If we consider the web being one giant information distribution system, then it is surprising there are not more sites like Norm. In today's commercial web environment, much of the reason behind web sites seem purely commercial, or personally pseudo-commercial. In this state of things how do a site such as Norm justify its existence, and what is Norm? Well, apart from being a Swiss design company/typefoundry with a web site containing the normal company contact information, and a type library of very good standard, the Norm site contains the on-line representation of an exploration of the relationships between "Things and Spaces", previously published in book form.
August 11, 2000|Layer 2/3
Categorizing this Shockwave piece is hard because it does not fit the normal on-line criteria. The piece is more about expressing ideas disregarding user interpretation. It is personal and abstract, and if that can be used as a definition of difference between commercial design and art; then this is more of a conceptual work of art than one of design.
When corresponding with Manuel from Norm, he tried to explain what they tried to achieve with the project. He said,"the book and the site should like go together, certain things we could not talk about in the book, or maybe we talked about it but it people didn't follow, so on the site, because of time and movement, things got more obvious. On the other hand, as in the book there was a lot of text, which we didn't use on the site (because we have spoken text on the site) certain things may be more open on the site. (or less clear) let's say: the book and the site are both aspects of one thing, and because it's two different medias, the two products aren't the same."
August 11, 2000|Layer 3/3
What strikes you when moving through the project is not how worthwhile the experience is, because believe me it is, but how few sites there are that concentrate on visualizing concepts in a more abstract manner. There are a few "equivalents" such as Superbad for instance, but even that site is of another breed, emphasizing the delivery processes rather than the message. Where Superbad works more within the restraints and possibilities of the web as medium, Norm's disregard for the capabilities of the medium has allowed them to create an environment which feels suitably defined and complete.