Client: the L.A. Times
Black Dahlia: Article board. Originally Cat McMillan designed a full scale version of this board at full, readable size. The file was about 4 feet wide, with readable articles and board bric-a-brac. The client wanted a simpler interface, so we ended up using popups. Somewhere along the way we lost our alternate version.
Did you see the Black Dahlia? I did… and those are a few hours of my life that I’ll sadly never get back. Terrible movie, awesome websites. We designed and developed this entire site in about four days. We probably used every hour of those four days, but nonetheless. Incredible results in zero time. When the L.A. Times asked us to design a site around a 1940’s newspaper office we asked “do you have a picture” and they said “why don’t you create one.” So we did. This is probably closer to illustration than design; almost every piece of this site was drawn with vector tools, created from photo composites, or drawn by hand to create multiple scenes and environments typical of a 1940’s newspaper office. As I recall the photos used were almost entirely drawn from iStockPhoto, and the sounds from SoundRanger and SoundDogs. Inexpensive stuff put to great use.
The focal point of this site from the L.A. Times perspective was the ability to access newspaper articles from the Times vaults from that period. The content was a little dry, but the presentation was fantastic, and the theme makes for a great website. We’ve become masters of realistic animation & environments over the years, and this site is probably the pinnacle of skills, especially when the timeline is taken into consideration. An all around beautiful, elegant site, with unique interface elements and a palpable mood befitting the story.
Take special note of the smoke in the ashtray, the desk lamp that can be turned on and off, the preloader animation, and rollover effects, as well as the background murmur of the newspaper offices.