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Redesign Mark XLII 🤖


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 to complete the job on 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 2002 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.

Around 2012 a simple question arised: What would be the website of the ones like Paul Rand? Josef-Müller Brockmann? Yusaku Kamekura? Wim Crouwel? Dieter Rams?.

As usually happens with Modernism, the pure, distilled, no-nosense approach inevitably leads to concentrate and play with only the microscopic details that you are 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 Modernist design will absolutely ruin it? If so, your design 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 it has to communicate. And again, the absolute purity that Modernism bring to the table assures that the design you are left with delivers.

In fact what you see on the index it's one of the temptative first designs that I came up with when I tried to answer the Modernist question 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 because it pretty much discarded everything and keep what it was essential and nothing else. It was spectacular to watch it work.

It’s also a worthwhile reminder that great design is a product of constraints.
Rune Madsen

About a year after inception I realized it was good enough to become the index of my page, there was nothing else, the links were broken, 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.