Old Design and Coding Trends Making a Comeback

Old Design and Coding Trends Making a Comeback

We’ve all done it – you open your inbox excited to see that beautiful email designed to grab your attention and then suddenly: disaster. The images don’t line up. The text spacing is off. Everything is broken.

Well, chances are whoever produced this email wasn’t aware of the resurgence of some old design and coding trends. This article will focus on two of them: the production of emails using tables, and the print-based layout design.

Email Coding

Creating and coding an effective email has one important principle. Take everything you’ve learned about coding in the past 5 years and forget all about it. Generally speaking, it’s time to jump in the time machine and go back to the year 2000.

To allow an email to display properly over all email clients, it must be coded strictly using a table based layout. There are a few CSS exceptions, but the general rule of thumb is to avoid it as much as possible. The reason being is with the number of email clients out there, we really need to find the lowest common denominator to achieve the best overall results. And coding in tables helps to achieve that. For those few CSS exceptions, a great resource to find out about compatibility issues is here http://www.campaignmonitor.com/css/.

Print Design

Before the emergence of the web, the main focus of graphic design was centered directly within the print community. As the Internet grew in popularity, a lot of design principles needed to be adjusted to fit the online style of usability and functionality. Out went the large beautiful images and large title fonts while in came the grid-based, text heavy layouts.

Over the past few years, with the creation of Flash, jQuery (javascript) and faster Internet connections, the ability to create a more visual approach to web design was introduced. Below are a few nice examples of web designs that have been able to incorporate a lot of print based techniques.

These are just two isolated examples demonstrating how the fast-changing world of design often comes full circle. Although it is impossible to guess what’s in store for the future, it’s safe to assume that the online world is adopting the ‘simpler is better’ motto and that key design principles will still hold true. In terms of design, the focus now seems to be on the content and enhancing the user experience which in turn will benefit us all.

posted on Aug 18

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