About this site's lack of design: Yes, it's supposed to look this way — I'm using a sandbox theme for WordPress (see it on GitHub).

Dan Rubin's SuperfluousBanter

Design, random musings, and the Web. Since 1977


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 :-)