Creative Olympics: Celebrating Design From Around the Globe
I love the Olympics for many different reasons. There is pomp and circumstance, tradition, good will, and you FINALLY get to see that one obscure sport you love on television (Judo is my favorite). But the best thing about the Olympics (at least to me) is getting to see athletes from around the world. Each brings their unique talents and personalities to a world stage to showcase what they do best.
With this in mind, I have compiled a list of “events” for web design featuring some national and international studios that excel in each individual category.
Event: “Studio Naming”
Gold: USA – Duct Tape and Glitter
Silver: England – The Friendly Duck
Bronze: Denmark – Mustache
There are tons of studios with unique names from all around the globe, but based on volume and uniqueness, you have to go with the U.S. Who else would name a company something like “Duct Tape and Glitter”? (Can you imagine saying “I used Duct Tape and Glitter to make my logo”?) The UK is a close second, but Denmark is a strong up-and-comer.
Gold: Norway – Unfold
Silver: Argentina – Iutopi
Bronze: Belgium – Appmiral
The scrolling website has been extremely popular in the last two years. And Norway designers seem to have a special eye for this type of movement. Unfold has done something very creative but also something rather simple, which is the definition of sophistication. What puts the Unfold site above the rest is the way the diagonal lines flow — it makes you feel like there is a ton of movement, even though only vertical movement is present.
Gold: Paraguay – Teixido
Silver: Brazil – Cappuccino Digital
Bronze: The Netherlands – Bread and Pepper
Responsive design is and has been the trend for the last couple of years, and it’s wonderful to see a global embrace of this style of design. But the best example of responsive design in terms readability and user-friendliness is Paraguay’s Teixido. It looks just as good small as it does large.
Gold: Australia – The Squad
Silver: Spain – Pampaneo
Bronze: Canada – Onst Creative
To me, nothing says creativity more than a great illustration. It adds color and a uniqueness to your site that almost no other element can. Illustration can also add a lightness that can be hard to capture in the current modern minimalist trend sweeping web design. The Squad shows a great way to present your staff front and center.
Gold: England – Magnetic North M
Silver: Amsterdam – Booreiland
Bronze: Singapore – Manic
One of the best ways to make a web design unique is to play with different ways to navigate the site. Because navigation is a cornerstone to web design, many simply lay out the navigation in the normal horizontal or vertical fashion (not that there is anything wrong with that). The sites above, however, show how creative you can be with functionality. Magnetic North, in particular, has found a way to get the user involved in the process of creating and navigating the site.
Currently working as an interactive art director for MediaCross in St. Louis, Missouri, James Fruth has been in the advertising industry ever since graduating with a Communications degree from Southern Illinois University (Edwardsville) in 2006. Although he began as a print designer, he soon dedicated himself to designing for the web. A self-described “Frankenstein’s Monster” of creative, Fruth has experience in everything from development and action scripting to creating storyboards, designing logos and creating mobile websites.