Ethan just needed a website. We gave him something beautiful.
Back when we first started talking to Ethan, he wasn’t the (mildly) famous author he is now. He just needed a site. He sent us a copy of his new book, The Peripatetic Coffin, and said he had a thing for Moby Dick. It also needed to be easy to use—he wasn’t a technical guy. We built him a site that’s beautiful, easy to use, and very “Ethan.”
Done in partnership with The Better Books Bureau.
The Creative Process
I. The Kernel of the Idea
We began by reading Ethan’s book and noticed that in many of the collection’s stories, there is a descent of some kind. Was there a way that we could use the ‘below-the-fold’ of the webpage? Was there a way that we could give the user the sense of going under a surface?
2. The Development
A straightforward approach seemed to make sense—the browser window was a camera moving down through the sea. Using images from an illustrated Moby Dick (Ethan’s great suggestion) as inspiration, we crafted a design that leads the user down into the depths. The design is built accordion-style, making it easy for Ethan to add and remove content.
3. The Conclusion
The “camera” starts in the clouds with Ethan’s name and pans down through the sky (and the endorsements of great authors), past fishermen and a giant whale until coming to rest at the bottom of the sea where it focuses on a sunken ship. We were able to find a way for the design to inform the subject and the subject to inform the design—the best case scenario in my mind.
Design Elements / Technology
Ethan’s book cover was done, but we wanted to meld it with a rugged ocean-faring aesthetic. So we turned the cover’s abstracted waves upside down and into clouds, stripped the color from them and roughed them up. Other fonts and design elements were also adopted from the cover.
The website is built on WordPress (custom child theme, allowing Ethan to keep it updated).
THE TAKE AWAY
Does this look a project that you’re gearing up for? Let’s talk.