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Interactive Annual 15:
self-promotion

Plural Design

Launch Live Site

“I love the minimalist nature of this and it’s a great way to show-off a broad range of work. The one-big-page approach has been done repeatedly, but this is a really nice take on it with a lot of thought put into the little UI details.” —Michelangelo Capraro

“The simplicity and confidence of this design make it stand out in a world of cookie-cutter portfolio sites and over-stylized promotions.” —Jason Ring


Overview: This site challenges standard conceptions of how a single-page site can function and be navigated. It’s a simple and elegant showcase of work by Plural Design in an online gallery space spare enough that a visitor can concentrate on each piece without easily forgetting that there’s more to see. Navigable by using the arrow keys on the keyboard, as the gallery of images moves around, the browser window is used as a crop to highlight parts of the page keeping adjacent images partially in view.

  • • The site contains 120 images and 6 videos.
  • • The navigation concept was based on work being laid on a table and a viewer walking around it to see every piece. Since the viewer in this case is stationary, the “table” moves instead.
  • • Since launch in July 2008, the site’s received 65,000 unique visits.

Comments by Renata Graw and Jeremiah Chiu

Was the topic/subject of the project a new one for you? “No, but we were interested in using a new approach for a common topic. We were looking to create something that we hadn’t seen before.”

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “Developing the concept, deciding on one idea, taking all the photos, retouching, writing the text, testing, etc. But probably the biggest hurdle was keeping the load time to a minimum, having all the images in one single page makes the load time higher than desired.”

Is the audience you were targeting a particularly difficult one to reach? “We don’t think the audience is a hard one to reach, but it was important to us to showcase our work to potential clients and also achieve some notice from the design community.”

How did this project compare with others you’ve worked on in the past? “Because it was for us, it was easier to work on. We were designing and making the decisions. When you’re your own client there is no divergence of opinion. However, editing and deciding with finality about what to do in the end is always difficult, since there are so many different/interesting ideas floating around.”

Did you learn anything new during the process? “Writing is very important and it’s something that we haven’t focused enough attention on. It can be quite difficult to develop a tone that is professional, fun and real.”

What would you do differently if you could start the project over? “We’re not sure we would do anything differently.”

Credits

Jeremiah Chiu/Renata Graw/Christopher Kalis, graphic designers
Eric Mika, programmer
Shannon Benine, photographer
Plural Design (Chicago, IL), project design and development/design firm/client