It’s been a while since I clicked a link and let out an audible ‘Wow.’ The site for Gary Hustwit’s forthcoming film, Objectified, broke that streak. The color, the balance, the playful interaction between the horizontal and vertical rules create a harmony that’s just plain beautiful.

The site is essentially a blog, which is logical given that it’s for updates for progress on the film. It follows your standard blog layout conventions pretty close to the letter, but it does have a few unique tidbits here and there that spark interest. One of these are the small icons to the left of each post that visualize the post’s category. But what I really love is the overall interaction of the headline, rules, and these icons at the beginning of each post.

helvetica + georgia

Mixing serifs and sans-serifs seems to be a popular choice for many of the designs we feature here. And Objectified is no exception, there’s a playful variance in the display of both typefaces. Sometimes all in lowercase, such as the headlines, or all in uppercase, such as the posting date. In particular I find the graphic work done in the logo quite intriguing, set in Helvetica Ultra Compressed.

The blockquotes are also done beautifully. Reversed out typography on the web isn’t very common, and I love the green block’s interaction with the aforementioned rules.

That’s not to say the design is perfect – it has its faults. The ‘categories’ listing at the bottom of each post feels awkward at that default font size that everyone has an aversion to. Perhaps simply removing that listing would be appropriate, since the icons in the meta column do the job nicely, and this textual listing is somewhat redundant. From a structural perspective, the archives page is lacking somewhat in its usefulness as well, perhaps a different way of accessing older posts than by month would be more useful. But these are small quibbles in the overall scheme of the site, what do you think?

  1. Evan Meagher

    Very nice design. Clean, simple, and straight to the point. It does well with few colors, a feat hard to achieve but wonderful when done so.

    Thanks for the heads up on the documentary itself. I hadn’t heard of it before. I’ll definitely try to see it if/when it makes its way to Seattle next year!

  2. inspirationbit

    It is a very nice looking site. But then I saw who designed it—Jason Santa Maria, so the clean and classic style of the site is not surprising at all. I always like discovering new ways that designers employ to add some interest to the site, and the use of category icons on Objectified is a very clever approach indeed.

    While this is a pretty new site with not so many published posts, the absence of a more structured Information Architecture is not that visible yet, but the bigger the site gets the more obvious that gap will be.

  3. Antonio

    The site doesn’t impress me at all, let alone make me go wow.

  4. Kevin Zak

    I love the header. It speaks volumes about the rest of the design. Simple, elegant, and classy; but not without style. I am torn about the scan lines. They add flavor but distract somewhat from the rest.

    The icons in the meta columns are genius. It’s a great idea, I’m surprised I haven’t seen it until now. With the key on the left (the icon followed by the category name), I agree that the textual representation at the bottom of each post is unnecessary.

    Great site, and I’m looking forward to seeing the documentary. Nice to see another review.

  5. Gavin

    The design is alright, but def not up to par with many of the others reviewed here. The header logo is ok, but after seeing the film’s title treatment I really wish the designer had used that.

  6. Leon P

    I really like this. It’s a traditional blog (search, categories, 3 cols etc.) but with some original styling. The green’s lovely, and makes you wonder why it’s so rare in websites. I don’t have a problem with the category list at the bottom of posts - if it was just icons, you’d be guessing at their meaning (or searching for the key), and the default font size is fine. The fact it’s greyed out means it’s differentiated from the rest of the post.

    The use of capitals is interesting - it seems to add some gravitas and authority (although there’s an associated readabilty issue in the navbar). I also like the use of grey; it adds a sense of understatement appropriate to a blog about a film about design. In fact, all these elements conjoin to create a cool, understated tone, offset by the fresh green and the Georgia.

    The borders between page elements all join up, which makes the page seem ‘constructed’; again, appropriate to the film’s theme.

    One of those pages that get better the more you look at it.