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Dan Rubin's SuperfluousBanter

Design, random musings, and the Web. Since 1977

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Not So Minimal

It’s offi­cial: My first (well, sec­ond real­ly; see below) entry to Dave Shea’s CSS Zen Gar­den has been accept­ed: Not So Minimal

My orig­i­nal sub­mis­sion was deemed too min­i­mal for Dav­e’s anti-min­i­mal pol­i­cy — I don’t dis­agree with this judge­ment, though I still believe min­i­mal design is as valid a style as any oth­er. “Not So Min­i­mal” is the result of a few extra hours spent with my orig­i­nal design, adding some col­or and the obvi­ous abstract image com­pos­ite for the header.

I’m work­ing now on a few more designs, this time with dif­fer­ent goals (more flu­id designs, less grid-like lay­outs, etc.) — they should be ready in a few weeks (work per­mit­ting), and we’ll see how they fare once submitted.

This item was posted by Dan Rubin on Tuesday, June 24th, 2003.

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8 comments on “Not So Minimal”

  1. Posted by Kris on Tuesday, June 24th, 2003.

    Please for­give me if I’m wrong… but isn’t it the same design with alter­nate colours? I think I bet­ter go to bed and have a clos­er look lat­er tonight.

  2. Posted by Dan on Tuesday, June 24th, 2003.

    HI Kris, yes, it’s the same design, altered to bet­ter suit Dav­e’s anti-min­i­mal design rules for the CSS Zen Gar­den. Dave real­ly liked the orig­i­nal, all-gray design, but since accept­ing it would have gone against the anti-min­i­mal pol­i­cy he had put in place him­self, he could­n’t accept it as-is. I did­n’t want to go back to the draw­ing board com­plete­ly, so I added in some abstract pho­tog­ra­phy and altered the col­ors (well, added col­ors) to spice it up a bit, and make it a lit­tle less-minimalist.

  3. Posted by VTS on Tuesday, June 24th, 2003.

    Great CSS design. Sim­ple and func­tion­al. By the way, what font did you use for your sec­tion headings?

  4. Posted by Dan on Wednesday, June 25th, 2003.

    The type­face used is FF DIN Con­densed from FontShop (the sec­tion head­ings are DIN Con­densed BoldAlternate).

    The entire FF DIN fam­i­ly is great, very ver­sa­tile, though I’ve always pre­ferred the con­densed series; the upper­case and low­er­case char­ac­ters seem to “fit” much bet­ter (“fit” is obvi­ous­ly an extreme­ly tech­ni­cal typo­graph­i­cal term ;-)

  5. Posted by VTS on Wednesday, June 25th, 2003.

    Thanks for the info Dan. I’ve been stuck on a cre­ative funk doing our com­pa­ny site redesign. A cou­ple hours of vol­ley­ball this evening and a new font to play with will sure help. :-)

  6. Posted by Didier Hilhorst on Wednesday, June 25th, 2003.

    Looks great. Period.

  7. Posted by Sunny on Thursday, June 26th, 2003.

    FF Din is a very nice font. But it is a hefty price ($180)! I guess when you are a web design pro, its more of an investment.

  8. Posted by Dan on Thursday, June 26th, 2003.

    If you work with type enough, you start to real­ly appre­ci­ate the extra work which goes into the faces pro­duced by the larg­er foundries, and the cost becomes low­er when com­pared to the extra time you have to spend when deal­ing with low­er-qual­i­ty fonts.

    We use a hand­ful of faces pro­duced by FontShop, and we’ve been thrilled with all of them — if you have the mon­ey to spend, you won’t be sorry.

    The oth­er thing to keep in mind is the ver­sa­til­i­ty of a giv­en type­face for the style of work you do. For instance, the FFDIN, FFIn­fo and FFIn­ter­state fam­i­lies work very well with the style of work I pro­duce, so it’s worth it to me to have them avail­able. I use type­faces sim­i­lar to the way a pho­tog­ra­ph­er uses dif­fer­ent lens­es, or a painter uses dif­fer­ent brush­es: you get used to the ones which work well for your style, and you keep using them over and over again because you know exact­ly what you will get out of them.

    Then again, if you’re not the kind of per­son who obsess­es over type in your day-to-day life, spend­ing a few hun­dred dol­lars on one fam­i­ly isn’t real­ly necessary :-)