Some of you may be familiar with the verbal antics of A. Moses Griffin, and some of you may not. To be brief, he writes about a plethora of topics seemingly at random and does a damn good job with his prose, and he’s blunt. I like blunt. The design is blunt too, and that’s the magic.
There’s no frills or gradients or flair anywhere, but there’s definitely a personality that surrounds the site. Griffin stands behind his opinion and his type choices affirm that. When someone says something in a dull apathetic lower case typeface, it doesn’t have the strength and confidence of Rockwell. Bold. All caps. Yeah-I-said-it-design. This type of no-nonsense typography gives power to his opinion. It’s not a new technique, but one that seems to have fallen out of things lately. Having seen Helvetica recently I’m reminded of the ad Coke had ran in the 1950’s:
…it doesn’t have the strength and confidence of Rockwell. Bold. All caps.
Much the same as when the Coke ad appeared, the simple powerful headlines drive the point home while everyone else still frolicks with display typefaces.
The layout consists of three equal-width columns on the index page, with the main content taking over two columns width of space on internal pages. The tabbed section at the top of the index is a great way of singling out and assigning focus to the information that is commonly the most relevant to visitors. The layout breaks away from what is typically expected of one man sites. And I hesitate to call it a blog because it feels more like a site dedicated to the opinion section of a newspaper.
The structure of the site is well defined and logical, with the most important content starting from the upper left and the least important sitting in the lower right. The subheadings allow for some witty banter while maintaining usable headlines that can be read while scanning the page.
As much as I like the logo type. I’m not a fan of the drop shadow, black text with a dark shadow just creates a blurry edge. In fact, at such a large size it may not need the shadow to make it pop and grab attention. In fact, if it was actually lighter in color it would draw more attention to itself and set a proper hierarchy with the navigation bar.
There’s a few white-space and alignment issues that catch my eye at times where things feel slightly too tight or too large. The image of the ‘quoted’ section above is a good example, the citation seems a little too close to the quote. Perhaps if it was aligned to the right and another size smaller it wouldn’t feel so claustrophobic.
There’s a few things that harken to Subtraction, but they fit in well here and their relative use with other elements that are more full of character change how you look at the Subtraction-esque areas. Sometimes it’s just been done the right way before and the design patterns fit here as well.
It’s been brought to my attention that Griffin & Hoxie will be undergoing a theme change today, here are some further screenshots for when the design does change:Want more? Check out the archives for previous reviews, and don’t forget to subscribe for future reviews, posted weekly.