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Art Direction For The Web

Art Direction For The Web

We chat with Andy Clarke about what Art Direction means, what we can learn from the great print Art Directors like Alexey Brodovitch, Bea Feitler, and Neville Brody, and how we can apply their thinking to the web with modern CSS.

About The Session


A page on the Web isn’t like a printed page. Many of us learned that the hard way, when we abandoned fixed-width layouts and embraced the Web’s inherent flexibility and responsiveness.

Modern web technologies like CSS Grid, Flexbox and Shapes have made it possible for us to implement print’s often distinctive designs, and the Web’s now full of tutorials on how to use them. But the most important question is not “how” we can use art direction techniques to improve our designs for the Web, but “when” and “why?”

In his new book Art Direction For The Web, Andy explores the work of some of the most influential art directors, luminaries like Alexey Brodovitch, Bea Feitler, and Neville Brody. Andy doesn’t encourage us to merely mimic work from a previous era and medium, but to understand their thinking and learn how to apply that knowledge to art direction for the Web. Andy writes,

You needn’t have been to art school to learn and apply the principles I teach you. Just like art direction itself, they’re something which everyone—no matter what your background and current area of expertise—can use every day to improve the effectiveness of a product or website’s design.

Andy’s goal is to teach people about the importance of art direction for the web, explain how art direction can help people tell stories by using design, so that products and websites will connect with audiences, and keep them engaged. After a thorough investigation of the methodology of art Direction, Andy teaches how to accomplish it by embracing the Web using modern CSS.

About The Speaker

Andy Clarke is a well-known web designer, design consultant, and mentor. He’s been called plenty of things since he started working on the web. His ego likes terms such as “Ambassador for CSS,” “industry prophet,” and “inspiring,” but he’s most proud that Jeffrey Zeldman once called him a “triple-talented bastard.” With his wife Sue, Andy founded Stuff & Nonsense in 1998, where they’ve helped companies around the world to improve their designs by providing consulting and design expertise. Andy’s written several popular books on website design and development, including: Art Direction for the Web Smashing Magazine, 2019 Hardboiled Web Design: Fifth Anniversary Edition Smashing Magazine, 2015 Hardboiled Web Design Five Simple Steps, 2010 Transcending CSS: The Fine Art Of Web Design New Riders, 2006 He’s a popular speaker, and gives talks about art direction and design all over the world. Andy tweets as @malarkey and really, really loves gorillas.
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