• ISBN13: 9781600610646
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Product Description
Inspiring Web Design at a GlanceThe Web Designer’s Idea Book includes more than 700 websites arranged thematically, so you can find inspiration for layout, color, style and more. Author Patrick McNeil has cataloged more than 20,000 sites on his website, and showcased in this book are the very best examples. Sites are organized by color, design style, type, theme, element and structure. It’s easy to use and reference again and again, whether you’re talking wit… More >>

The Web Designer’s Idea Book: The Ultimate Guide To Themes, Trends & Styles In Website Design

5 thoughts on “The Web Designer’s Idea Book: The Ultimate Guide To Themes, Trends & Styles In Website Design”

  1. As a web design author, I often get asked what books I recommend. This of course depends on who is asking and what they want to learn, but one book I often pass along is Curt Cloninger’s original* Fresh Styles for Web Designers: Eye Candy from the Underground from 2001. The specific design examples are quite outdated now, but to me, that book was a pivotal source of inspiration at a time when everything online seemed to be either boringly corporate or awkwardly amateur. Cloninger helped me to see the web differently; I learned to creatively tag design trends and techniques so that I could mentally catalog them for my own use.

    This process of mentally classifying design inspiration has become a critical part of my growth as a designer as well as my ability to explain web design to the non-designer. In The Web Designer’s Idea Book, Patrick McNeil takes the task of cataloging current trends and styles to a meticulous new level. Within the book’s 256 pages, McNeil has sorted over 700 screenshots of stellar site design by color, design style, type, theme, element and structure. Within these 6 chapters, he has defined a total of 75 individual design categories. Some examples of these categories include: Blogs, E-Commerce, Minimalist, Wood, Pink & Blue, Muted, Rays, Gradients, Tabs and Massive Footers. Then, within each of these seemingly exclusive categories there are a few paragraphs explaining when, how, and why it should be used along with an average of 8 or 9 example screenshots.

    Obviously, reading this book will not teach you to be a great website designer. What it will do is expand your design vocabulary and train you to break down your favorite sources of design inspiration into bite-sized chunks that you can use in your own work. I spent a good portion of the cold, rainy weekend reading through the text in each category and pouring over the pages of screenshots. I saw quite a few familiar examples of good design, but was amazed by quantity of inspirational sites that I had never heard of. If I had one complaint about the book it would be that I wish all of the screenshots were full-size, or perhaps if they couldn’t be, that there was an archive of the full-size screenshots posted somewhere on the web. Regardless, I’m sure the book will be a huge source of inspiration for me for years to come. Then, when it is too old to serve as inspiration, it will most certainly be an excellent resource for web design history.

    * As I was writing this review, I discovered that Curt Cloninger just released a sequel to this book: Fresher Styles for Web Designers: More Eye Candy from the Underground You can be sure that I’ll be reviewing this book as well in the near future.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. This book has a huge selection of design style examples, all organized in a very intelligent way. The print quality is very good. As a reference book, this is a must have for any web designer looking for some inspiration.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. This book does just one thing, it showcases beautifully made websites and the author does this extremely well. The Web Designer’s Idea Book is a must have for any web designer/graphic designer out there to have real world examples of good design on hand.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. This book is pretty much what you think it is, about 200 pages of site thumbnails. Interspersed throughout are write-ups on the category that is being presented and a little intro by the author.

    The actual sites themselves are pretty good. I wasn’t blown away by them, but was impressed and inspired. I keep a folder of bookmarks of sites that I think look good, categorized by “theme”. This is a nice little handheld thing to quickly scan through to get some quick ideas or some quick inspiration.

    I do wish some of the thumbnails would have been bigger, the pages a little larger, or the book itself a little taller. Some of the pages are stuffed with thumbnails and it can be a little difficult to discern what that header really looks like, or what that button really says.

    Also, some of the themes could have used a couple more sites. Some categories like blogs are literally 2 pages. If you’re gonna have a whole category I’m sure you can find a few more pages of nice sites to fill.

    With all that being said this is a good book for 15 bucks. Especially if you are a web designer of any sort, this is a great resource to just have and flip through right before a new project.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  5. Web design is a fairly new area in art and design and, due to the ever-changing nature of the web, it is still evolving into a recognizable art form. As it matures, we begin to see design patterns emerge and these common patterns can be loosely grouped into design styles based on a common design element, theme or purpose.

    There are numerous sites on the web that list the “25 best websites” based on one aspect of web design. This book by Patrick McNeil does just that for you in print. It is a snapshot of the best on the web over the last few years. This isn’t a book that you read once and place on a shelf. If you are a professional web designer, you will want to browse through the book again and again, each time noticing something new in design or inspiration. If you are just getting interested in web design or branching out in this new area, this is the book that will bring you up to date as to what is popular today.

    McNeil has carefully chosen and grouped 700+ sample sites into major categories by type, purpose, style, theme, color, design element or structure. You will surely recognize some of these sites as your personal favorites. He also discusses each category pointing out what makes these sites among the best in each category. As you can imagine, taking a snapshot of a website which is created at 72 dpi and printing that image at 300 dpi results in a small thumbnail image of the site in print. Although I found myself wishing otherwise, by necessity this could not be a large “picture book”. However, even at this smaller size, these special sites still stand out as the best. As an alternative, you will want to use this book as a guide to visit these sites in full size on the web.

    Patrick McNeal is a freelance web developer. His runs a design showcase website […] where he maintains a large, ongoing collection of websites along with tutorials and articles.
    Rating: 4 / 5

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