August 31, 2004

Hivelogic Redesign

Well, Dan Benjamin made mention of it a little while ago, but now it has come to fruition. I realize this is now bordering on old news, but the new Hivelogic design is live. I have always enjoyed Dan’s site and writing, so when I approached him about his dissatisfaction with his site’s design, I couldn’t help but jump at the chance to try my hand at helping to reface it. Dan’s web development skills are mighty, making my email addresses safe and my URL’s valid (just to mention a few things); teaming up with him on this was an honor. Let it also be known, although Dan claims to be a poor designer, he has never made a particularly bad design. It was great to help put a new face to his already big reputation.

I originally offered to design a logo and masthead for the site. The name “Hivelogic” is wonderful sounding and happens to have pleasing letter forms that look good in just about any decent font. As I sat down to do it, I thought about what really fit with the site’s personality. The stuff I had come up with matched up with Dan’s perceptions entirely. Hivelogic is refined. Hivelogic is savoring a fine cigar. Hivelogic is traditional with a twist. Dan wanted to keep it similar in feel to previous Hivelogics in terms of palette and tone, therefore, minimalism, greyscale and blue were on the menu.

It seemed natural to embody the site’s voice in logo form with an ornate face, and some subdued flourishes. The logo is capped off with a single mark, a wax seal with a double-cross-barred “H”; a small accent hinting to the site’s offbeat writing and personality.

I was very pleased with the results for the masthead and had some more time on my hands so I threw together a quick layout (more a layout suggestion than a full design). Dan liked the whole kaboodle and ended up using the logo and masthead as well as keeping the basic layout concept and palette I created. Dan brought the site together beautifully. He injected a bit more of himself, added some tweaks to the design, and completely rewrote his custom CMS from the ground up. Make no mistake, Dan does not mess around. Congratulations, Dan. I am glad I could help out. Your site looks hot.

Head on over there and see for yourself.

Commentary (16):

1. PeterSantaMaria says… aug 31, 2004 | 10:17 am

The wax seal does it for me. Very sleek and refined masthead, very nice indeed!

2. Jon Hicks says… aug 31, 2004 | 10:32 am

Great work Jason, that new logo is especially delicious! Some T-shirts please…

3. Todd says… aug 31, 2004 | 10:34 am

Yep, that’s a really nice masthead and the wax seal is the kicker. Great job!

4. Josh S says… aug 31, 2004 | 11:32 am

I love the new design. The colors really appeal to me, and it certainly still has his “style” (the older images might help!).

5. Greg says… aug 31, 2004 | 1:45 pm

Nice work Jason! Next time you’re looking to do some charity work let me know, there are a few nice high profile sites that could use a redesign.

6. Blake Scarbrough says… aug 31, 2004 | 2:56 pm

Awesome work. Two thumbs up. The wax seal is genious.

7. Scott Johnson says… sep 1, 2004 | 1:28 pm

The wax seal is very classy. It fits the cigar-smoking narrator quite well. Nice work!

8. Ethan says… sep 1, 2004 | 1:41 pm

Stellar work, Jason — the new site’s rockin’ like Dokken. Congrats!

9. saint arved says… sep 1, 2004 | 3:52 pm

On wide screens, the wax seal, etc. doesn’t seem to be showing up in Mozilla or Explorer. FYI.

10. Gabriel Mihalache says… sep 2, 2004 | 9:20 am

Am I the only one who finds the wax seal a bit “flat”? Some 3D effect might make it “more real”…

11. Jason Santa Maria says… sep 2, 2004 | 10:32 am

Saint Arved - I am not having trouble viewing them in Mozilla or IE, even on my wide screen. Care to give some more info? What’s more, I was just responsible for the design work, if there is a rendering problem with the finished site you might do well to email Dan.

Gabriel - I understand what you are saying, though, realism wasn’t my goal here. I trimmed the seal down to the bare essentials, it wasn’t key for it to appear rendered and realistic, the point was to imply the form and shape of the wax seal.

12. John Whittet says… sep 5, 2004 | 12:57 am

I agree with everyone else’s sentiment: the site is kickin’. Anyway, I was just wondering whether the logo text is a font or hand-drawn…

13. Simon Reynolds says… sep 6, 2004 | 9:56 am

I believe it’s a mixture. The font is LHF Monogram English but the “H” has been tweaked.

14. Jason Santa Maria says… sep 6, 2004 | 10:02 am

Keen eye, Simon. I didn’t even have a chance to reply :D

He’s right, I ended up redrawing most of the “H” because I didn’t like the way it looked with the rest of the word spatially, or the way it misbalanced the “g”. The other “H” in the wax seal was entirely hand-done, though inspired by Garamond.

15. John Whittet says… sep 7, 2004 | 1:36 am

Excellent job. I admire people who draw letterforms by hand… Too bad that font isn’t freeware — I’m just too damn cheap to buy a a font. Oh well, I can just admire Hivelogic daily.

16. Brian says… sep 7, 2004 | 12:24 pm

“Hivelogic is refined. Hivelogic is savoring a fine cigar. Hivelogic is traditional with a twist.”

Are you kidding?

Hivelogic is update notices and blabber about rewriting content management systems.