Design by numbers
Breaking out of the mold
Database driven websites are very efficient for bulk publishing, but they often stand in between the designer and the actual content. VPRO needs to be efficient in their online publishing choices. So little time for development, so many great titles.
It’s a shame that we can’t all give them the designs they deserve. But there are other ways to give templated pages an individual look.
Take Lola Da Musica, VPRO’s TV-series about alternative music. Like all other television- and radioprograms it has to do with the default template-based site layout we developed. This one, however, had a little extra in the design department. Featuring content-defined background images, random colorcodes and layoutmargins every episode in the Lola Da Musica website rendered in its own individual design.
However, randomness doesn’t go well with caching, and a page that’s different every time you visit it isn’t as individual as you might want it to be. So in Lola da Musica as well as in VPRO’s LAB, the content is used to parameterize the design. Every episode’s database objectnumber is used to recalculate hexadecimal colorcodes, colormanipulation of the backgrounds and layout margins, creating unique yet consistent values for each page.