It’s a big web out there. Whether you’re brushing up on best practices or seeking a solid foundation as you study web design and typography, great resources make all the difference. Here are a few I recommend.
- The ALA Primer, parts one and two, plus Summer Reading 2012
- Take it from the standard by which all web design publications are judged: “If you’re going to build a house—or a website—you need the right tools.” The ALA Primer (part one) highlights intermediate and advanced articles for web professionals new to A List Apart; Primer Part Two offers advice and resources for beginners; and, the 2012 Summer Reading Issue features staff favorites from all 355 ALA issues. Great reading material here. Set aside as much time as you can — none of it will be wasted.
- Designing with Web Standards
- Jeffrey Zeldman has helped thousands of web pros understand how and why websites are designed and built. His first book, Taking Your Talent to the Web, was my own introduction to web design. Jeffrey’s next book, Designing with Web Standards, revolutionized the web design profession by combining thorough web knowledge, technical W3C jargon, aesthetic sensibilities, and common sense in ways that you and I can study, reference, and quote.
The difference between these two books? Talent, though dated, is like having a friend who knows all about web design and will happily teach you. DWWS is your professional compass, your elevator pitch, and a balanced, current overview of the many issues we must master as web designers.
- The Elements of Typographic Style
- It is difficult to find a guide more universally revered than Robert Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style. Poetic and concise, the book reads excellently, works as a quick reference, and is a beautiful distraction in which to lose oneself. Roy Johnson gives a nice review at Type Books.
Elements has never been more than an arm’s length away, since I first cracked it open years ago. My copy is tattered, earmarked, bookmarked, and annotated. I often pick it up just to feel the book’s weight and fan the pages with my thumb. Not only is it the most definitive typographic reference I know, it is a beautiful piece of typesetting and book design. Highly recommended.
The resources described here will really help bring you up to speed, but no resource can answer every question or address every issue. If there’s something else you want to know about, ask!
Email: tim [at] tbrown [dot] org