After writing, authors “proofread” their articles to check for errors and to make final revisions.
After cooking, chefs see to it that the “plating” of their dishes is presentable to customers.
Likewise, after creating a website, designers “polish” their work to make it more attractive. This article talks about five techniques that can help you polish your website:
1. Using a Grid
Some designers may feel that they do not need to use a grid. However, these are really useful for ensuring that every single element of your site is in place. This includes text alignment and spacing between the different parts of your page. In Photoshop, you can view the grid by simply pressing Ctrl+’ (or CMD+’).
2. Using Anti-Aliased Text
Anti-aliasing is another technique that is usually overlooked by designers. In case you haven’t heard of the term, “anti-aliasing” means to minimize distortion. How can you this? Just click on the “Character” panel and then choose between these settings: None, Sharp, Crisp, Strong, and Smooth. The sharp setting is preferred by most, but you can try experimenting with different fonts and sizes to see what would look best on your website.
3. Using a Subtle Gradient
Gradients are known for adding more depth and “reality” to a design. They can make an illustration come alive, as compared to a flat and lifeless design. Try looking at a plain blue design and another that varies from light to dark blue — you will notice that the latter seems more realistic and appears to jump off the screen. In Photoshop, you can apply this by clicking on “Layer Styles” or “Blending Options.” Of course, remember to use subtle gradients; avoid sudden or sharp contrasts as these might look “off” or too much.
4. Using “Unsharp Masking” and “Levels & Curves”
Icons, images, and photos help bring life to a website, so you have to make sure that they really stand out. This includes checking their contrast, sharpness, and color balance, as well as ensuring that they match with the overall look of the page. To do this, you can use the “Unsharp Masking” and “Levels & Curves” tools in Photoshop.
5. Using a Subtly Contrasting Stroked Border
Interestingly, adding a one-pixel stroked border to a design can give it more depth, as the subtle contrast with the other colors makes it look more lively. Just like the gradient technique, simply go to “Layer Styles” or “Blending Options” to add a one-pixel border with the stroke option. Again, “subtle” is the key word here as you do not want too much contrast.
These five techniques can help you enhance and polish your website and achieve more eye-catching designs. Why not give them a try?