Fundamental Design Principles

50 %
50 %
Information about Fundamental Design Principles

Published on February 27, 2009

Author: nathansmith



My presentation for the Ministry 2.0 conference --

Fundamental Design Principles

Hi. I’m Nathan Smith. I work at as a designer + front-end dev.

dign quot;... An orderly method of arrangement to drive a particular purpose.

MAYA – Human Centered Design (video clip)



“Big-D” design is broad. Today, I will address...

Shapes Ratios Symbols Brands Audience Workflow Usability Interface

But, if it’s not all about JESUS I’m wasting your time.

Man’s initiative vs. God’s command Tower of Babel

Structure + Dimensions of Tabernacle

Literal Symbol


Presbyterian United Church Methodist (USA) Church

Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.


Pyramids Endure Triangle = basic 2-dimensional shape. Used to point towards goal (skyward).

FATHER Trinitarian theology IS places emphasis on a triangular NOT NOT GOD relationship. IS IS SPIRIT SON NOT

Arrows signify progression of time + spatial direction.

Roman Arch (has staying power)

Arch + Dome implies authority and stateliness

Triangles + Arches Structurally Sound

Heck, just ask your everyday honeybee

Also good for backgrounds

Early Pictograms

Modern Pictograms

Industrial Revolution

Our craft is becoming a commodity and people in charge don't care about the quality of the markup, CSS or how nice our JavaScript is. What matters is how fast you can get it to market, how many people it reaches and how cheaply it can be built. – Christian Heilmann

Luddites were a social movement of British textile artisans in the early nineteenth century who protested, often by destroying mechanized looms, against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt were leaving them without work.

I’m convinced the people railing against CSS frameworks are just trying to drum up false job security. – Jeff Croft

There’s a somewhat disturbing thing going on with people advocating a rebirth of table based web design. Why? Probably because CSS layouts are “hard.” – Marco van Hylckama Vlieg


Good designers solve problems

Great designers prevent them >

“Good enough” stops short of great.

Well Executed Typography is Timeless

Never use these fonts • Papyrus • Comic Sans



Helvetica – Documentary on Typography (video clip)

In Lives of the Artists, Giorgio Vasari relates that when the Pope sent a messenger to Giotto di Bondone, asking him to send a drawing to demonstrate his skill, Giotto drew, in red paint, a circle so perfect that it seemed as though it was drawn using a compass and instructed the messenger to give it to him.



Most efficient ratio of surface-area to volume

Good for storage of mass quantities

Icons = 1x1 ratio. Many are circular. Firefox Safari Chrome IE 7

Fibonacci sequence



Rectangles = lingua franca of web

Rectangles = lingua franca of web

Rectangles = lingua franca of web

How do you eat an elephant?

(one bite at a time) lion lion lion lion lion lion

SELF-MANAGED TEAM – GREEK MYRMIDONS Μυρμιδόνες = elite + fearless + took initiative

Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has. – Rev. Billy Graham

Attitude, not aptitude, determines altitude. Zig Ziglar hover mode = 230 bps

My brother Wesley acted wisely – the souls that were awakened under his ministry he joined in class [study groups], and thus preserved the fruits of his labor. This I neglected, and my people are a rope of sand. – George Whitefield


If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my axe. – Abraham Lincoln

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. – Albert Einstein

Conflicting brands + messages

Once the pedestrian begins walking, there is no safety indicator. When you’re halfway across the road, you have no idea whether or not it is safe. – Jeremy Keith

Documentation is no substitute for good design

Must unlearn what you have learned.

Let choirs sing well or not at all. Otherwise we merely confirm the majority in their conviction that the world of business, which does with such efficiency so much that never really needed doing, is the real, the adult, and the practical world; and that all this culture and religion (horrid words both) are essentially marginal, amateurish, and rather effeminate activities. C.S. Lewis – Helpful tools are available :)

Those who code XHTML + CSS as well as they design will always have an edge over those who only design... You’re able to foresee potential layout and coding issues while the comp is still in Photoshop or Fireworks or even Illustrator. – Cameron Moll

The artisan is not dead! Modern-day craftsmen are in high demand.

Objectified – Documentary on Industrial Design (video clip)

Design is Anticipatory • Don’t wait for problems. Solve ahead of time. • Know your audience, adapt your workflow. • Communicate function via aesthetic form. • Learn to convey more, by saying less. • Don’t lose sight of the primary focus.

That’s all. Keep in touch!

Add a comment

Related presentations

My Music Magazine Pitch

My Music Magazine Pitch

October 30, 2014

music mag pitch

Questionaire charts

Questionaire charts

November 4, 2014


Final research

Final research

November 5, 2014

final research

Cersaie 2014

Cersaie 2014

October 30, 2014

allestimento in cartone per il Cersaie 2014 alberi in cartone scultura in cartone

Quarta turma do workshop de Infografia, ministrado por Beatriz Blanco e Marcos Sin...

Related pages

The 5 Basic Principles Of Design - Maddison Designs

The 5 Basic Principles Of Design. Posted in Design on March 27, 2009 by Anthony Hortin. Good design, much like anything, starts with understanding the basics.
Read more

Fundamentals of Web Design | Code School

Improve the visual competency of any website or application by keeping design in mind. Learn the fundamental design principles of typography, color, and ...
Read more

Creating User Experiences: Fundamental Design Principles ...

An entry point for developers to begin learning more about UI/UX design
Read more

The principles of design | J6 design Australia

What does the 6 stand for in j6 design? Answer: the 6 fundamental principles of design which are: balance, proximity, alignment, repetition, contrast and ...
Read more

Visual design elements and principles - Wikipedia

Visual design elements and principles describe fundamental ideas about the practice of good visual design. As William Lidwell stated in Universal ...
Read more Wörterbuch :: principles :: Deutsch-Englisch ...

Englisch-Deutsch-Übersetzung für principles im Online-Wörterbuch ... design principles ... fundamental principles Grundlagen {pl ...
Read more

FUNdaMENTALS of Design - MIT

FUNdaMENTAL Principles Imagine the feeling you get when you participate in an activity in which you RULE! When you MAS-TER the FUNdaMENTALs of design, you ...
Read more

Learn Design Fundamentals - Vanseo Design

Learn Design Fundamentals. ... I wasn’t until I learned the principles of design. ... Similarity and Contrast — Two fundamental concepts that evolved ...
Read more

Repeatability's three design principles

Design principles. What is ... we found three fundamental principles that ... IKEA has built up unparalleled expertise in flat-pack furniture design, ...
Read more

Design Elements & Principles - Canva Design School Blog

Design Elements & Principles. ... This article will take you through 20 principles of design to hopefully give you a headstart in this creative environment.
Read more