Graphics Programs Reference
Choosing a Graphic Style for a Web Site
When selecting a graphic style, keep in mind the following strategies:
• Be consistent. If you use a cartoonish drawing for one button, use cartoonish draw-
ings for all the buttons. If you add a photographic image to the upper-right corner of
one page, consider adding photographic images to the upper-right corners of all the
pages. Consistency in choosing graphics gives the site a cohesive look.
• Design with purpose. When you add a graphic to a page, ask yourself what the
graphic adds to the page. Make sure that you have a reason for adding each graphic
to the site.
• Consider size. Reduce all of the graphics to the smallest possible file size that you can
get without sacrificing the quality of the image. The file size of each graphic contrib-
utes to the file size of the Web pages. The smaller you can keep the file size of the Web
pages, the faster they will load in the user's browser. You will have to use a graphics
program such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Fireworks to do this.
• Consider the target audience. Review the user profile and consider the technical
capabilities of the target audience. Choose graphics that will not keep users from
enjoying the site because the pages load too slowly.
• Support your concept and metaphor. Choose graphics that reinforce the concept
and metaphor of the site. Visual symbols are very powerful tools for conveying infor-
mation. Consider what each graphic adds to the site, and make sure that each graphic
reinforces the site metaphor.
Based on the NextBest Fest site goals, the color palette, the font choices, and the site
metaphor, Gage selected a graphic style that includes fl at, translucent, retro text and
found objects from the early 1980s that represent the music of the era. The objects are
processed and displayed with a reduced color palette. Various graphics are layered to
provide a collage of the past that is carried to the current fest. By juxtaposing design
styles and images from an earlier time with modern stylistic elements and content, the
site will deconstruct both the old and the new, creating a style and depth that should
appeal to the target audience. Figure 2-12 shows the new NextBest Fest logo and page
background as a sample of the graphic style that was chosen.
Sample of the graphic style for the new NextBest Fest site