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106 The Principles of

106 The Principles of Beautiful Web Design Figure 3.26. Grainy texture on Italio's site This site has several elements that help to establish its unique texture. The wood texture is rich and grainy. Just the right color of wood was chosen to give it that “old walnut” look. Combine that with the cream-colored, nearly parchment-like content area, and it only adds to the effect. The jagged edge between the wood and the cream area is another texture element that breaks things up. The food itself is a texture. Just as the texture of food is important when we taste it, the visual texture only makes us want to try it even more. Thanks to the vivid food photography you can just tell that the coating on that calamari will be crispy and delicious. The weathered and worn look has been around for ages in both the print and web design worlds. It was popularized to the point where it became a design trend in 2004, when Cameron Moll gave this aesthetic quality the trendy and addictive name, That Wicked Worn Look. 9 Cameron’s series of articles about the topic was an instant hit, and inspired many designers (myself included) to bring more of that rough and worn-in texture to the Internet. Another example of a design that uses the weathered aesthetic to create a sense of nostalgia is the Team Fannypack 10 website in Figure 3.27. This goofy but thoughtfully designed site for a Multiple Sclerosis Walk team has been made to look like a crumpled old newspaper. Notice the weathered texture and folded corner on the paper content area. The sepia-toned color scheme also helps lend this team’s story some historical significance. 9 10

Texture 107 Figure 3.27. Team Fannypack in full sepia Using strong textures with a grungy feel doesn’t mean your site has to hark back to a bygone era. The Electric Pulp 11 site in Figure 3.28 is an excellent example of a site featuring weathered textures without looking like it’s come from a library archive. 11

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