Writer Steven Zeeland has established celebrity credentials as the author of three books of candid interviews with military personnel who have defied the official ban on homosexuality in the armed forces. His books "Barrack Buddies and Soldier Lovers," "Sailors and Sexual Identity," and "The Masculine Marine," have spawned a loyal and growing international audience mostly comprised of gay and bisexual men, sexuality researchers, and military personnel.
Initially, the challenge was articulating an identity that would satisfy the client. The site's first design and subsequent iterations focused on the navigation scheme, which featured close-up portraits of sailors, marines, and army men from Zeeland's personal collection of photographs. This proved to be an appropriate choice, since the site is about the men Zeeland interviewed and his writing about these individuals. Ultimately, the navigation scheme, as it presently appears, gives the site its identity.
:: online branding
The site's user interface is really the site's brand. As described in the challenges, the focus was to express identity in a cohesive approach through Zeeland's rich visual and text-based content. The navigation bar features different faces of sailors, marines and army men which provide balanced visual allure, drawing users to the different sections of the site. Instead of creating a logo, the site's visual integrity is expressed in the overall design scheme.
:: user interface design
Zeeland's content, which is primarily text, is the site's emphasis. By combining the images used in the navigation scheme as launching points to the different sections of the site, visitors can easily navigate through each section to read excerpts from his books, news, personal background and other features in an accessible way. The site's color palette in gray and navy blue tones was chosen to reflect a conservative and understated military theme, and white was selected as a clean background for the text content. Overall, the design's objective was to provide a clean look with formatted text and image content.
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