Notes on the design of Nabokov’s Butterflies and blogs
Instead, let’s infuse the web with visual ideas from elsewhere. Books. Posters. Art. Software. Other designed objects. Of this era. Of earlier eras. It’s all fair game. If you like stealing the ideas of others, great! Steal from better sources. (That’s the secret to whatever success I have, certainly.) Anything but another hamburger button. Websites – Step outside the cargo cult
I thought I’d take a look at another medium – namely, book design – and see how it might influence the typography and layout of a blog. The best designed book I own is probably Nabokov’s Butterflies.
The typography itself is minimalist – one typeface, two weights and a small range of sizes. White space is used efficiently – the text doesn’t feel cramped, but there aren’t huge spaces between page elements.
I could (and indeed have) used titles that appear at the top of every page to influence this site’s navigation, although not making all the top level pages available in the menu is probably fairly annoying for users. Or maybe they don’t care – they read a post, perhaps scan the home page and move on. I like the small caps/italic combination.
Decoration is saved for the cover. I’d love to i) be able to create these kind of illustrations ii) find a use for the red/blue/black palette and iii) write content that fitted such a beautiful design. There’s probably some work that could be done on the home page, but I’ve plumped for a fairly simple table of contents.
A serif feels right, mainly because of the italics it offers, but that’s not to say you couldn’t use a sans. In fact, my second most glamorous book does use a sans.
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