twisted intellect

twisted intellect

Quite some time ago, I was introduced to Twisted Intellect by the blogroll of a friend’s site. Typical. Unfortunately, while the site boasted some excellent design elements, and one of the best implementations of columnar design on the internet, it suddenly vanished one day a few months ago; replaced one of the dreaded ‘will return soon’ messages. Meh.

But, as it so happens, I was clearing bookmarks earlier this week and happened to check back in on Twisted Intellect, and lo and behold there was something there. Still a coming soon of sorts, but a damn fine one.

tasteful ligatures

Detail screenshot of the ligatures
Ligatures seem to be a lost child on the web, and in most modern design in general. However, the chosen ligatures in the title text add an immediate air of proper design and professionalism. I love the dropped ‘S’ as well.

beautiful, degradable, type choices

Detail screenshot of the main type in Caslon Pro
If you have the proper fonts installed, you can see everything in its Caslon beauty. Failing that, you can still see it in extravagant Hoefler Text. If you’re lacking both of these wonderful fonts (and shame on you), everything is still available in your typical websafe flair of Georgia or Times.

variant goodness

Detail screenshot of the oblique and small cap variants
Something that immediately stands out is John’s liberal use of small-caps and oblique typesettings. Combined with the aforementioned typefaces, this creates a very unique look that instantly separates the design from others and makes it memorable. The Twitter section is lovely, the tasteful iconography that adorns the site is both fitting and subtle.

the criticism

Detail screenshot of the contact typography
The contact section. All of it. It’s so out of place with the typographical feeling of the rest of the site, it’s the only sans-serif section, and it sticks out like a sore thumb. While the content is more digestible as sans-serifs, some treatment to tie it into the rest of the design is not out of the question.


While this is only a glorified ‘coming soon’ page, made up of an explanation, flickr and twitter feeds, and a bit of contact info, it has definitely done the job of whetting my appetite for the return of his blog in the near future. With a bit of touch up work on the contact section, this could be even better.

How do you folks feel?

  1. Kevin Zak

    This is a truly beautiful design. I subscribe to many typography feeds and newsletters and I’ve been reading a lot about it, but very rarely does type alone make me adore a website. The ‘coming soon’ message is wonderfully constructed. Its elegance is immediately recognized, but offset to a perfect degree with the humorous message it contains. My only criticism is that the dotted underline added by the abbreviation element for CSS looks odd because of the increased line height.

    The Flickr section is simple, yet does not detract from the elegance that the rest of the design creates.

    The Twitter logo consisting of the bird and underlying text looks amazing. The italicized ‘from’ with the dropped f creates a very nice effect. The type of the tweets themselves could use a little more weight for the sake of us who are inhibited by Windows’ dreadful text rendering. It is not nearly as defined as the type in your screenshot is. The time of the tweet needs a bit more contrast, in my opinion. It is detectable when glancing over the body as a whole, and thus the eye strains to see it. A slightly darker shade would do splendidly, I think.

    As you said, the proverbial pimple on an otherwise unblemished face is the contact section. If the author would redesign that section, it would be the first ‘coming soon’ message that I would deem a work of art. Very nice review and splendid choice on the website.

  2. Brent Lagerman

    I like the two o’s in soon kearned together like that, that’s a great finishing touch.


  3. Imar

    If you disable the CSS, it says “It looks like you’re using an iPhone…”. That’s quite an assumption to make, haha. Anyway, nice “coming soon” page.

  4. John Arnor G. Lom

    Thanks for the feature! I’ll most certainly look into the contact section again; as well as all the other points mentioned in the comments based on your comments! Thanks, and keep them coming!

    @Imar; yep, I know. ;) I do follow that paragraph up with another explaining what may be the issue if you are not on an iPhone; but I do see your point. I may be changing the CSS-based solution out for a JS browser-sniffing solution…

  5. elyse holladay

    I LOVE the ligatures, but I actually dislike the tightly kerned o’s in ‘soon’. I just try to read it as one weird letter or dipthong or something. Otherwise it’s lovely.

    I like the footer as well. I love you!

    Agree that the contact section could use some work. Maybe small white-silhouette icons of the sites instead of names, and the names in smallcaps? The address/phone/etc could be in a serif/sans combo if done right, as well.

    Beautiful though!

  6. Kyle Meyer

    @Elyse & @Brent: The double ‘o’s are actually a ligature, not just a particular pair of tightly kerned ‘o’s. You can read more about ligatures here.

    @John: Thanks for stopping by, can’t wait to see the blog. : )

  7. elyse holladay

    Kyle, I know they’re ligatures (I guess I didn’t make that clear). Thanks for the link though. They just bug me, not sure why. :)

  8. Rick

    Fantastic. I like the colour choice which is simple yet still pleasing. The typefaces and ligature give it a slightly old fashioned/antique look. I just “floated” on to your site and just recently found dream float, so I hope to learn a lot about good design in the coming weeks.

  9. Jeffrey Chiang

    Just to clear things up. The Twitter icon is from a app made by Iconfactory - Twitterrific

  10. Bushe

    Would you be interested in writing for The Neave Online Publication? I love your writing style and I feel like you would fit in perfectly with the other writers.