Site Design

After too many revisions over so many years, I’m aiming for timeless and true to the medium. The site map is purposefully simple and user-visible navigation references the URL structure, and I make an effort to avoid upsetting changing them. This relationship is reinforced by rendering internal links as path fragments, as in the footer. The minimal branding with most wayfinding pushed to the footer was inspired by Simon Sigurdhsson’s blog long ago.

Content layout was originally inspired by Tufte CSS. A key feature is the use of sidenotes, which are difficult in CSS. I settled on a simple floats approach similar to with <aside> markup inspired by Ink and Switch. Using a tweaked plugin for markdown-it, this is done with standard Markdown and results in semantic HTML.

Body copy is set in STIX Two, a modernization of Donald Knuth’s original Computer Modern. Other type is using Source Sans, designed by Paul D. Hunt for Adobe. Both are used under the SIL Open Font License v1.1.

The logo glyph is LEGO part #2435. As a child I was fascinated with the larger version of this part as a manufactured object. I also spent a lot of time in forests and many of my friends were trees. (I previously used the Unicode tree glyph, 🌲︎ but this simple dingbat has been lost to creeping emojification.)

What to call this style

It wouldn’t be quite right to call it brutalism, because the modernists were reacting against nostalgia and, to be honest, there is a lot of nostalgia for an earlier internet in my motivation. Moreover, the word has been embarassingly misappropriated by the web design community, though David Copeland gets it.

I certainly like to flatter myself with references to the Bauhaus implying analogies between HTML and plywood. But I don’t think it appropriate to use the name of that school for a mere style. Even if it were, the aesthetics of those practitioners generally included more whimsy than I’m expressing here.

So it shall go nameless.