The Creative Process

By James Loveridge

Where do I start?

Oh at the beginning of course, D’oh! When I first read the brief for this project. My eyes immediately went over to the bit where it said “No images”. My brain wanted to scream then.

It then dawned on me that it would be a very useful exercise to work the ol’ grey matter a bit since after all websites consist of 95% typography.

Pick a literature piece

I initally thought a short poem by William Wordsworth would be a good candidate, but having read some of them, I couldn’t really feel that I could relate to them at all. So it was back to searching for a poem that would strike a chord and something that I could relate with.

While I was walking the dog (spot the common theme here, if you like with my other assignments…!), it dawned on me that I quite like literature pieces where it’s all about the journey, or rather where you choose a path to head down onto. It is how I came across “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost in his poetry collection called ‘Mountain Interval’ shortly after I had finished my walk.

Designing the pages

So with the literature bit being sorted then, I set out quite ambitiously (in hindsight) to start doing something with Parallax scrolling effect. After a few frustrating nights, it dawned on me that Parallax scrolling with no images does not really mix with static typography (in my own experience that is…). So that's another challenge to take on another time.

I decided on a simple top navigation bar which hopefully would not take too much away from the site design itself when the main focus is mainly on the typography itself. I sketched out a simple layout for the poem and how it would work out with colour gradients (which is allowed!) matching some key words in the poem verses.

Picking the gradients to match the feel of the verses took me a while considering the contrast, and whenever it would not burn someone's eyes out. I think I have managed a compromise which gives a good amount of colour but also readability.

As for the font which would be used for the entire site. I knew I wanted something that would be classic, and would look like it belonged during Robert Frost’s time. So I went looking around on Google Fonts. I came across some potential ones but felt they were too modern. I then stumbled across Gentium Book Basic which looked quite old and the sort of font that I would see in old books.

I immediately started playing around with the font, seeing which ones I could use, since if I had all of the options that Google Fonts could offer me, it would make my page load very heavy, which is something I did not want to have on the project site, so I settled down with the normal weight of 400 and bold set at 700 weight.

Let’s sum this project up.

Wow, what a challenge. It really does make you think about typography and the context you want to set it out to convey the message to the user who would be on the website, looking around.

I feel that I have learnt something about typography, considering I did not use any images to set the tempo or the mood of the website. I’ve pretty much decided that I’ll be using Gentium Book Basic or a much defined version for my own portfolio site in due time as I feel it’s really a good font and one that isn’t really used a lot on the Internet.