Roughly seven years ago I digitally met my friend Ale on Behance. The shocking part is that Behance is still around seven years later. Anyway, we ended up working together and became friends in the process. One of the things we made together was a new version of his personal site and in that version we included a blog that later became the AesseVisualJournal which we then rebranded, back in 2015, simply as the Visual Journal. The blog has grown significantly since its inception back in 2013 and it was time to design a new version.
Visual Journal meets The Gallery
When I was chatting with Ale about the possibility of making a new version of the VJ he came up with an idea: to "connect" The Gallery and the Visual Journal in some way. And that made a lot of sense. Even though the two sites have different target audiences since my The Gallery is focused on web design and his VJ is all about branding and graphic design, they do have a significant overlap. Plus both sites have pretty much the same structure. The decision was taken.
In an unexpected coincidence, we found ourselves working on the V7 for both Visual Journal and The Gallery, in the seventh year of our friendship. The Gallery is a bit younger than the VJ, I started the site in 2015, but I burned through versions a lot quicker. That’s my fault, I’m never happy with what I do and hopefully this new version will help fix that problem.
Back to TG and VJ, the plan was to build “sister sites”. They would look very, very similar but not identical. Visual Journal has traditionally been a light site while The Gallery has used a dark background since V1. The other main difference is the layout. On the VJ we have always used a single column to display the posts while on The Gallery I opted for a grid. For this V7 we ended up using a hybrid solution that’s quite clever if you ask me. Both sites go from one column on mobile, to two columns on bigger screens. The main difference is that on The Gallery I then quickly jump to 4 columns. That’s because I want the site to be very quick to browse and I want people to leave it as fast as possible. On the VJ on the other hand, we stick to two columns as long as possible and we jump to 4 columns only on big screens. I’m very happy with that compromise.
The VJ has also become much simpler since both About and Archive pages are now gone. We also used a new font for both sites. We went with the lovely Metro Sans by Samuel Oakes and I couldn’t be happier with the choice.
There’s not much more to say really. Go check the sites and let us know if you spot bugs or anything weird. You can reach out to Ale via Twitter at @aessestudio. I’m not on Twitter because I couldn’t care less (although, you can follow The Gallery at @thegallery_io if you feel like) but you can get in touch with me via email at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org if you want. You can visit The Gallery at thegallery.io and the Visual Journal at visualjournal.it.