I love art directed websites. There’s something about the way people use beautiful design to make engaging content that always draws me in. But, let’s be honest, art directing your own site is a lot of work. The thought of making everything different and ensuring the design stays intact during a redesign can feel like it’s more effort than it’s worth.
When I recently tackled the redesign of my website, Binary Moon, I found myself faced with this very challenge. As I revisited an old post I had written on art direction, I realized that none of the articles I had referenced were available anymore. That’s when I realised I wanted to create an art-directed site that was not only visually appealing but also easy to manage and transfer during future redesigns.
It took a bit of thought but I decided to focus on a few properties that could be edited easily: background color, foreground color, link color, and font family. These four elements alone have the power to transform the entire look and feel of a page. For instance, by simply tweaking these parameters, my Brush Ninja and WPBriefs posts seamlessly integrate with the overall design of my live sites whilst still having their own personality.
Doh! It looks like the automatic screenshot generator doesn’t support all the fonts I’m using. Rest assured that they are unique as well 😄.
To ensure consistency across pages while still allowing for customization, I made sure that the header remained constant throughout my site. This way, visitors will always recognize my brand identity while enjoying a unique experience tailored to each piece of content they explore.
What makes this approach so good for me is how effortless it is to maintain. Thanks to using Jekyll as my content management system (CMS), updating these four parameters is as simple as adding the 4 optional front matter settings. This also means that if I decide to redesign again, all those carefully curated art direction choices can travel with me effortlessly.
I think this is a nice elegant way for me to manage the art directed content. I can give every post its own unique style and easily maintain the style across redesigns. I’d love to see more art directed content on the web, and I hope this post acts as inspiration for that.