as some of the most commonly used HTML codes and their definitions.
- Basic HTML Tags – In the world of HTML, the difference in a command may be as small as a forward slash. Learn some of the basic HTML tags that you'll be using from this article provided by the University of Cambridge.
- Very Basic HTML Guidance – So you've read about what HTML tags can do. Why not give it a try? Lancaster University has an online tutorial that walks you through writing some of your first HTML coding, and teaches you more about HTML along the way.
- HTML Tutorial – The University of Kent has an excellent tutorial on HTML. The example HTML is colored, to allow your eye to more easily pick out the matching patterns and codes, and also explains how the code will look in a web browser.
- Basic CSS – CSS is the big brother of HTML, and while HTML controls formatting and how various elements on a web page will act, CSS has to do with style. Gently introduce yourself to the world of CSS with this tutorial from the University of Leicester.
Miscellaneous Design Tips
- Tips for Making Effective Websites – A web site is a constantly growing, evolving project. Take a quick refresher course of the important things to focus on with this article, provided by the University of Oxford.
- Writing for the Web: Content and Layout – Writing for the web is very different from writing for, say, an email or a printed brochure. The University of Sheffield can walk you through how to create scannable content and what sort of writing style is most effective for your web site. After all, content is just as important to design as the color of your background!
- Creating a Personal Web Page (PDF) – Wouldn't it be nice if there was some tutorial out there that just walked you through the creation of your own web page from start to finish? Well – there is! The University of Reading has an excellent booklet that walks you through everything from creating a title tag to adding graphics and clip art where you want them. If you only read one item on creating a web page – make it this one.
- 10 Tips for Creating Your Web Site (PDF) – So you've got your website written and ready to go. That's excellent! But have you thought about security, or a way to track the number of visitors to your web site? Those and other tips are provided here in this article, courtesy of the University of Toronto.
- Web Design Basics: The Starting Point – Enjoy a slow, easy walkthrough of web site design with this online tutorial from the University of Minnesota.
- Elements of Effective Web Design – Discover 7 key tips on creating an excellent web site, complete with examples of websites that hit or miss the mark, with this web page from the College of Charleston.
- Website Design Tips and Tricks (PDF) – It's easy to make amateur mistakes with your web site, especially if you've never made one before. Avoid some of the common ones with this clean, concise report on effective web design.