Way back in 1995 or 1996, I can’t remember which, I created ToddWorld. It was my ‘space’ on the web. But honestly, way back then I had no idea what ‘use’ this little website would be. Heck, back then, we were still trying to figure out what use ANY website would be.
But anyhow, I figured if this was to be my ‘space’ on the web then I’d better make it...well…me. So I sat down one night with a sketchbook and pencil and started sketching. I drew up a little collection of odd buildings and items that would serve as my navigation to the site. There was a rocket ship labeled “the launch pad” which was where I would link out to all the websites I’d created. There was a movie theater, where you’d find a collection of home videos that I had created. And there was the laboratory. The laboratory was my ‘catch all’ object where I could post information on any project I was working on at the time. It represented a place where I could experiment. It featured an enormous telescope which gave it a very ‘observatory’ feel. But the telescope was there to symbolize looking forward, possibly to the stars, or even wishing upon a star. All those things seemed very much ‘me’ at the time.
The illustrations were scanned and colored in Photoshop and I laid them out in a very horizontal scrolling manner, with a single line of type between each building. The idea was to convey a since of a childlike storybook. The long horizontal scroll also left a little open to exploration, since a visitor didn’t know what was coming next. Of all the buildings, it was this laboratory that I latched on to. I felt it best summarized my curiosity, experimentation, childlike aspiration, with a bit of randomness thrown in for good measure. So I created the ToddWorld logo centered around this iconic shape.
Recently, well maybe not so recently…but she brought it up again recently, Danielle commented that the current ToddWorld site design wasn’t really ‘me’. It was too…corporate….stiff….structured. Looking at it now, I have to agree, completely. See I designed that site at a time that I was looking for work. And as a result, I created a site that was very much a resume/portfolio site. It’s very clean, and well-organized and structured, all good things for find a job. But it lacks imagination, unexpectedness, randomness, and well, a little craziness that would be ‘me’. I feel that from a creative standpoint, I ‘sold out’ ToddWorld. I put a big fat tie on it, with Dockers. I stopped playing rock and roll and moved to Vegas…with tassels and large oversized glasses.
As a result, I’ve decided to update the ToddWorld site, not that it isn’t 2 years overdue, but this time I’m going back to the laboratory, going back to the loose, playful, creative site that should be ToddWorld.