Right away, we liked this website because it breaks all of the rules. Where most designers advise you to use negative space wisely, this pro skier website homepage has almost none. The print, photos, and just about all of the elements are oversized and in-your-face. While this may not seem like good design—not right away, at least—it makes perfect sense when you think about a pro skier’s brand.
This skiers does not specialize in just any terrain, but in free skiing, which occurs outside of normal, groomed resort areas. This is a slightly counter-culture movement and the pro skier website reflects this. A black and white background is broken up by scrolling images of the skier in motion as well as oversized lettering both in the navigation bar and in the page.
Website Reviewed: coreupt.com
The homepage is somewhat erratic and disjointed, but this effect has been achieved on purpose. Although this landing page is a little cluttered, it includes easy-to-locate links to other important areas of the pro skier website. There are also thumbnails and photographs on the front page. The effect is somewhat like a magazine (albeit a very crowded one) that is all about this skier, from his sponsors to his awards like award winning logo design.
Speaking of sponsors, one of this website’s main benefits is the way it balances business interests with overall style sponsors are present on the homepage and have their own page as well. On the landing page, advertisements provide the only color. However, because these elements are balanced by less commercial aspects such as photographs, the effect is not overwhelming or ‘spammy’. Here are a few other thoughts about Richard Permin’s pro skier website.
Creativity: 5 stars. Can black and white be creative? We absolutely think so. In fact, if this site were full color, it would likely be overwhelming considering how large the pictures and wording are. The scale, which has been increased to reduce negative space, is another creative touch.
Ease of use: 4 stars. The pro skier website, although crowded, is very easy to use due to navigation links at the top of every page and good general organization. We took off a point because it is so difficult for find information at the bottom of the homepage, although this is certainly not a huge flaw.
Functionality: 5 stars. With an email address and social networking links at the bottom of the homepage, there are a variety of ways to stay in touch with the brand. In addition, the ads and sponsors are placed in a way that is tasteful but gives them maximum real estate.
Content: 3 stars. The content is well-written in French, but the American copy sucks. It reeks of mechanical translation software and desperately needs to be cleaned up. Surely a globally-known skier has an English or American friend who can translate for him?
Appropriateness: 5 stars. This website is highly appropriate for its genre, giving a stylish and counter-culture yet somewhat professional brand that will help this skier succeed.
Overall: 4.4 out of 5 stars. A well-done website that breaks rules, but makes it work.