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Thursday
Jan042007

Word Count Journal Launch & Design Notes

On January 1st, 2007, Word Count Journal, a new project our MakaluMedia crew has been working on, launched for public consumption.

The Word Count Journal idea is simple — sign up and then write a little bit each day for 365 days. If you write the minimum every day for a whole year, you'll have written at least 66,795 words. Word Count Journal is especially well-suited to anyone who wants some encouragement to keep their words flowing every day.

wcj-screen.gif

I wasn't sure if the idea would interest me as a blogger, but it's actually pretty fun. You aren't penalized for missing a few days, since you can always log in and quickly catch up on your posts.

I've even found it fun to write more than the day requires — you only need to meet the minimum, but it's sometimes easier to keep on rolling.

My Word Count Journals Page

And now, a few words on the design of the Word Count Journal site.

Word Count Journal Identity Design
Our team had a great time working through the design of the site. wcj-logo.gifI had the pleasure of designing the Word Count Journal logo, as well as assisting my colleague Alex Bendiken in establishing a site design based on the new identity.

I had long wanted to use the font American Typewriter for a logo, and this project seemed the perfect opportunity to use this font.

While Word Count Journal is an online journaling application, I wanted to bring in the ideas of analog journaling — the pencil icon and typewriter fonts — as these recognizable elements help convey the idea quickly.

You'll note that the letters have been pretty tightly kerned, especially 'Journal' which I snugged so tightly that the 'u' and 'r' have merged into a ligature, and the 'n' and 'l' have been customized to allow for a close fit.

The pencil icon was kept intentionally simple, and also snugged into the space above the curl of the 'J' in Journal, keeping in the style of the overall "cozy" theme of the type treatment. Placement of the 'Word Count' text was a tough call — I wanted it centered in the space above 'Journal' initially, but decided to align the 't' of 'Count' on the right edge of the 'a' in Journal.

You wouldn't think so much goes into kerning of a few words, but I feel this little extra effort pays off in a more flowing identity.

Word Count Journal Site Design
Based on the logo, I assisted Alex in developing the initial direction of the site design, which he and the team completely fleshed out and built. I really like the cooler aqua blue and grays, combined with warm orange and bright yellow, and the use of American Typewriter throughout the site. Alex and the team did a great job keeping the structure simple, yet super-functional and beautiful.

If you'd like a space where you write a little each day, check out Word Count Journal!

Reader Comments (2)

Great writeup as usual, Mike. It's always a pleasure to hear about others' design processes - esp. when there is so much attention to detail.

On behalf of my fellow lurkers, I say keep up the insightful posts!

Jason
January 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJason Long
Thanks Jason � I always love sharing the process. :-)
January 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde

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