Okay, so this week: three things. First off, I adore this typeface-in-progress by Erik van Blockland, LTR Principia, which is just a very strange and condensed assortment of letters that I really, really like:
I’ve always adored Erik’s work, and his especially odd website. Make sure to click around and see all the peculiar projects he’s been hacking away at.
Second: Kobodaishi by Nick Sherman is an absolute wonder. Like Principia, I don’t think you can actually purchase this thing yet but it’s wonderful in a very different way with stately, tall, and very happy letters:
I must have it.
Third: I just started work in earnest on the next big essay. I don’t know if it’s good yet but I get these little bursts of excitement as I switch from the photography to design to writing and that’s usually the tell tale sign that there’s something here. As I’ve been tinkering with this project I’ve been thinking a great deal about Sequential Websites though, my name for the sort of things that don’t let you scroll from top to bottom but require some other input method instead.
Side note: I love writing like this. “Hey, I have no idea where I’m going with this but please, hold on tight, let’s figure this out.” I am so very tired of people explaining things to me and instead I’m thrilled, thrilled I say, when people explain things to themselves. It’s so much…lighter.
Anyway, I really like this format; the momentum of it, the discrete blocks of text, the space for jokes or riffing along with the image. Plus, it feels like every word was chosen carefully, every turn of phrase sharpened. Sort of like a comic book where, sure, there might be just one “Aghhhh!” on the page but that one scream is useful information; no noise, all signal. Every bit of text in a comic book has to really work because of how few words you can put on a page.
And this sequential format encourages that by slowing things way, way down.
In terms of design, all the Sequential Websites I’ve seen scroll down to turn the page or get to the next section. Very few of them encourage scrolling to the right or left, and I think that’s smart: the first thing I do when I get to a webpage is try to scroll down. And if scrolling works any other way then my eye twitches as I then have to read some text with a garish explanation like PLEASE SCROLL RIGHT with a little arrow or something.
And that feels very iPad-magazine-around-2009 to me.
Anyway anyway, I’m thinking about Sequential Websites a lot because I’m trying to figure out what shape this essay should take. I don’t want to do the easy thing and copy the format of the last one I made. I want to make something that’s just for this essay. But should it just be a…regular essay? Or should it click-clack together? There’s gonna be a lot of images so it feels like it could be a Sequential Website.
But I need more time until the text itself can tell me that.
I’ll figure it all out eventually because I know that at the beginning it’s nerve wracking as nothing feels quite right. You try this, and nope. You try that thing and, welp, that doesn’t work either. Or you try and copy this other idea and sweet heavens that’s even worse! So: next week I’ll be focusing on the format of this thing, pushing the writing forward and what not. I think I already have the typography and fonts in place. Next weekend I’ll start sharing designs and early drafts of the essay here.
And maybe, just maybe, after spending some time on it today, I think I have a title for the essay.
Until next time,