As what I would like to call, with a great deal of hope, the humanistic revolution rolls forward, there are a wide variety of skills, or competences, with which we need to be at least familiar. Competence would be great, and certainly I regard mastery as something to which most humanists will turn to professionals. Nevertheless, the most effective communication begins with some awareness of its channels. At its root, print communication comes down to design and prose design begins with typography. In our current era, typography actually has two branches: print and screen. Most designers are aware of the differences and the limitations of each — in this particular instance, screen design is actually more limiting because so much of the infrastructure is really beyond the designer’s control.
A few websites that offer some basics of design are:
* [The Grid System](http://www.thegridsystem.org/), which offers a very basic principle to guide all design work — I do not necessarily agree with all aspects of the grid, but like the system of thirds taught to beginning photographers it is meant more to be a rule you discard as you gain mastery.
At the same time, there are a number of sites maintained by designers which are not only about design but also demonstrate design in many ways:
* [Swiss Miss](http://www.swiss-miss.com/) has a somewhat lurid title, but offers regular insight into the European modern design style — think Helvetica and Ikea.