A note on design

A note on the visual aspects of this site for those interested in design choices.

For the illustrations, having not found anything ready-made with the spirit, kinetic energy, brightness, playfulness and coherence I wanted, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Brazilian designer João Montenegro who has developed the striding, capering, cavorting jester bounding through the posts and pages. It has given a warm-hearted identity to the site and a constant irreverent reminder of the fool’s spark and humour. 

Thank you and abraços to João! 

Apart from their liveliness, I realise that a question might arise regarding the use of a typically European costume when the underlying thesis of the whole venture is that jesters are ‘universal’, emerging from diverse cultures and eras. 

Nevertheless I have drawn on this European tradition because no other seems to have so widely and instantly recognisable an appearance as the European cap-and-bells (how ever much we can debate the extent this was ever a ‘real’ costume as opposed to a symbolic one).  For the purposes of the site’s visual identity, we chose to opt for what would be most recognisable to the likely audience.

As with sister sites, fonts and colours are chosen as much for names which resonate with the site’s aims as for their aesthetic impact. The principal fonts are therefore:

Quipley – a clean, original, sans-serif all-caps with a nice brush-stroke zest to it – used mainly for titles and some short quotations. 

Lustria – a sharp, round, clear serif with a name that echoes ‘lustrous’ and ‘lustier’ which both feel appropriate when it comes to the nature of fools and jesters.

Other fonts are chosen for quotations depending on their provenance and date, where the font is loosely matched to the time or place.   

For colours, I have chosen a rich palette of oranges with evocative names, such as Sunny Jester, Jester Yellow, New Laughter, Playful, Shared Laughter, Jester, Fool’s Gold, Folly and Fun.  You get the picture. 

The aim – illustrations, colours, fonts, content and all – is to delight and inspire in equal measure.  


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