The new web design (2012)

Darwin Online has been a modestly funded academic project since 2002. The funding was spent on content rather than appearances. A few readers have asked for more attractive and up-to-date design. Not until a second private donation from an anonymous donor was received in 2009 did it seem appropriate to hire professional web designers. John van Wyhe first worked with Graphics Pixie (UK). Later these initial designs were further refined by the team at Web Puppies (Singapore) with much expert advice from Antranig Basman. The process went through dozens of revisions. We tried to keep the new design close to the original one, as well as the pathways to various content- so users will not have to learn how to find things in annoyingly different locations.

Details of the new design

The font of the title DARWIN ONLINE is the same as the title page of the first edition of the Origin of species.

The green menu bar is from the Murray binding of the first edition of Origin of species and the gold lettering is that of the spine of the original volume.

The images were selected to represent the breadth of Darwin's interests in evolution, zoology, botany, geology, embryology, the descent of man and so forth. The underlying manuscript is the first page of Darwin's 1842 species theory sketch (DAR6.1) reproduced with the permission of Cambridge University Library.

Under Darwin's 1874 portrait on the right (which is here reversed), a random image appears each time the page is loaded or refreshed, to help readers serendipitously find their way through the site's diverse contents. Clicking on the image will take the reader directly to the full item.

Below are some screenshots showing the evolution of the design. We hope you like it.



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