0at.org Failed Concept

Posted on 3/2/08

So a few weeks ago I decided 0at.org needed a fresh coat of paint.

Lately I've taken an interest in digital illustration. As a web designer, I'd often relied on stock photography, simple shapes, and clever use of icons to breathe life into the visual appeal of a design. With the new version of 0at, I wanted to actually draw tangible things, not just create a bunch of glassy icons and gradient squares.

This was the result:

0at.org design failure

Now, I'll admit there are some things that I like about this design, but overall this thing is a mess. What I was trying to go for was a landscape full of organic shapes, outdoor scenery, and bursting lights. I also wanted it to look vintage and worn, so I added silhouettes of bomber planes and gave the box that holds the 0at.org logo torn paper edges.

Some of the best web designs I've ever created are done with a set of boundaries. Being too rigid can suffocate creativity, but having no boundaries whatsoever can result in an unfocused mess. When I created this failed version it was a vector/brush/color free-for all.

The current version of 0at was born from this failed version. I toned things down a bit and went for a much simpler landscape: blue sky, a wooden ceiling, and three hanging lanterns projecting spotlights downward.

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About Matthew

I am no longer updating this blog, but you can follow all of my latest work over at The Oatmeal


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