This link above was written by the same book author of “Responsive Websites”. It’s good stuff.
I have a philosophy that “basic” elements of speed. Gradients is one of the elements that can give “light and depth” cues. As the author, Ethan Marcotte, says though –gradients can be abused and overused. Nonetheless, he has some good stuff here. More than I would ever have patience to code. But intriguing bag of tricks.
I’ve alway built gradient’s as tiling backgrounds. CSS would be more elegant and speedy.
My basic elements are 1) color, 2) foliage, 3) lighting, and 4) legibility. They are an adaption from cheap but attractive “tradeshow” booth design. Gradients fall in the “lighting” effects category.
I demonstrate applying this graphic “formula” a bit on my blog http://ultraspeed2.blogspot.com/2010/06/34-julia-mumford-com-continued.html