Australians do it better


So I don’t normally review another designer’s website, but this one was so awesome I couldn’t resist. He does so many things well: typeface, layout, cool unusual effects that still fit nicely into the page without distracting…

Jay took several popular design ideas and put his own spin on them. The page is split into three sections: the top black area, the middle grey area, and the bottom black bar. Now in the middle, Jay mixes it up a little. Instead of creating a straight line across for the middle grey section, he moved it up a bit to set off the “Goodbye salesman, hello designer” line. That’s the first tweak, and a nice unexpected one as well.

The logo on the top is put directly on the black which is popular. There is no “page” designation on the top area; the grey area below insinuates the page area above. The links on this area have an unusual twist as well. The main links are in a nice simple sans-serif font, while the extra parts are in a smaller version of the font that is continued below in the headings.

Speaking of the fonts, he did a great job connecting several fonts throughout the page. His logo is in a sans-serif, then the main paragraphs and tag lines are in another sans-serif (Helvetica, a standard font), and finally, the script font for the main headings. Then Jay added the different weights and colors (variations of white/grey) to the fonts. The whiter ones are obviously the more important ones, while he made the ones that are least important a darker grey.

That slideshow on the top is also a standard element that Jay customized. Instead of just a simple slideshow that fades in/out, he added this cool look where, if you click on the next item (using the popular circle navigation), you get a magnifying glass effect on the portfolio work. Simple Brilliance. The other works, unmagnified on the right and left, extend to the edges of the browser regardless the size. With monitors today reaching almost ludicrous sizes, it’s important to create the illusion of the website taking up the entire page, while at the same time not losing anything important on more normal sized monitors. Most websites are achieving that with the background on the website extending the entire width, but Jay used the portfolio pictures to enhance this effect.

Perhaps my favorite part of the website though, is towards the bottom with his links to his blog. He entices the reader to view the blog by putting up a nicely organized last post plus three previous posts. I’m assuming these are populated automatically, which is a nice bit of coding. But they are also designed and organized quite nicely as well, fitting into the overall design. Blogs are usually only linked to on the main website, not previewed. I liked the added touch this gave; it made it seem like the blog was more inter-connected to the website then most blogs feel like.

While I am constantly surprised by the terribleness of website designs as I surf the internet, it is worth it to find these amazing designs that inspire me to do better, to tweak more, and to, ultimately, possibly, hopefully, inspire others.