Browsing the AIGA web site used to be a bit like whale watching. You could spend hours gazing at a choppy surface and if you were very lucky you might catch a glimpse of a beatiful fluke as it broke the surface and then disappeared just as quickly.
I am excited to see that Happy Cog has re-designed the AIGA site.
Months of intense collaboration later, Happy Cog’s redesign of AIGA has launched. We junked the old structure, flattened the hierarchy, and surfaced the content. We gave the site’s years of brilliant writing by the likes of Ellen Lupton and Steven Heller an appropriately readable home—one that demonstrates what web typography can achieve.
And to make the site as inspirational as it is educational, we introduced a second narrative to the user experience: dynamically chosen selections from AIGA’s design archives visually intrude at the top of every page, inviting designers to dive into the archives whenever they seek refreshment.
Here is an extract from some old content I am busy discovering:
Noah's Archives - February 2004 by Ralph Caplan
Whoever it comes from, what appears online tends to stay around. So does print, but not as efficiently. Electronic storage saves space and electronic retrieval saves time. When rummaging through my mind won’t yield the information I need, I used to look in books. But even if I have the right book, it is easier to ask Google than to find it on the shelf. Easier, but faintly troubling. With print, the words are intact, even if I can’t find them. But where are these words when I’m not looking at them? They are in the computer’s memory, which is in every respect superior to my own, and getting suspiciously bigger and better all the time.
In a radio broadcast Andrei Codrescu speculated on where all the additional memory is coming from. I’m not sure he named the suspects, but I will. From the fact that computer memory is increasing in direct proportion to the rate at which human memory is decreasing, Codrescu deduced a conspiracy between IBM and Greyhound to rob unwitting passengers of 16 megabytes of RAM with each revolution of a bus’s wheels.
I have avoided buses ever since I heard that, but my own memory is still being ripped off daily. Maybe there is a similar cabal made up of Intel and Honda dealers.
The web accelerates the production of ephemera, then uses its prodigious memory to archive it; so the name of this column is not a wholly gratuitous pun. While I was writing it, my grandson was born. His name is Noah. However skillful he may become in carpentry and navigation, I doubt that Anyone will ever command him to build an ark. Still, in the world he will grow up in, online and off, could an archive be as effective?