Monday, June 1, 2009

More on 2D Vs. 3D Design

Here's a good home page to analyze as part of our ongoing discussion of flat versus spacial design themes. It's for
The Good Ship Chronicles -- have a quick look in another window, for reference, or rely on the fragments I posted below.

On one end of the continuum between flat and dimensional, we have the comic: black and white, and medium-flat, meaning not nearly as flat as Dilbert. Toward the middle are the adds, and a group of donation icons. The rest of the site consists of levels, transparencies and multi-dimensional objects.

Is this the right environment for the comic?

The site is highly layered and colored compared 
to the comic itself.

The problem I see is that the comic itself simulates 3D with limited resources: negative and positive spaces, and perspective. The site design has these tools and more: color, shadowing, layers, a deep stellar background and a horizon.

The effect, for me, is that the site outcompetes the comic. (Regular readers, involved with the plot thread, might disagree, understandably.)

I think the site should support the comic, but never overwhelm it. It's a good thing the ads are fairly low, because they draw attention from the comic too -- at least on my visit.

To me, this is a lesson: 3D site design can go too far for some comic styles and formats. Color can too, if the comic is black and white.

Many thanks to Good Ship Chronicles, a well-respected strip, for their understanding as I use their work to ponder the possibilities within webcomic design.