Kimberly Elam — Five Essential Composition Tools for Web Typography

A presentation given at Web Directions North, Vancouver Canada, January 30 2008.

Session description

Have you ever seen a web site so clear, logical, and exquisitely composed it made you stop in your tracks? Have you wondered how the designer achieved such a stunning and cohesive design?

In this presentation, Kimberly Elam, designer and author of the best-​​selling “Geometry of Design” and “Typographic Systems” will reveal the mysterious relationships between proportion, visual systems, composition and aesthetics.

Too often excellent conceptual ideas suffer during the process of realization, in large part because the designer did not understand the essential visual principles. This presentation explores these elements and how they work by examining how the use of visual principles informs, even creates, beauty in typographic design, but, more importantly, how you can use these techniques to create cohesiveness in your own design. The wide range of visual examples are both informative and insightful, and any designer can benefit from learning or revisiting the rules governing the basics of typographic design.

About Kimberly Elam

Kimberly Elam Portrait

Kimberly Elam is a writer, educator, and graphic designer. She is currently the Chair of the Graphic & Interactive Communication Department at the Ringling College of Art + Design, Sarasota, Florida, where she has developed an academic minor in the Business of Art and Design.

Her first book, Expressive Typography — Word as Image, identifies and analyzes methods by which words can transcend didactic meaning and become images. Geometry of Design — Studies in Proportion and Composition, visually illustrates the connection between classic proportioning systems and modern graphic design, industrial design, illustration, and architecture. Grid Systems — Principles of Organizing Type puts forth a clear methodology for understanding and learning the grid system of composition. Her most recent book, Typographic Systems — Rules for Organizing Type presents an innovative series of nontraditional, rule-​​based, visual language systems for typographic composition.

Her current work focuses on the development of a series of innovative ebooks and print-​​on-​​demand books for design education on her website, StudioResourceInc​.com.

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