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Design Aesthetics for Web Design
Illustration by John Hersey
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Applying background patterns to create harmony


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Design Aesthetics for Web Design

with Sue Jenkins

Video: Applying background patterns to create harmony

As you discovered in an earlier lesson, unity, or harmony in a design happens when all the visual elements are creatively and satisfyingly integrated into a unified whole. One way to build harmony in a design is to work with pattern, which is the fifth principle of design. Pattern offers you a way to keep your design organized while also providing a really nice sense of harmony through the use of repeating elements. There are many ways to use pattern in a design. For instance, pattern can be employed by creating elements that are the same size, like thumbnail graphics on a gallery page.
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  1. 2m 8s
    1. Welcome
      38s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
  2. 9m 10s
    1. Understanding aesthetics
      4m 41s
    2. Examples from art and design
      4m 29s
  3. 35m 44s
    1. Understanding the elements of design
      1m 47s
    2. Using color to set the site's mood
      5m 50s
    3. Tweaking color values to add contrast
      3m 30s
    4. Using texture to add depth
      4m 53s
    5. Repeating shapes to unify your design
      2m 43s
    6. Structuring your layout with form
      3m 50s
    7. Using space to organize your design
      4m 38s
    8. Setting boundaries with line
      4m 36s
    9. Communicating with the right fonts
      3m 57s
  4. 38m 26s
    1. Understanding the principles of design
      1m 45s
    2. Using contrast to set areas of interest
      3m 8s
    3. Applying font styles to show emphasis
      5m 23s
    4. Aligning objects to achieve balance
      4m 40s
    5. Using hyperlink styles to create a sense of unity
      4m 10s
    6. Applying background patterns to create harmony
      3m 14s
    7. Adding movement with scrolling and animation
      3m 31s
    8. Using border styles to add rhythm and repetition
      2m 57s
    9. Achieving proportion by scaling objects and text
      2m 43s
    10. Simplifying by removing the unnecessary
      3m 21s
    11. Using gradation to create perspective
      3m 34s
  5. 37m 45s
    1. Responsive web: Creating CSS for different devices
      3m 2s
    2. Composition: Using the grid to organize space
      4m 45s
    3. Typography: Choosing and using web fonts
      5m 15s
    4. Color theory: Picking harmonious colors
      4m 16s
    5. Communication: Leading viewers through a design
      6m 30s
    6. Accessibility: Using size and color effectively
      6m 10s
    7. Originality: Stepping out of the box
      7m 47s
  6. 1m 57s
    1. Next steps
      1m 57s

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Design Aesthetics for Web Design
2h 5m Beginner Aug 29, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

A basic understanding of the principles of good design (such as contrast, unity, and balance) is the foundation for creating beautiful websites. In this course, Sue Jenkins explains design aesthetics in simple terms, and shows how to incorporate the principles of design in specific ways that improve your site. Learn how to adjust adjacent colors to add contrast, create depth with texture, incorporate movement, and use repeating shapes, patterns, and borders to unify your design. Then, in the final chapter, learn about special issues designers should address in their web layouts, such as responsive design for mobile devices, accessibility, and originality.

Topics include:
  • Understanding aesthetics
  • Picking harmonious colors
  • Structuring your layout
  • Using space to organize your design
  • Communicating with the right fonts
  • Aligning objects to achieve balance
  • Adding movement with scrolling and animation
  • Achieving proportion by scaling objects and text
  • Creating CSS for different devices
Subjects:
Design Web Design Techniques Web Design
Author:
Sue Jenkins

Applying background patterns to create harmony

As you discovered in an earlier lesson, unity, or harmony in a design happens when all the visual elements are creatively and satisfyingly integrated into a unified whole. One way to build harmony in a design is to work with pattern, which is the fifth principle of design. Pattern offers you a way to keep your design organized while also providing a really nice sense of harmony through the use of repeating elements. There are many ways to use pattern in a design. For instance, pattern can be employed by creating elements that are the same size, like thumbnail graphics on a gallery page.

And then ensuring that they're evenly spaced apart, perhaps using and underlying grid system for organization. So you could create a layer like this and then just make sure that your elements span the desired number of columns. You can also use pattern in the form of repeating shapes. So, for instance, maybe I want to have circles for my thumbnails instead. Pattern can also be applied as decorative elements, like I just added this decorative element in the header and right above the footer there. You can also create pattern by applying the similar color scheme throughout your entire layout.

Most often, when people think about pattern, they think about background patterns like a wallpaper. With the magic of cascading stylesheets, you can apply background patterns to actually as many elements on a web page as you like. So here's a very busy decorative pattern. You can also do something like stripes. Just a single tiling background graphic will repeat endlessly to fill up the browser menu. When adding the patterns to your background, you would apply the style to the body tag of your page. But, that doesn't mean you have to stop there, you could also have the pattern applied to the wrapper, the containing element that holds your design in place within the center of the layout if that's the way you've created your design.

In addition, I'm going to hide the background here. In addition you could also create patterns for certain elements. Like I've done here with this little dotted background on these two sidebar boxes, or this one larger box. What's really great about working with patterns, is that your patterns don't have to be super loud or super fancy to creat a sense of harmony. Rather less is more, a subtle hint of design that can add a great amount of order and unity. So these little samples here, there's not much to them.

They're very simple, elegant patterns. The bottom row, of course, is a little more complex but still within the same color scheme. So simply applying a subtle amount of pattern here and there can help provide that unity. To get free background patterns for your non-commercial web projects you can visit several sites online. Here's a short list of some sites you might want to check out. You can also create your own patterns by scanning fabrics or other materials into your computer, or even by drawing your own designs in a programmer like Illustrator or Photoshop and then converting them into digital patterns to use in your web mockups.

Patterns come in so many forms including repeating flourishes, graphic elements, shapes and colors. Creatively apply them in your web designs to add visual cohesion and build harmony.

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