In truth, though, This Is For Everyone is a blog. I like blogs. Blogs are still cool to me. But they carry a yesteryear-ish stigma, like webmaster or cyberspace, or cool. I find this sad, but I feel itchy using the word.
I’ve designed the site not to look like a blog: no sidebars or header menus or pushes to do anything but read. It is very much devoid of bloggy things, and will probably reach fewer people and grow slower as a result, but I am okay with that. I started with all the bloggy gumpf, because we’re conditioned to think that websites need sidebars and hamburger menus and shouty calls to action. It is so easy to feel guilty if our sites are only a headline and some text.
I walked the line between minimalism and feeling the pressure to make it somehow look more impressive than it does. Then I realised the goal of most sites with words on them is to get people to read those words. So I removed everything that got in the way of that, putting menus and post meta at the bottom, then focussing on legibility, accessibility, and speed. Your options are to read the words or close the tab — nothing more. It might seem brave or boring as a result, but to me it is what sites that want to be read should be.
Matthew Butterick’s Practical Typography
was a great source of information and inspiration, and This Is For Everyone
uses his fonts. I have grown to love the typographic element of web design above all else, and I think a lot about Erik Spiekermann’s idea that “type is visible language”. I still have a lot to learn, but it’s sad to me that most sites today look better with “readability mode” switched on, so I tried to build something that doesn’t — that has gentle shades of personality through type alone without being flashy.