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The Principles of Beautiful Web Design Paperback – Dec 8 2010

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The Principles of Beautiful Web Design + HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: SitePoint; Second Edition edition (Dec 8 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098057689X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980576894
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.3 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 558 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #269,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Jason Beaird dual-majored in graphic design and digital media at the University of California Florida. When he's not working on websites, he enjoys disassembling electronics and using them in his artwork. Jason writes about his adventures in design and technology on his personal site,

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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zandhor on Aug. 30 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good book. Summarizes the basic principles of design applied to websites (layout, colours, textures, fonts, etc.). Many interesting examples to apply various techniques. Excellent online resources/links for designers (colours, fonts, CSS, etc.). The style is sometimes a little too simple and casual but hey, it's a design book, not a novel and it is well enough structured.

This book is not going to make you design great websites if you have no experience at all but it will bring some structure and ideas to your work and remind you of the web specificities.

Totally worth it!

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gamer4Life on May 30 2013
Format: Paperback
As a web developer looking for some good design principles and tips to help with my creative side, this book was perfect. The book is well laid out and has good examples. It helps break down the various areas I need to look at when considering design. Great book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 32 reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Too lightweight and unfocused Dec 9 2010
By Kenneth C Kovar - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very short book, so to be effective it needs to be exceptionally focused to succeed in being a good guide to web design. Unfortunately it is full of fluff and anecdotal accounts of the authors web design practice. The chapters on design principles are very sketchy and do not have enough analysis of designs to be really useful in imparting the ability to conceptualize good vs bad design. The material on photoshop is virtually worthless, as it is neither good as an introduction or as an advanced guide. The author has a reasonably good writing style and there are a few nuggets of inspiration, but overall I would advise anyone to look elsewhere for guides on web design. Don't be fooled by the high reviews, this is just not a very good book.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Mixed feelings about the book Aug. 15 2012
By J. Zapotosky - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First I am a programmer, so although my art skills are actually pretty good my brain works in a very structured way.
+ Grid Layout - layout I think is one of the hardest parts of making a website and the author's explanation is well thought out and practical.
+ Color Wheel - I have read other books that included the color wheel but this book does a great job of explaining it, giving variations and how to apply it to a webpage.
+ Some practical font and imagery suggestions as well as links on where to find/ buy fonts and stock images (some were free).

--- The latter chapters I felt were too subjective and artistic, more about trial and error. Not a lot of things that I would apply day to day creating websites.

The book is going to help with layout and color on future website projects but later chapters weren't great. Wish I could give it 3.5 stars
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Can't say enough good about this book Oct. 21 2011
By Agata Staniak - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a website developer who works with designers on a daily basis. It always amazes me how they come up with those beautiful screenshots - simple, clean, pleasant, professional look, that they give me to implement. At a glance, these designs look so simple it seems trivial to come up with one. Until you actually try. You open Photoshop or Illustrator and stare at the blank screen and anything you come up with just looks cheesy and soooo last year.
If you're like me - this book is perfect for you. It's short, loaded with pictures and examples, information is condensed and written in a funny way without lengthy religious or philosophical explanations. It also points you out to tons of resources outside the book, if you want to dig deeper into any particular topic (I'm reading the Kindle edition so I can just click hyperlinks). It's a perfect design primer for those people like me, who are probably not going to make website design their career (at least this book won't make you a pro in an instant) but are looking into understanding the basic concepts of design and maybe making their personal website prettier. You're guaranteed not to look at any website the same way again. You'll be wondering, does it use the 960 grid system? Is it fluid layout? which color scheme does it use?

Biggest pros:
- the author has technical knowledge about HTML and CSS, yet has actually attended college design classes - the best of both worlds if you're an engineer (there's little in the book that's "just the way it is" - everything has logical explanation, and even an algorithm if possible)
- great primer, if you want to learn design seriously but have no idea where to start, it will tell you what's out there and what to search for and dig into
- the book is relatively new, so it doesn't repeat those old "don't use frames or marquee cause it hurts your eyes" mantra - instead it focuses on modern websites, covering fluid layouts that work on an iPhone etc.
- the author covers necessary theory (but not too deep - there's no 10 page paragraph about the history of Times New Roman font) and is excellent in putting theory to practice - everything has examples and there's even a real example of customer redesigning their medium-size website and how the whole process looked, whet were the steps etc. - pretty much a description of a designer's workflow - very useful

- Kindle layout of the book in a Windows Kindle reader app is HORRIBLE - feels like reading a 1996 website. The page renders better on the Kindle device, but I need a color screen, since a big part of the book is about colors.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The book is great but the Kindle version is absolutely ugly. May 31 2013
By Keith Rowland - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This is not a review of the content of the book or the printed version, it only addresses the kindle version.

Later edit: I want to reiterate because I don't want to deter anyone from buying the book, the book is great, but take a look at the kindle version before buying. If you're satisfied with the text and formatting, buy it, else buy the printed version or find a pdf version for sale.

Amazon, you should be ashamed. As a publishing company how can you set such a low standard for ebook formatting. What looks quite nice in the printed and PDF versions, looks horrible in the ebook. For books with only text, the Kindle format is sufficient. But for a book with charts, graphs, tables, and figures, it's not up to the task. Please offer this book in PDF as it's a much better format for this type of book. If the Kindle reader doesn't support PDF, then file a complaint with it's creator. ;)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Design Handbook Feb. 9 2012
By Johnathan Hollis - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased this book about a month ago and I can honestly say it has been PIVOTAL in my growth as a web designer. I have been making websites for 5+ years now, learning the ropes by first getting the basics down (html & css) and by keeping up on the latest web trends. There's TONS of great instructional videos that will broaden your understanding of popular design/ development tools and may even appease your workflow. I myself, underwent a strict diet of reading design blogs and utilizing tuturials ( both of which have been vital resources). However I lacked a vivid and thorough background of the grassroot basics that, in most web design today is ever unpresent. Every page is filled with need-to-know principles about the world of web design, many of which can be applied to the field of Design in general! Overall, a SUPER FUN, well put together resource that has dramatically changed how I perceive the web.