This week’s readings helped me think about color in a more systematic manner than I have in my early attempts at web design. On my portfolio and type pages I used colors that tied to my theme and content, but never worked through in any sort of organized process how they worked with each other. Clearly, a novice mistake, and something I can improve upon going forward.
For this purpose, I found the chapter in Robin Williams’ work a useful primer, although at times it felt like a rehashing of 2nd grade art class. But perhaps that’s what I need at this point. And while Williams covers considerations of color for both print and the web, the articles from creativebloq and Clagnut offered numerous (to be honest, slightly overwhelming) options for tools to help web designers choose and use colors. In addition to just assisting with finding complementary colors, so of these applications allow you to derive a color palette from an image you upload. This is a very powerful tool for designers, especially when constructing a web site places a heavy emphasis on visual image over text, and something I’d like to experiment with more moving forward.
Complementing the use of color in general, and the use of images and color together specifically, was the chapter on image use and selection from Golombisky and Hagen. In addition to covering the art of image selection and use (using image to provide visual cues and entry points, asymmetric balance, tight-cropping, etc.), I found this reading especially useful in breaking down some of the more technical aspects of images that I am less familiar with, such as resolution and file format.
Finally, the Lynda.com course was perhaps the most pragmatically useful in preparing me for the future projects that are part of the CLIO II course. While providing a fairly comprehensive introduction to photoshop, and more specifically to the use of photoshop for web design, I found it both too basic and too advanced at times. Thus while there were some sections that repetitively covered fundamental topics we’ve already learned there was also significant time spent on tools and topics that are likely more advanced than we will cover in the scope of CLIO II. In particular, it seemed odd that a class that seemed targeted at fairly beginning-level designers/developers was structured around designing and building a website for a client. Not there is not some benefit in doing a wireframe or a mock-up, but as we will not require outside approval for our pages we probably won’t be doing them in such distinct steps.