Design, uninterrupted #161

March 18th, 2011

Today’s post highlights the design of An instantly memorable landing page that uses overlapping – and sometimes rotated – slabs of extra large texts as navigation links. Note the secondary level of overlapping in the chunky red texts that use a font with a hint of serifs; combined with translucent dark gray color used for the other navigation entries results in an intricate typographical maze that frames the content in the top-right corner.

The texture and color treatment of Oliver’s headshot is my favorite part – note how the three overlapping circles bring out the coarse background texture, with burnt mahogany color deriving from paper yellow, cardboard orange and deep red of the surrounding elements. Moving the mouse over different parts of the page shows simple rollover effects that help understanding which part is active – this is especially helpful given large swaths of overlapping elements.

Finally, a small note on how well the design adapts to different browser window sizes. Just as in case of DesignWise, the actual implementation uses “pre-baked” images – one for each navigation element. While this ensures high-fidelity look, and the pixel-based CSS definitions maintain the exact overlap ratios, the design does not scale well when the browser window is resized – and overflows the right edge on even medium window sizes. It’s hard to say what can realistically be done to accommodate all possible window sizes, or even how far the current state of web typography and the latest CSS support can take designs that rely so heavily on precise typography and positioning.