Web design thoughts

I completed a dump of my old jwswebenterprises.com domain to my drive today in preparation for some serious archival (and dumping a hosting account that’s burning a $100 hole in my pocket every year that I don’t really use anymore). jwswebenterprises.com was where I did a lot of my work in my senior year of high school. While I certainly have come a long way in terms of design, I still think that some of the graphical pieces I did for my sites (mainly The Realm, my former personal site) were some of the most artistically aggressive work that I have ever done, especially as it relates to the typography I employed.

Putting aside the fact that it fully embraced the Internet Explorer monopoly and incorporated so many IE extensions that it made Mozilla 1.0 vomit when it was released in mid-2002, the fourth incarnation of my old Realm site is still my favorite — yes, of all time — in terms of sheer expression. It utilized a rich palette of deep blues, striking greens, and vivid oranges. The typography ran the gamut from futuristic lettering in OCR A Extended, to a grungy typewriter font in Batik (Harting) Regular, to dabbling in the classy with Vladimir Script. All three come into play in this rare graphic displayed in the early going of February 2002, when the news script was operating but the rest of the site was still being put together:

Realm 4 Transition Phase

The juxtaposition of the fonts was just out there and worked really, really well — it wasn’t something I would have expected myself to do. These themes were weaved in throughout the entire design and just lent a class to it — a pity I never finished the content of that site before moving onto another design.

As I’ve gotten older and allegedly grown up, I definitely have become more conservative with my design. My work is definitely more calculated; much more matters now on the Internet than it did then, when there was only one viable browser and platform, and search engine optimization was sticking “content” and “description” META tags in the top of all the pages. CSS for layout was an ideal that was seemingly impossible, and Netscape 4.7 would probably crash if you used CSS in your page anyway.

My, how times have changed.

7 thoughts on “Web design thoughts

  1. Pingback: Lowcountry Blogs » Blog Archive » Quiet Bloggers

  2. Nick Shepherd

    I remember those days. What a simple thing it was back then. More than just wanting to worry about making something graphically pleasing to the eye, but the ability to find motivation was so much easier. I remember days when I spent all day in class waiting to get home to hash out my next redesign of …

    Hell I don’t even remember what domain I was building stuff for back then. And remember “Blossom”–I wonder if I still have a copy of that lying around somewhere :)

  3. Nick Shepherd

    I remember those days. What a simple thing it was back then. More than just wanting to worry about making something graphically pleasing to the eye, but the ability to find motivation was so much easier. I remember days when I spent all day in class waiting to get home to hash out my next redesign of …

    Hell I don’t even remember what domain I was building stuff for back then. And remember “Blossom”–I wonder if I still have a copy of that lying around somewhere :)

  4. Jared Smith

    Odd Realism, probably. Those were the best forums ever. I wish we had an archive of those somewhere. I would love to read those again.

    I found my copy of Blossom. lol. I’m going to see if it runs on a modern LAMP setup inside my firewall…this ought to be a hoot. phpBB 1.0.0 didn’t fare so well, so let’s see how this goes. Hehe.

  5. Jared Smith

    Odd Realism, probably. Those were the best forums ever. I wish we had an archive of those somewhere. I would love to read those again.

    I found my copy of Blossom. lol. I’m going to see if it runs on a modern LAMP setup inside my firewall…this ought to be a hoot. phpBB 1.0.0 didn’t fare so well, so let’s see how this goes. Hehe.

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