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C.R.A.P.

 |  Interwebs

No, I’m not being rude and I’m not swearing at you… I’ve just finished reading a book (The Non-Designers Design Book — Robin Williams) and have learnt that “CRAP” is the best way of remembering the four basic design principles: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity.

I make no secret of the fact that I don’t consider myself to be a designer. I’ve never done a design course. I didn’t study design at school or college. I don’t look at elements on a page and think “wow, I wonder how I could arrange those to create a stunning visual display”, I think “wow, I wonder how I could semantically mark those up to create an informative web page that ranks highly in Google”. I don’t think of fonts as ways to make a page look pretty, I think of them as simply that: fonts. Typography is — or was — of little value to me.

However, by simply presenting me with ‘rules’ that can be followed to make design more effective, I can think of ways to mark-up elements of my website AND rank highly in Google AND make them look better: tying sections together (Proximity) and creating consistency (Repetition). Creating visual distinction (Contrast) to make important points stand out whilst looking tidy, and flushed together (Alignment). I am brimming with ideas already!

Of course, the problem now is getting them out of my head, and down on paper…

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

15 comments so far

  1. Malin said:

    There is so much info you should know AND apply to everything you do. Blah. Thank god I don’t do it for a living! It’s hard to keep up!

  2. Nan said:

    I hate the feeling of having an idea inside my head and not be able to make it into something real – whether it’s on a pc or something more solid.

  3. Tish said:

    When I have a design idea, either a) it’s impossible or b) my fingers freeze and I’ve forgotten the meaning of the word “keyboard”. In the latter case, I find that consuming vast amounts of caffeine usually does the trick. If only there was a machine that sucked ideas out of your head and turned them into something you could make use of. Hmm. Maybe not. Sounds a bit dodgy to me.

  4. Sara said:

    So, you weren’t complaining? Just kidding! It sounds like a nice book! :) Just wondering, is it a lot like the books for dummies? The sarcastic title gave me that idea.

  5. David Airey said:

    That does sound like it’s worth the look (the book I mean). Even as a designer I’d be interested to see how other aspects of creativity are explained. It can’t all be crap. :)

  6. Bubs said:

    I consider you a designer… your layouts are always very organized and clean. There are a lot of sites of graphic designers who have nice illustrations but crappy websites :P

  7. Belinda said:

    I think your site layouts are quite CRAP as it is. Contrasting, repetitive, aligned and proximate of course. :D BTW, off-topic, but would you happen to know what happened to nu/mb?

  8. Melissa said:

    LOL…the title is awesome. And I’m interested to see what extra things you can come up with for your site…I think it rocks already. ^_^

  9. Han said:

    I’m doing a design course and I wouldn’t consider myself a designer, doing some arty farty course doesnt make you a designer in my opinion!

  10. Arien said:

    I consider you a designer. I think the layouts you create are visualy tasteful. Not to mention, they’re always clean and compact, just the way I like it when browsing a site. You may not have this big flashy header but sometimes big flasy headers looking nasty.

  11. Michele said:

    I’m currently pursuing my degree in Graphic Design but I don’t consider myself a designer just yet. It is something that I would like to do once I get out of the military. Just because it’s something I can do from my house and it won’t take me away from my family. Just to echo what’s already been said. I consider you to be a very good designer.

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