Chapter 11: Sophisticated Visual Design 273 Depending upon the way your site or the site you re working on for someone else is set up in terms of trademark and other legal aspects, it may fall to you as the designer to ensure that the company s brand is well-defined and maintained throughout the site. For trademarked names, logos, and slogans in the United States, it is up to the holder of the mark to ensure its strength and safety. This is one reason some companies, such as Disney, are notoriously litigious when it comes to anyone trying to mess with their brand materials. If it s up to you to help the client define the brand for his or her Web site, here are some time-honored tips to help: Consider a brand name that has existing and related meaning to your goods or services. A well-known example of this is Nike, a brand known worldwide. Nike is the Greek Goddess of Victory, a perfect choice for athletic goods. Build your visuals based on the symbology of your brand. Images should reinforce the message behind the brand, not dilute it in any way. Write slogans that are catchy and relevant. Integrate your strategies into the long-term Web site plan. Test early. If the brand name, images, or slogans do not test well early in the design process, it may be time to go back to the drawing board and gain more insight as to why. Be sure to place your branding consistently throughout your site. The company logo should appear on every page, as should any slogans. Imagery related to the brand should be used consistently, too. tip Many designers create a larger logo for the home page, and use a smaller logo on subsequent pages. Linking logos on subsequent pages to the home pages is also a very common, recommended practice (see Chapter 4 for more details). Secret #186: GIFs and JPEGs: Still Your Secret Graphic Weapon Interestingly, one area where very little change has occurred is in the use of GIFs and JPEGs as the primary file choices for the Web. Where advancements have been made is in the software used to generate these file formats especially in Adobe Photoshop, which now offers a very helpful interface in which you can make great decisions about which file type is going to best suit your needs (see Figure 11-1). Another place where advancements have been made is in how we useWeb graphics. The move toward standards-based design withCSS has helped designers learn to use images in highly creative ways. Instead of the heavy slice-and-dice graphic techniques used in the table-based layouts of the past, you can now attach graphics to any HTML or XHTML element via CSS. What s more, you can apply color to any element, allowing you to reduce the use of graphics to create areas of color. As a result, you have a much richer ability to apply graphics in compelling ways (see Figure 11-2).
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