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  Be a Rockstar: The Guitar Solo Principle in Web Design

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Number of posts : 119
Registration date : 2011-08-07

PostSubject: Be a Rockstar: The Guitar Solo Principle in Web Design    Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:59 am

You've just perfected that tricky design technique, and you're itching to show it off. For a graphics artist, it can be tempting to let loose and show off your skills by parading all the cool effects you can create on the website you're working on. Common sense, however, tells you that this would interfere with the usability of the design and distract the user from the site's main purpose. However, this doesn't mean that you can't indulge your creativity at all. The answer? Add one or two guitar solos.

Guitar solos in design

Right now you're probably wondering what a musical performance has to do with web design. Let me explain.

A guitar solo is a part of a song where the rest of the band subsides into the background to focus the spotlight on the lead guitarist. For approximately 8 to 16 bars of music, he can dazzle the listeners with jaw-dropping harmonics or intricate melodies as he performs alone, until the other band members rejoin him to continue the song. The guitarist then goes back to the melody or riff that complements the rest of the instruments and vocals. By containing his guitar acrobatics in one section of the performance, the band is able exhibit their guitarist's talent while keeping the structure of the musical piece balanced.

In web design, a guitar solo is one section of the entire project where the graphic artist can dazzle the user with his skill without compromising the usability. It's a little bit of showmanship in an otherwise restrained design.

Making the guitar solo principle work for you

So how can you add a guitar solo in your design? First, you need to identify a section of your design where you can let loose without interfering with the other elements. A small, contained space such as a header, corner, or border is ideal. In that section, allow yourself to the freedom to express your technical prowess. Go wild with the flourishes, be adventurous with techniques, indulge in visual dramatics. Because you have restricted yourself to a small area, this display of artistry will add flair instead of clutter to your design.

These flashy banners by Vectorportal are a good example of guitar solos. The artist was able to demonstrate his visual skill, but because it's in a banner, it won't affect the balance of the design. In addition, there's also some space where text can be inserted and still be easy on the eyes.

So go ahead, add a guitar solo to your design. Who said you need a band to be a rockstar?

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