If you by any chance have reached the gallery where I collected some of the logotypes I've made, you probably noticed a certain feeling around them. Yes I was a designer for more than 10 years, and the style that resonated with me the most was the International Typographic Style or Modernism for short.
Modernism, as pretty much any old school trend, is more than dead by now. Ocassionaly rising from the grave to ride the next coolness fad that some retro Netflix series unleashes to the world.
Modernism can be argued that is just another style, and when in need, just use it and complete the work in a timely manner.
But for me, Modernism is the answer. You need typography? Here's Helvetica. You need to place stuff? Here's grid. You need logotypes? Here's geometry. In fact for any problem you'll ever encounter on graphic design, Modernism have you covered with a solution as solid as naked concrete on a brutalist building. Accounting the periods where the styles were at their primes, well, it's no surprise they are the same.
This is not the first iteration of this site, in fact, I was searching for my perfect homepage style at least since 2012 where I first started to mess with HTML, and dozens upon dozens of designs and mockups and concepts and HTML playgrounds came and go.
None of it was good enough. Too trendy. Too conceptual. Too unusable. Too generic.
Six years ago a simple question arised: What would be the website of the ones like Paul Rand? Josef-Müller Brockmann? Yusaku Kamekura? Wim Crouwel? Dieter Rams?.
And six years after that, working on the concept day-in and day-out, you are looking at what I firmly believe it's a plausible answer.
As usually happens with Modernism, the pure, distilled, no-nosense approach inevitably leads to concentrate on all the microscopic details that you have left with. It's like pixelart. They're small, they don't have lots of colors, but you can create atomic levels of detail where every pixel counts. Any good modernism design is just like that.
Modifying any element of a design will absolutely ruin it? If it does, it is Modernism.
After all that many years discarding designs, realizing I was going nowhere with my webpage, the point that arised to prominence was it has to endure. And again, the absolute purity that Modernism bring to the table, makes the design durable af.
- This site sports only one font in only one weight: Trebuchet.
- This site automatically takes care of the light theme / dark theme for you.
- Link colors adjusted for optimal contrast.
- Perfect mobile experience.
- The horizontal scrollbar never apperars (Except for inline code).
- Scores a perfect 100 / 100 on Google Insights.
- And so on.
In fact what you see on the index is the temptative first design that I came up with when I tried to answer the Modernist question six years ago. The design was pure, certainly based on Modernist posters, absolutely typography centered... but look after look, the design stood.
Stood webdesign trends. Stood accesibility tests. Stood content-fist approach theory. Stood responsive migration. Stood css flexbox and grid migration. Well, it stood fckuing everything. As the design is so unforgivingly pure, it succeeded on everything the world threw at it. It was spectacular.
It’s also a worthwhile reminder that great design is a product of constraints.
Less than a year after inception it became the index of my page, there was nothing else, didn't know how to follow. Little by little I realized that I just cannot modify it: it was too balanced, too perfect in its own terms to resist any new addition. And when I finally needed a place to forever archive my experiments and rants, the only solution was straight out duplicate the index, and then everything clicked: the index design is the design theme, and then this site finally born, and born to last.