Art Direction Trend Coming To 1WD: Foundations And History


Art Direction is here. The art of creating kick-ass blog posts with great content and super awesome unique designs.

ART Direction


A Brief History of Art Directed Blog Posts: A True Story

One day a master designer, whose name even time forgot what, was browsing through many blogs and news websites. He was doing only that for hours while suspecting that something is amiss. There were blogs with black backgrounds matched with orange font, colourful animated GIFs, marquees, and many things that shouldn’t be there. He thought of magazines, of how effective medium they are on delivering information…but how can he possibly give a blog post a magazine feel? Bam! More advanced CSS came to existence.


Let me state the obvious:

  • existing articles can be reborn into an art directed post and it will look waaaaaay cooler.
  • It is a process of creation; you are free to express things you can’t with traditional blog posts.
  • An art directed post, when done right, will bring tremen dous traffic to your website.
  • People will remember your website as something worth seeing again.
  • Art direction is simply genius!


If you did great on your first post then chances are people will expect more. I know that this shouldn’t even be under negative effects but in the long run it might. People tend to easily notice the difference in quality, like a movie sequel, often you will read reviews going like “the first one was better, didn’t like this sequel.”

But before even publishing the material another drawback is the time it takes to produce one. Writing is just the third of it before the designing phase, which is very crucial to the success of the whole material, afterwards the coding ensues. No wonder people don’t see many art directed posts, many haven’t heard of it too.

Another negative quality is that you will be alienating your readers because of the modified layout on your website. First time or second time visitors might think they’re at the wrong website.

Imagine there are two dishes laid before you, one very plain and the other is well decorated. Chances are people will not choose the plain dish because something better is presented. People are biased towards things that look good; it gives a sense of wonder and excitement. Designers today find something very lacking in every blog posts, the initial thought that enters the mind is “it can be better if…”.
Let’s admit it, pure text and some images here and there is STILL boring. The website’s design has little, or none, to do with the attractiveness of every blog posts. Blocks of texts can give readers the feeling of boring. There’s a world inside of every designer that wants to get out there and create things with freedom. Problem solved.

The Script and The Actor

A good script defines a good story but the portrayal of the actor is important to convey the message. As previously mentioned, the design in an art directed post helps give meaning to the whole thing, making it more enjoyable and more understandable. In this case the actor is the design and the script is the text. They should work together well or the whole thing will be in ruins.

Tofu vs. Ramen

The fight between an art-directed post and a traditional blog post is like the fight between Tofu and Ramen. We all know that both are delicious and very nutritious, but when appearance is among your criteria then ramen wins. Tofu is plain white while ramen is all-so-colorful. Naturally for most people they will choose ramen.

Both are nutritious, you can live for a week or months eating only them.

Many designers irk traditional blog posts because of its monotonous way of delivering information. Most went to the lengths of typography and beautiful headers and footers to attract their audience and it surely helps to attract people. But you know what’s cooler? A page full-blown with “relevant” design!

What About the Formatting Rules?

Consistency, no all caps, font size, column width, and font type. Should you really abide by those rules? While it is good to follow the rules for optimum performance, it just doesn’t work with art direction. YOU CAN TYPE IN ALL CAPS IF YOU WANT if that will contribute to the “feeling” of the design.

Summary: do what feels good.

What It Should Be

Art direction should feel good. If it doesn’t feel right a revision is necessary until you get that feeling. The idea is to make people comfortable enough to go on scrolling down, to make them feel that their time is not wasted, that there is a sight to see and a trove of knowledge to consume.

With so many information today popping in and out of everyone’s screen the attention span of people has tremendously shortened. A good design makes people think “wait, this is worth spending my time on.”

An art directed post should “guide” the readers on what to read next without telling them. Since information on the page is scattered, not the usual top to bottom, there should be a visible path that everyone can follow.

Finally, an art directed post SHOULD be.

What It Shouldn’t be, It shouldn’t be crappy

Article written by Rean John Uehara, designed by Michael Burns and coded by Ahmad Hania


  1. I have been enjoying so many of your more recent articles, I decided to begin reading backwards.
    This article even inspires me to return to older blogs on my site and revise them “artfully”, making their message stronger and more up to date.

    Your articles are often very well done and thought provoking allowing originality to come to play. Thanks

  2. Well written article with a beautiful layout! Makes me think of the magazine apps for iPad like Flipboard and The Daily. I’ll be doing this myself! I can’t wait for the rest of the web to catch on.

  3. G369

    “Be Crappy” has a crappy anti-aliasing! LoL
    However it’s an awesome article!! Thanks..