Every week at Fueled, our London-based Creative Director, Rob Palmer, shares a handful of inspirational websites with our teams in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. This weekly email acts as a virtual water cooler, encouraging us to congregate across time zones and discuss what brands and blogs are doing to push new trends in web design.
The Lacoste China website is an immersive experience. In fact, it is called “The First 360 Experience”, and it lives up to the name. Use your mouse to shake the snowglobe-shaped cursor on the page and enter into a suspended landscape of feathers and people bedecked in Lacoste apparel. All of the figures are animated, hovering slightly, enhancing the whimsical feel of the site. Clicking on the people brings you to a breakdown of their clothes, which you can also view in the Lookbook section of the menu. It’s a beautiful and engaging way to sell a product, with an added bonus: Look out for the red feather and alligator images, which act as hidden vouchers you can redeem when making a purchase.
Photography icon Boris Ignatovich has a personal website/portfolio that is precisely the visual masterpiece we’d expect from such an acclaimed artist. The site design serves to highlight Ignatovich’s life and works, from the scrolling background of his black-and-white photographs that serve as an introduction to the site, to the visual timeline of his life accented with personal photos and memorabilia. The bold color scheme complements the photographs while allowing the content to stand out. On each page, the formatting of the visual content is exciting without being cluttered and the seamless scrolling makes it a user-friendly experience. The Boris Ignatovich website succeeds as both a personal portfolio and a piece of art in its own right.
There are almost too many entertaining design details to mention about the home site of independent digital agency, Viens-là. Let’s start with the landing page: as an introduction to the humor that lies ahead, use your cursor to kick an animation right where it’s asking for it. You’re then led through a jovial welcome video composed in a family sitcom-like manner. The bold colors and bright exposure of the video continue throughout the site as a refreshing aesthetic that mirrors the playful energy of the company. Explore the case study section of the site, listed as “Selected Works” and enjoy an interactive exploration of their projects, accompanied by vivid visuals and engaging animations. We could go on and on about the redeeming qualities of this site, but this is one extra you can't miss: Clicking on “A Small Break?” brings you to an online version of the popular drinking game, Caps, where you try to land your beer bottle caps in the other person's open container. Drop the mic.
In honor of “Chekhov is Alive,” a marathon live reading in Russia of about 50 of Chekhov’s life works, this site was created as both additional entertainment and a step in the application process for those wishing to be actors/readers. Exploring this site feels like participating, however briefly, in the cultural event that was “Chekhov is Alive”. Take the quasi-personality test then follow the link to audition for one of the live readings (though sadly the deadline has passed so you’re claim to fame lies elsewhere). The simple directions, bold typography and palette, and engaging graphics make this site a pleasure to explore, regardless of intention or Chekhov knowledge. One highlight we enjoyed was clicking into the characters page that brings you to a visual encyclopedia, in which hovering over one of the characters initiates an unexpected and playful animation.
Part cinematic experience, part advertisement, the Sennheiser site’s ode to their new headphones, Orpheus, is a dramatic and visually-arresting adventure. The introductory page is in fact a short film, providing a brief history on the product’s creation (narrated in resonant tones) and accompanied by intriguing animations on an imaginative landscape. Use your cursor to scroll and initiate the product view, which moves the headphones from box to full extension. At each step of this process, the design highlights and advantages of the product appear for you to click through and appreciate the dramatic nature of the content. The interactivity of examining the headphones, billed as a “monument to sound”, is the highlight of this site and a truly unique way to experience a product.
Legwork, an independent design and production studio based out of Denver, CO, has a site just as quirky and entertaining as the company itself. An inexplicable though amusing animation greets the visitor on the home page, foreshadowing the other bizarre illustrations that lay in wait as transitions between pages, keeping the visitor ever-engaged. Browse through their production work under “Animations” or their design commissions, listed as “Interactive”, and you’re treated to a behind-the-scenes look at each project, including high-res video and images. A slight detail we enjoyed was the ability to change the color of the background on each menu page by dragging and holding our cursor.