The Awl

A redesign of the seminal blog, started by Alex Balk and Choire Sicha.

As The Awl neared its fifth birthday, I worked with editors to refresh the visuals and design of its website, which had never seen a full-scale redesign. Built in an era before the ubiquity of mobile devices, it had only a basic consideration for viewports and relied heavily on a fixed layout and blog-focused type treatment.
In addition to creating a responsive layout for the website, I worked on improving and documenting their visual style, finding the best use for their electric green accent color, updating logos and reconsidering the type on their site. We improved readability and provided a more helpful experience for advertising, and even went beyond the standard advertising column for long-form storytelling.
A homepage screenshot shortly after launch in November 2014.
Some of those early experiments with layout and typography can be seen on the standalone long-form feature "It's Adventure Time," a feature about the hit animated television show. The larger type, generous space and quote styles are meant to showcase an improved reading experience without seeming too precious.
A portion of the feature "It's Adventure Time," which displayed some early thinking behind the type treatments that would be used for longform work on The Awl.
Nic helped us become more us, which is the best task someone can come in from outside and perform.
Choire Sicha, co-founder of The Awl, in an interview with Politico.
Unfortunately, the design met its demise as The Awl moved to Medium, but that’s how things go sometimes. I am proud some of the most important work we accomplished—solidifying the “brand” that is The Awl—lives on.
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