November 27, 2023
This is my first personal website where I am not describing myself as a front-end developer. It feels weird because being a developer is what I most identify with.
Over the last few years, I've gradually shifted from being hands-on with code to focusing more on helping early-stage tech startups in building and promoting their products (let me know if you’re interested in reading more about this transition).
So, this new website is a reflection of that shift.
Here's what I knew I wanted from the start:
With that in mind, I began searching for inspiration.
I spent ages looking for things that inspired me. Ultimately, I was inspired by two categories:
I've always been a fan of jazz record designs, so I decided to use that as my primary source of inspiration.
In terms of storytelling, I was greatly inspired by Los Feliz Engineering. LFE excelled at chunking the story, making it easier to read and allowing users to control what they want to delve into. I'm also a big fan of Benji and all his work.
Another site that grabbed my attention was Hakuna Matata. It has clean and unified typography, with a nice detail of showing the image behind the text using blend modes.
Here's a list of sources where I found inspiration:
For the Jazz album covers, I just searched on Google and Spotify.
The result is a mix of most of the elements above: the orange accent from Lee Morgan's "Cornbread," the font pairing inspired by Milt Jackson's cover, the blurry monochrome vibe from Thelonious Monk's "Monk", the click-to-reveal storytelling approach of LFE, and the blended background from Hakuna Matata.
Nothing groundbreaking, but here's the tech stack:
The design is so straightforward that I wanted to put extra effort into the typography. I'm using the following fonts:
Both licenses were purchased from Pangram Pangram for a total of $200. Initially, I wanted to use variable fonts and play around with different axes, but the licenses for those were a bit too steep for a personal website.
It took many iterations to arrive at this final version. I find that's always the case with simpler designs.
I experimented with each direction in different branches, then pushed to Vercel. So I have a history of all the iterations I went through.
Shoutout to my friends who have been patient enough to listen to me ramble about this website for the last few weeks and provided feedback along the way: Clara, Yuriy, Ennio, Vlad, Benoît, Ivan, Thomas, Bruno, Mariana, Danilo, Linus, and Mike.