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The Smashing Idea Book: From Inspiration to Application

ISBN: 978-1-119-97742-1
416 pages
August 2011
The Smashing Idea Book: From Inspiration to Application (1119977428) cover image
An unparalleled compendium of inspirational designs, photos, and web site looks

As the world's most popular resource for web designers and developers, Smashing Magazine has a reputation for inspiring and informing and this new book upholds that stellar esteem. Unlike most other books available on the shelf that only provide thumbnail images, The Smashing Idea Book offers a lavish array of timeless and enduring graphic designs, photos, images, and web site designs... and then goes one step further to present you with practical guidance on how to apply this inspirational selection to your own designs.

You'll benefit from the coverage on current trends as well as valuable advice on where to go online to discover your own sources of inspiration.

  • Provides inspiration to web designers from a variety of sources, including existing web site designs, graphic designs, product design, photography, and more
  • Encourages you to look to all areas of your life for inspiration and provides you with methods for finding more creativity beyond the book
  • Offers helpful advice on how to use those visuals as inspiration and translate them into unique and memorable web site designs
  • Examines what makes for good design, looks at a variety of web site design styles, and explores other avenues of inspiration including fashion, architecture, and interior design

The Smashing Idea Book is a great idea if you're looking for design inspiration and motivation!

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Preface xiii


Chapter 1: Types of Inspiration 3

Abstract Inspiration 4

Color 4

Shape 6

Textures 7

Patterns 8

Negative Space 9

Where to Find Abstract Inspiration 10

Direct Inspiration 10

Headers, Footers, and Sidebars 11

General Layout 14

Color Scheme 17

Patterns and Textures 17

Typography 19

Other Graphical Elements 21

Don't Copy 22

Chapter 2: What Makes a Good Design? 23

Visual Balance 24

Color 26

Traditional Color Schemes 26

Proportion 30

Priority 31

Rhythm 32

Unity 34

Purpose 35

How to Look at Designs 35


Chapter 3: Website Designs 39

Drawing Inspiration from Website Styles 40

Minimal and Clean 40

Grunge and Retro 51

Bright and Colorful 57

Organic and Handmade 63

Drawing Inspiration by Website Type 74

Blogs and Magazine Sites 74

E-commerce Sites 80

Company and Corporate Sites 90

Portfolios 101

Event and Community Sites 112

Personal and Professional 118

Drawing Inspiration by Industry 128

Hospitality 128

Arts and Entertainment 138

Apps and Soft ware 148

Technology 159

Fashion 166

Literature and Books 176

Conclusion 187

Chapter 4: Other Designs 189

Graphic Design 190

Print Design 190

Product Packaging 202

Architecture and Interior Design 208

Exterior Architecture 208

Interior Architecture 216

Interior Design 224

Furnishings and Accessories 233

Product Design 242

Toys 242

Everyday Items 248

Technology 254

Textiles 260

Conclusion 268

Chapter 5: Photography 269

Black and White 270

Eff ects 280

HDR 280

Lomography 291

Other Eff ects 300

Classic Photography 308

People 308

Landscapes 317

Macro 328

Conclusion 340


Chapter 6: Creating Something New from Direct Inspiration 343

Dissecting a Design 344

Adapting Individual Elements 350

Conclusion 356

Chapter 7: Creating Something New from Abstract Inspiration 357

Dissecting an Image 358

Adapting Elements 364

Conclusion 367

Bonus Chapter: Finding Inspiration in Everyday Life 369

Index 393

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Cameron Chapman (Orleans, VT) is a freelance designer and writes on the subject of design for Smashing Magazine, Mashable, Webdesigner Depot, Six Revisions, and other prominent design blogs.
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