A New Face for PodCamp AZ

12 years ago in Design & Typography, Friends of iBAM by Brent | 5 Comments

podcampaz.jpg

I spend last night (literally… all of it) rebuilding the website for PodCamp AZ. Most of you know that I am organizing this event out here in AZ and with the recent finalization of our venue, UAT, we have a lot of work to do to get things ready for the big November 3rd weekend. Up until now, the site had a lot of design functionality issues and it needed a complete rework so that it could better serve the purpose it needs to promote the event. Seing that this project is a labor of love, it’s always been hard to devote the necessary time to a project like this, but I hope that the last 24 hours were spent wisely and productively so that PodCamp AZ will benefit from the work I’ve done here.

Here’s a look at the design:

I started it off at the top with a magpie-twitter-puller-thing that pulls the latest tweet (when it’s not being cached) from the “with friends” Podcamp AZ Twitter page.

podcampaz_www.jpg

My first task was to provide a resource for all of the documentation that will be generated for this event. There’s already quite a lot of textural info in the site, but that is just going to grow so I wanted to make a site that allowed for typographically heavy pages and allowed for large documents without making it too difficult for the viewer to read. I decided to use the excerpt functions of WordPress to break up the first paragraphs, giving them a larger face.

To some designers out there, I may have breached etiquette a bit by mixing a serif font for titling (Georgia) and a sans (Lucidia Grande) for body copy, but I thought it would be a nice break for the eyes and help keep sections more separated visually. I do like a little serif flavor in there and I think this is the best way I could think of to do it. Plus, I didn’t really like how Lucidia transformed for italics, so I decide to use Georgia for all the italics as well. This allows the further visual emphasis on the letters rather than just a slanted version of Lucidia.

sidebar.jpg

The sidebar proved to be quite a bit more difficult than expected. While designing the site in Photoshop, I completely forgot about sub-pages (I know! I must have been pretty tired) and while laying out the site in HTML and CSS, I was quickly reminded of the issue and even now that I am “finished” with the site, I’m not sure if I’m completely happy with the solution I came up with. What I did was I added a little color behind the sub-sections and reduced their font size just a bit. Then I added a small margin below the sub-sections in hopes that the visitor can associate them with their parent above.

All in all though, I do like the clean design and simplicity of the sidebar, but somehow I think I will be re-visiting this menu layout again soon in the near future. Maybe with some jQuery goodies or something, we’ll see.

Headers for the submenu items are small versions of the titles to the left. Georgia, centered and transformed to uppercase and spaced out a couple extra pixels (2 to be exact). I decided to go with uppercase (instead of small-caps) on all titles so that tall punctuation and numbers wouldn’t stick out so much. In the body paragraph, I think it really accents the excerpt nicely as well as the post info line below the title.

openingparagraph.jpg

I decided to use a SlideShow Pro movie as the main imagery section for the page, hoping that the SSP backend will serve the administrators well as they add pictures and imagery. I put a PNG image over the top to tie it into the layout. Also, I’m sure at some point they will be asking for a gallery page, so this little tool will come in handy, I’m sure.

footers.jpg

Lastly, I had to come up with some sort of multi-footer that allowed for growth. I decided to start off by making a large, 3-column link/info footer and follow that up below with a simple, standard 2-column copyright footer that I could add to later if necessary. I think both of these footers will grow and change quite a bit in the coming months, but for now, my hope is that I have foreseen enough into the future to have addressed the majority of the needs the administrators will have.

It has been a fun exercise designing this site for PodCamp. My hope is that it exudes the attitude and professionalism that the committee was looking for as well as the emerging nature of new media. I guess we’ll just have to see what happens. I would love to hear what you guys think about the design. Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section. Ideas and suggestions as always are more than welcome. Thanks for stopping by!

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