Alex Goblau Illustration – Review

13 Jan

Animated gif from Alex Goblau's portfolio homepage.

gozblau.com

★★★★★★★☆☆☆

This style of portfolio site has been done to death, and for good reason. A light, clean design is ideal for a site where the focus is on wide variety of different pictures. The pictures retain visual oomph, and there’s no worry of clashing; how can two elements clash when one is virtually invisible?

On the other hand, this style has been done much better. The cleanliness of this site is its strength; the actual design isn’t great. Aside from the animated .gif shown above, the site ranges from forgettable to just plain objectionable. For example:

Navigation page from Alex Goblau's portfolio section.

Of course, there’s personal taste to consider, but these pieces use outdated typography and lazy image/type integration. Fortunately, this is as bad as it gets. Other than this, the site is hyper-simple.

Almost too simple, in fact. There’s a fine line between minimalism and lacking substance, and this site falls somewhere in between. It could just be because the artist doesn’t have a huge catalog of his own work to choose from, but the fact that I’m wondering this is a bad sign. He could have used more alternate shots of his work – detail shots, photos of printed pieces. I guess it depends on what the person going through this site is looking for. If I were a huge fan, I think I’d be a bit disappointed that there are only small pieces. Since I’m doing a research project on this artist, it’s nice that I’m able to make it through his entire portfolio in a short amount of time. There are pros and cons, which is why I didn’t give him a very low score.

But there are two big downfalls to this site that make it clear he hasn’t hired an experienced web designer/developper to put together this site:

  1. None of the text is capable of being highlighted. He made all of the text into images and spliced it together, presumably. I can’t see many reasons I’d need to copy any of the text off the site, and I didn’t have any trouble finding it when I Googled “Alex Goblau”, but it’s very unprofessional. There are plenty of reasons someone would want to be able to control the text, instead of having to deal with the images.
  2. There is link on his “About” page that says “Leave a comment”; it leads to a post on his Livejournal account. There are many better ways to allow users to leave comments, and linking to Livejournal sort of screams, “I’m behind the times!”

But in the end, it’s simple to navigate and moderately easy on the eyes, which I why I give it seven out of ten stars.

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