A new design, again

A few quiet weeks have given me the opportunity to get round to something that has been on the list for some time: redesigning this website.

I did so with some hesitation because I quite liked the simplicity of the previous design. But for some time I've wanted something that made bolder use of imagery and text. Hence this new look, with its prominent masthead banners and generous font sizes.

Perhaps I have gone too far, particularly as regards the big masthead images. But I have kept their file sizes down by using abstract designs which can be compressed significantly without noticeable loss of detail. The excellent little ImageOptim tool was also extremely handy.

As with the previous version, I wanted the site to evoke something of a retro-futurist aesthetic, to reference the ideals of early 20th century modernist design: intoxication with technological progress, with speed, with engineering, with machinery, with the hope that rational design can help construct a better future.

The abstract imagery seeks to communicate something of that atmosphere. And I have overlaid it with the ever new Futura typeface. It is extraordinary that a font designed in 1927 still seems to speak of the future. In my view it is the greatest of all typefaces. I need to write about it more when time allows.

After much agonising I settled on Skolar Web for the body text. It is one of several geometric serifs that work well with Futura. As its name indicates, Skolar Web is specially hinted for online viewing, and it renders well at all sizes.

As regards content, everything is essentially as it was. I have retitled the Portfolio section Web designand Illustrations is now Images and illustrations. Images and illustrations is really just a playground for all kinds of mid-afternoon and late evening Photoshop indulgence.

The other change of note is the removal of comments from blog entries. The viewing stats for my blog have remained quite stable, but comments have dried out altogether (there were never that many in the first place). As has been frequently observed elsewhere the decline of comments is a web-wide trend: it seems that users prefer to use social media when they do have something to say about a post.

I'm teetering on the brink as regards keep the Analogue76 domain name. I adopted that around this time last year with a degree of enthusiasm, but lately I've been thinking I'd like a name that's slightly less enigmatic. What that might be I'm not entirely sure as yet.

One more thing: I thought this redesign would be quite straightforward, but it has actually been very hard work, much more so than starting from scratch. The development of a new design happened quite quickly, but the transition of content from the Blog and Web design sections from the previous design to the new was purgatorial. Indeed I'm still working on moving over some of the older posts int those sections. I hope the new design will prove worth the effort.