web design showcaseArtists of Brücke (screenshot)
The NYC MoMA has always been known for their thorough web pieces, and the Artists of Brücke is no exception to that trend. MoMA's guide provides a very thick and compelling narrative which guides the user through the Brücke movement, its political ramifications, artistic ramifications, and the majority of the Brücke artists' visual work. While the design is simple and unmemorable, the superior information architecture shines through by grouping pieces according to compositional theme, providing separate trees of information for each artist in the commune, and capping it all with a very clever onMouseover-driven thumbnail menu of the artists' various prints. Highlights include: a pop-up political map of Germany with three overlays, voice-over audio files, and Franzi Reclining.
Designed by: Second Story USA
Review: Max F.

web design showcaseGravis Footwear (screenshot)
Remember the first time you saw a Whopper? We've all seen and eaten hamburgers before, of course, but the Whopper seemed to be the perfect specimen. Somehow, it reshapes the very notion of what a hamburger should be -- but it wasn't reinventing the wheel. That's how the Gravis Footwear site feels for the first 30 minutes that we played with it. You see, Gravis has accomplished no mean feat in successfully capturing the best practices of just about every apparel site ever constructed. Have they really redefined the world of online retail? No, that's an exaggeration. However, the clever combination of incredibly subtle scene changes and a menu which always does just what you expect it to do leaves us curs jealous and more than a little saddened as we effortlessly glide through Gravis' entire line of apparel as well as the surprisingly interesting bios chronicling the lives of their development and surf team. You'll keep navigating just to see if the menus are reading your thoughts. Highlights include: the calming color scheme, scrolling inventories, and last, but not least, the spot-on environmental shots.
Review: Max F.

web design showcaseStain Boy (screenshot)
Stainboy is, of course, the flash animation brought to us by the twisted genius of Tim Burton. Is it absolutely the funniest thing we've ever seen? No, of course not. But, it is one of the better cartoons available online, and it's by the brilliant Mr. Burton, to boot. Done in the style of all those who have bitten off him in the past seven or eight years (a.k.a. - the likes of Slave Labor Graphics), Stainboy at Atom Films follows the adventures of the aforementioned as he goes toe-to-toe with fiends such as Bowling Ball Head and Match Girl. In typically dark-humor fashion, Burton brings us six short vignettes which -- like most everything at Atom -- serve mostly to alleviate the boredom of the work day, but partially to inspire new artists who should be reminded just how easily something like this can be put together and distributed. Highlights include Danny Elfman's theme song and some wonderful water color effects.
Review: Max F.

web design showcaseBlack Hawk Down (screenshot)
Blackhawk Down may not be your cup of tea, but the website is well worth the visit if you're a designer who appreciates content. Effectively combining still shots from the movie with real-life data about the soldiers who lived the real-life drama, BHD manages to capture the military, chest-beating, shit-blowing-up look and feel of the movie without being Jerry Bruckheimer about it. A Desert Storm color scheme and schematic-esque text and layout treatments frame a navigation which, when it works, leads the viewer to a seemingly endless amount of information about the cast and crew of the film, the history of the various special ops branches, as well as a multimedia library to get a potential ticket excited to see the carnage. Highlights include the collapsible navigation tree and the compelling narrative (see The Boys).
Review: Max F.

web design showcaseDstrukt_sys (screenshot)
Another site with no real content, Dstrukt_sys is at the very least a nice diversion from what might otherwise be a monotonous day of tweaking a clip-art logo. Featuring very cool music by Stoav of Duolog, Dstrukt features collaborations with the likes of Renascent, Stoav, D-Realm, and Ximeralabs. Wish you were more skilled at painting with Raytracer or 3D Studio Max? They don't. Next time you break for Doritos and coke, flip through the show reels for a little inspiration.
Review: Max F.

web design showcaseWe Are Robots
"Hey, you look at my girlfriend one more time and I will rip your eyes out and shove them up your asshole, which I will also rip out. And then tear you a new one." And thus begins the Angrybot cartoon, one of four currently posted at We Are Robots (from the creators of Whitebread Blues). Done in the style of Sal Buscema meets Cartoon Network, We Are Robots is a mediocre concept, with a few very funny one-liners tossed in. While Angrybot is definitely the funniest of the cartoons, Tendertron, Robokopf, and Sad Robot round out the cast. Flash cartoons are rather hit-or-miss these days, but if you enjoy the antics of Homestar Runner, you'll probably get a few chuckles out of the emotibots.
Review: Max F.

web design showcaseenjoy the weather (screenshot)
At first glance, 'enjoy the weather' does look impressive, but a few minutes spent twiddling with buttons proves very quickly just how boring a few pretty tweens can be these days. So, let's get down to brass tacks: while environmental shots and whiz-bang brochureware are being used at an all-time high to act as a table of contents to profitability, Nike was pioneering this back in the earliest days of the internet and, frankly, more should be expected of them than this. Is it enough 'enjoy' was designed as a very "with it," very "now" website for Nike? No. No, that just isn't good enough. We've come to expect advertising innovations from Nike ... and "rain, mud, and snow" is just too paper-thin to suspend disbelief. No games, no interactivity to speak of (alright, there is a pretty cool "send an email to a friend" tool), no impressive feats of engineering -- just a simple point-and-click display of the same athletic gear they had last year. Same product, different positioning. Hell, what did you expect? The commercials aren't even very good. Highlights include: excellent photography, really nice transitions, and an adequate display of everything else.
Designed by: Blast Radius CA
Review: Max F.

web design showcaseStay Young Forever (screenshot)
Designed in house by Diesel's winkingly homoerotic creative staff, Save Yourself Forever boasts clever purpose and purposeful design: a triumph at worst. Five applications, sound clips from Save Yourself survivors, and lovely photography (featuring the infamous Real Dolls, or a reasonable facsimile thereof) show off not only Diesel's clothing line for Winter and Fall of 2001/2002, but raises the bar for J. Crew's next catalog series by packaging their sales pitch in a Kubrickian "live forever" brochure. Diesel's Save Yourself Team presents you, the youthful viewer, with the keys to everlasting beauty: drinking your own urine, breathing less, and abstaining from sex, are only the tip of the iceberg. Think THX 1138 meets Gattaca, and you're halfway there. Highlights include: a downloadable decision maker, an ASCII double-helix, a resignation tool, and making a light pink and peach color scheme work perfectly.
Designed by: Diesel in-house (As far as we know)
Review: Max F.

web design showcaseMoma Builds (screenshot)
Moma Builds gives us an overview & timeline for the new constructions underway for their two museums in NYC. The site appears like something a building contractor may carry around in his back pocket to assure the architectural plans are followed to specifications; it uses a sparse number of colors - mainly grays - laid over a tight grid and maintains a strong utilitarian feel so it appears to function much like a blueprint schematic or a CAD design.
Designed by: Nettmedia. NYC

web design showcaseMilla (screenshot)
Milla is the fantastically minimalist & beautifully rendered site for a German design firm that specializes in exhibitions, shows, Media architecture and production. Using an organic theme of growth and nature, we are transported into a virtual Shangri-La that simultaneously maintains a pure modern design aesthetic. This fine balance of these concepts makes for an exciting, original web experience that draws this user into exploring the immersive world of Milla.
Designed by: B&uum;ro Diffus. DE

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