Zen of Web Design

My first web page designs (from scratch) were published sometime in 1994, very crude but made with a simple Notepad editor. I consider that I was very fortunate to have had an excellent teacher in RJ Sullivan he’d been trained in college about commercial art then went on to work for major advertising agencies and for big design firms in NYC. Bob was much more passionate about fine art and music but figured commercial art was a good means to pay for those pursuits.
We became business partners and Bob shared many art design philosophies with me, one of his favorites saying’s was that often “less is more”.

To this day I apply some of the design “rules-of-thumb” imparted in me by RJS. Such as:

  • limit the number of colors
  • be cautious with strong contrasting colors
  • words become art in commercial design, start simple, then try various fonts and colors
  • limit the number of different fonts used on a page, avoid having too much formatting (italics and bold)
  • white is the predominant background color for business, often the best pages are the plainest looking
  • black can be used for background color for art or images but very difficult to read text from black
  • make a simple logo standout by itself and then use it consistently at the top in the corner of every page
  • always continue tweaking your work and don’t be afraid to remove words and simplify the look and style
  • Get feedback and listen to advise. Listen to what other people think

Share your work and show it off, that’s what the web is all about. Have a look at my new design, using “less is more” Zen Web Design on Commodity Trader.

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