by Perry Bason
Graphic design is used to visually communicate a voice to a piece, whether it is branding for a company, a poster for an event, or designing a book cover. A designer should know how to visually balance the space with a good color scheme (if necessary), an appealing subject matter, and the correct typeface. Web designer should be able to take some graphic design elements and put those into a user-friendly website that is easily navigable and pleasing to the eye. This blog post will help you create an appealing website if you have chosen to create a website by yourself.
When deciding to create your own website, there are many different graphic design elements to take into consideration so that you, as an author, are seen as a professional. Web designers and graphic designers both have to worry about many issues when working on a job for a client. They need to give the design the correct brand for the client and the appropriate voice for a client (for instance, if the author is known for writing books that deal with being out West, the correct voice wouldn’t be something that feels more like a science fiction author).
Always put the important information in the top fold. The top fold is the part of the screen that the viewer sees before scrolling down to view the rest of the website. This means that all of the navigation buttons, images, and text you feel need to be seen at first glance should be placed neatly in the top fold (this goes for all pages within your website)
Decide on an appropriate color scheme. You may not be the best at matching colors when it comes to creating a website, but there are some generators online that can help you pick out a scheme that will suit your site and title. Keep in mind that some colors are hard to read. Red is usually is not a good color to choose when it comes to a font color.
Do not overload your website with a lot of text. As an author, writing is what you do. However, don’t overload the amount of text with paragraph after paragraph in your body section of the website. This will usually overwhelm the viewer and deter them from looking throughout your website. Also, make sure that your font is large enough to read but also not too large to fill up the entire page. Leave some empty space for the text to breathe, just like the margins on a sheet of paper.
Select one main typeface for your website. Having multiple typefaces doesn’t look good unless they are equally contrasting or very similar. It’s best to stick to one for your website. Typography is an important part of graphic design. It helps give the correct voice for your words. In brief, there are two main styles: serif and sans serif. An example of serif font would be Times New Roman. Using that typeface would be appropriate if you wanted to be more traditional. An example of a sans serif font would be Helvetica. This is for a more modern voice. Both are professional and there are many of other typefaces to choose from for your website.
Create an appealing header. The header of the website doesn’t have to be anything fancy and time-consuming; it can even just be a nice quality picture of you, as the author, your most recent book, or a collection of your books if you’ve written more than one. Remember, the header typically has larger text that would, in this case, have your name to represent your website. So when deciding on an image or design, keep in mind that if there is text in the image, your headliner text must stand out from your image.
These are some key design elements to think about when designing your website. These basic steps will help you create a more professional look that accurately depicts you and your work as an author.
Perry Bason is currently a senior at Longwood University majoring in Art with a concentration in Graphic Design. He is currently a Graphic Design intern for Author’s Boutique and is working to become a successful Graphic Designer in his field.
Image courtesy of mmagallan