Fearon Hay are a small studio based in Auckland, New Zealand, with some of the country’s leading contemporary architects and designers. Their work is minimalist in the use of materials, yet luxurious and beautifully detailed. The Fearon Hay website however, is the focus of this article. It is a digital monograph – a publication of selected work covering more than a decade of practice. The site, designed by Sons & Co. contains many traditional book-like features that are rather unusual in website design: an index, page numbering and editorial layouts. Yet the interaction is consistent with the modern web: subtle movement and animation, keyboard navigation and smooth, transparent page-loading. This clean and lean website is a joy to browse, making use of some large imagery to illustrate Fearon Hay’s beautiful portfolio of work, but it’s the navigational elements that I find most striking.
Categorized “Portfolio site”
Many of you will already be familiar with the work of Information Architects – the Tokyo, Zurich and Berlin based digital agency who brought us iA Writer (which I am currently using to write this article). Today however, I am focusing on their new website redesign, which I had been meaning to feature on here since its relaunch in May of this year. The design, lead by Oliver Reichenstein, is beautiful minimalism. The website is one of the easiest and clearest websites to read that I’ve come across recently. Also technically inspiring, at least from a web designer/developer’s perspective. The new iA website has not only been created in a responsive layout with responsive typography, but also a custom-built responsive typeface (iABC). This basically means the text on the page looks and feels the same across various devices and improves the user’s digital reading experience. Our custom typeface gave us the liberty to embed all graphic elements of the site into the typeface. Except for actual pictures, the whole website is constructed with type. If you have an appreciation for minimalist web design, I’d be very interested in your thoughts.
The purpose of minimalism is to expose the essence of a design by eliminating all non-essential forms, features and concepts. In web design, minimalism erases potential distractions and strips away elements into their most basic forms. Yuna Kim‘s use of elementary shapes helps to organize her portfolio and goes perfectly with her personal logo. This minimal web site design experiments the use of geometric shapes that makes design so effective. The simplicity is also carried through the navigation making it enjoyable to explore.
Checkland Kindleysides is a UK-based multi disciplinary design consultancy, specialising in retail interior design. What is most impressive however is their website, which was designed and developed by Sennep in London. The site features lovely animations of unfolding paper cuts, combined with tasteful typography – truely a joy to the eye.
Yasuyuki Nakamura designed and programmed the beautifully detailed website of Kenjiro Okazaki, a Japanese visual artist. The design gives full attention to the artist’s work by placing all navigational items out of sight, but within reach. Additionally, the descriptions are only readable on mouseover, so in no instance they compete with the more important visuals.