Rideaux Rouges means “the Red Curtains”, the curtains of a theater stage, the space of the author. The author is Ivan Velkov – poet, analyzer, photographer and dreamer. The pseudonym he writes under is Theseus, the mythical hero of Athens, with a role in history as a force for cultural change, similar to Hercules in Olympus. The website we built serves as a unique scene of his work, which ranges from stories and poetry to a detailed deconstruction of political and social life in Bulgarian society as well as abstract photographs that serve as inspiration for his poetry and analysis.
Our first task was to create a unique symbol that could be used not only in the digital space but also in physical form as a stamp for book signings, in addition to the author’s signature. We presented multiple options that resemble curtains, quotation marks, scribes, and the RR monogram. The selected symbol incorporates a scribe and red curtains, symbols for theater and the “unveiling” of the author’s work embedded in all visual communication.
In addition to the symbol, we developed several wordmarks that needed to be inspired by vintage and art deco styles.
Combining these three very different topics was our main challenge. We came to the decision to present each page as a different stage with different decor and unique visual identity. This allows the user to feel the atmosphere as much as possible when reading a romantic work, to feel the cold specifics in the marble setting of political analysis, to feel cozy while browsing through photographs or to immerse themselves in the endless continuation of the story of Theseus’ hero.
With this solution, we were able to create the feeling that the pages belong to one site, although they have a very different visual identity and design.
When first entering the site, the visitor is presented with a choice – the red curtains are closed, the show is yet to come. Уou can choose between the various main categories – Rideaux Rouge, which leads to poetry and short stories, Res Publica, which gathers political analysis, Du Dome – the gallery, the inspiration of the author, and last but not least, the Theseus option, through which the author unfolds the story of his character.
On the empty stage, the author is alone with his poetry, it is his monologue to the world and the reader must find the various works through which to become acquainted with his thoughts, the mouse cursor is his projector that illuminates them. In addition to each work, there is a distinctive visual element that can be found within the text itself.
This page contains political opinions and analysis and is depicted as a scene from the Senate in ancient Rome, the most popular ancient republic. The characteristic visual elements here are white marble, stable Roman columns, busts of emblematic political figures and the eagle SPQR – “The Senate and People of Rome”.
On this page, the writer presents another of his own looks, his visual inspiration. The photographs are presented in the decor of a French cafe, accompanied by a calm cozy atmosphere under the sounds of jazz.
The Story continues
In this page, the author writes his free thoughts that do not relate to any specific work, it is a journal of his character. A novel with a vague volume and ending that readers can follow.
This project became a combination of multiple styles, inspirations, and references and as great as those are, they made the overall look and feel of the website seem a bit busy and overdesigned. It’s definitely not your usual website experience and the biggest challenge of all was to make its structure adaptable not only for big screens but also for mobile devices without losing its character.
This is why we start mobile-first and expand from there. We took the stage idea and defined a couple of simple elements that would correspond to it and also create the structure that we’ll use for all inner pages. When we customize those elements with the specifics of the current page theme, we get а totally different feel.