Design Focus

Friday Focus 06/17/11: Owly

This week’s Friday Focus features not just any kind of bird, but owls. They’ve been used everywhere from personal portfolios to mainstream portals and we’re going to check them out.

Designs of the Week

Joe Nyaggah

I remember this site having a different owl a year or so ago, but this guy’s whole brand revolves around them. I like the detail of the RSS ribbon at the top right—it actually looks like felt to me. I also like how the fine borders cross and run from top to bottom.

The Stuffed Owl

Lovely illustrations, and it’s nice that they’re on a textured paper background. Not too fond of the Times New Roman font choice but it seems a bit popular on author sites. Just one little quibble: it appears that body text and link colors are used interchangeably throughout the site, and that makes for a very confusing experience!

Owl & Fox

I like the uneven gradient of the navigation, looks randomly generated. Nice copy and tooltips as well. I wish there were more orange in the rest of the site though.


In sites like these, there will hardly be integration with a a graphic and the layout and design concept, so colors are the bare minimum way of coordinating. Clean solid lines all around.


Probably the poster child of this week’s bunch and one we’ve actually featured before, but’s been redesigned since. Not drastically though. There’s a new owl illustration, but the color palette, soft shadows, scallops, and clouds remain.

Social Media Weekly

CSSA Whole Bunch of Amazing Stuff Pseudo Elements Can Do
“For every element on the page, you get two more free ones that you can do just about anything another HTML element could do. They unlock a whole lot of interesting design possibilities without negatively affecting the semantics of your markup.”

AccessibilityAccessibility and HTML5 Block Links
“HTML5 has many new elements and features. One of these is block links—we have the ability to wrap a link around block level elements. Here we take a look at the impact that this can have on accessibility.”

Javascript, OptimizationOne script, seven ways
“Refactoring is also an effective way to share knowledge, particularly if you pair with someone more experienced while you do it. The goals are already defined and understood – you can see how it works, so you’ll know when the new version does the right thing.”

  1. By dave blackburn posted on June 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm
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    Love the AOL page!

  2. By fipe posted on June 19, 2011 at 7:26 pm
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    Interesting selection. I do like the first one a lot but i’m not so sure about the 4th (AOL) one.

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