Dano Williams is a designer in North Adams, Massachusetts and Portland, Oregon.
The future doesn’t always have to destroy or disrupt the past. It can build on it, strengthen it, and discover its forgotten strengths and successes as well. Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab is a brilliant example of the critical role for libraries, academia, and other noncommercial institutions of public knowledge in the digital future. I was fortunate to join their smart, passionate team as a Designer-in-residence for 2015. Together we built a new website and identity system to communicate the Lab’s impressive smarts, vitality, and breadth of accomplishment. Typefaces: Founders Grotesk Text, Post Grotesk
Link rot kills academic citations and Perma.cc stops link rot. Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab developed Perma.cc to provide scholars and legal professionals a way to create permanent, reliable, unbreakable links to the digital sources cited in their work. This redesign helped the Lab take a hard look at the Perma.cc’s usability, making the core functionality more consistent and predictable. We looked at the typefaces, colors, and button shapes, but — just as importantly — at the language system that forms the core of the overall product definition. We built a trustworthy, bulletproof responsive design to take Perma.cc from a promising beta to a polished 1.0 web app. Sneak peek. Typeface: Roboto
Free the Law is the Harvard Law School’s incredibly ambitious program to digitize the entirety of its collection of American case law and make it freely available on the internet. It will digitize over 42,000 volumes and roughly 40 million pages by 2017. The Free the Law dashboard, developed at Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab, would allow project stakeholders to visualize realtime progress across a number of different metrics — by total volume, geography, milestone, and keyword. The dashboard synthesizes the dynamic, historic progress of Free the Law to the duration of a glance. Typeface: Rajdhani
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is one of the oldest and most respected insitutions devoted to the study of the Internet and an open web. Creative Commons, Chilling Effects, Wikipedia, and the podcast can all trace their development through the Center. This new prospectus communicates the Berkman Center’s history and values through the motif of a radiant center — both as pure image and as practical infographic — a fair and rigorous, exciting and limitless academic environment. It lays the conceptual groundwork for the Center’s modern identity and its larger communication strategy. Typefaces: GT Walsheim, Post Grotesk.
2014’s redesign (now over a year old) was fundamental change for n+1: now the canonical version of the magazine is online. The digital-first redesign allowed n+1 to continue its free web-only articles while adding a new online paid subscription level. The new interactive experience was informed by a detailed content strategy that analyzed the components of the publication and a design strategy that put the reading experience first. Typefaces: Adelle, Adelle Sans, Freight Sans.
n+1 is a journal of politics, literature, and contemporary thought based in Brooklyn, NY. Their publishing system, developed in 2005, is an earnest, idiosyncratic mix of traditional typographic design and colorful abstract illustration. From the beginning, n+1’s primary focus has been its texts. Its visual materials are desgned to support the writing without overwhelming it — to be distinctive without distraction and to add tone with minimal aesthetic posturing.Typefaces: Versa Sans and Warnock Pro, unless otherwise noted.
Emily Books publishes ebook editions of all kinds of funny, terrifying, honest, sexy, raw, refined, queer, angry, sweet, and serious voices. The series design for their iOS app allows each title to express its own personality within a rigorous series style. The design had to work well not only at three different aspect ratios, but also had to be legible at the microscopic size of the iOS Newsstand. I redrew the logo to increase its legibility across different sizes and resolutions.Typeface: Calibre.