August 14, 2017

Net Magazine, the British publication for all things web, asked Amy to design a site for a fictional cabaret act for their monthly Design Challenge feature.

She thought it would be an interesting challenge to convey the fun, energetic, “rowdy music hall” vibe of a cabaret in our typical modern, minimalist style — like a Swiss poster from the 60s.

Starting with a mashup of historical references to cabaret’s roots in turn-of-the-century Paris, she looked at posters designed by Toulouse-Lautrec and Jules Chéret to figure out what content she’d need. Borrowing from their color schemes, she used a rotating palette of red, blue, and yellow for the background but kept all of the foreground content black and white for maximum legibility.

The typography is inspired by the blocky condensed lettering found on marquee signs and helps to pull a bunch of historic references into the 21st century.

Some of the original Parisian cabarets, like Le Chat Noir, published weekly or monthly magazines that included poetry, short stories, political satire, and the goings-on of the cabaret and the neighborhood. An email newsletter would be the obvious, modern-day version.

Since we design right in the browser, she made an actual website using CSS for all the animation and our favorite CSS framework, Tachyons, to create the exact poster-style layout she wanted. She even designed a simple little windmill logo then animated it to make it rotate.

Pick up this month’s copy of Net Magazine to see the full feature!