Artistically Challenged Developer Needs Help!

I have been learning ASP and ASP.Net mechanics for a while now.  I can create a functional website.  The only problem is it looks like crap.

I can write code but I can't draw worth a crap.

Does anyone have any ideas or know of any resources of information on graphics design for those of use who are artistically challenged?
mmurphy1005Asked:
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mrwebdevCommented:
There are many free web site template websites, I just found this one and it looks rather appealling.

http://www.steves-templates.com/templates.html

Good Luck in your search, hope this helps!

Or even if they cost you a couple of bucks it may be worth it!

Look here! http://freesitetemplates.com/
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shamstarCommented:
Its very difficult to tell someone how to produce good graphics, a lot of that creativity has to some from inside, but can be helped along by knowing how to produce small effects and the basic drawings.  That means if you're planning to be doing graphics on the computer (as opposed to drawing on paper and then scanning) then you should get to know the software you use - and get to know it well.

I personally use Adobe Photoshop for alot of my graphical creations, either when I start from scratch or for adding effects etc.  If you plan to do 3D work then you could check out Blender3D which is free from www.blender3d.org

Well, back to 2D graphics, there are plenty of tutorials around for most of the popular software packages on the internet, and in this case a google search will be your best friend.

If Photoshop is out of your budget then you could consider Photoshop Elements which is much cheaper and still has many of the same features.  You can get demo's of both bits of software from the Adobe website.

Below are some tutorials that I think might be relevent for website creation, which should atleast give you some ideas of which methods and techniques to use:
- http://www.pixelfull.com/tutorials.php?tutorial=view&id=12
- http://phpwned.net/tutorials/view.php?id=47
- http://www.project-angel.com/index.php?pa=tutorials&cat=Photoshop&id=6
- http://www.neoenvision.com/tutorials.php?subaction=showfull&id=1097522345&archive=&start_from=&ucat=7&
- http://www.ibdesigns.net/modernlayout.php
- http://www.greycobra.com/tutorials.php?tutorial=view&id=65
- http://www.volumedesigns.com/tutorials/stylish%20layout/stylish_layout.html
- http://gfxschool.com/tutorials/photoshop/websitetut1.php




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superbobCommented:
There are well designed templates available that already have the images cut up and HTML written. They are very cheap to purchase and easy to use. This site has a ton to choose from.

http://www.guistuff.com/
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billmercerCommented:
A few suggestions...

Before using a free template, check the licensing. Some "free" content is provided on the condition that it's only for personal use, or has other restrictions on commercial use.  Make sure you're allowed to use the template the way you intend.

Try to avoid the practice of slicing up images and putting them in tables. It's wasteful and a nightmare to maintain.

Don't get too caught up in creating fancy graphics. A simple page layout with a few small tasteful graphics can be just as impressive as something with lots of heavy graphics and effects. You can create striking designs even with no graphics by using cascading style sheets (CSS) and sensible page design. Also, CSS lets you make dramatic changes to the entire look of the site without editing the content at all.  
Visit http://www.csszengarden.com to see this in action.
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ElKermCommented:
I agree on billmercer's comment on the big graphic point.  Keep in mind that the more graphics you use the heavier your site will be and the slower it will become for people who don't have the larger broadband facility's.
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mrwebdevCommented:
Well put Bill, and wisely stated!

I agree with Bill too!!!

:)
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evilswan666Commented:
If developers could produce graphics to the same standard as purely visual designers - i'd be out of a job!

Looks like i'm safe for now.

-the swan.
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billmercerCommented:
evilswan666: "Looks like i'm safe for now."

When the console revolution begins, you'll be using Lynx... OR ELSE!
MOOOHAHAHAHAH!
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michaelbuddyCommented:
this will sound bad, but it's for a good reason.  Take a site you like now.  Take the code, copy it, and change that which you need to.  You'll have a solid layout, (make sure and get the CSS.  YOu can change the graphics all you want, and put in your own stock art from  www.sxc.hu.

or, you might go to one of those freelancer websites and put up 200 bucks for a decent set of layout graphics for the main page.  

Depending on your need, time allotted and budget, it might be worth it to pay somebody, or to just learn how it's done.

If you look at the tutorials more than once, you will learn photoshop. Most people  just skim over them, read them once and forget everything.  do each tutorial 3 times and you'll learn a ton!

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