Yale University School of Art web site

The Yale University School of Art web site has looked like this for years:

Today it looks like this:

“This website exists as an ongoing collaborative experiment in digital publishing and information sharing. Because this website functions as a wiki, all members of the School of Art community—graduate students, faculty, staff, and alums—have the ability to add new content and pages, and to edit most of the site’s existing content.”

I would have expected some of the most creative minds at Yale, to have come up with something better. Surely the “experiment” to allow “graduate students, faculty, staff, and alums” to login and change the site should have come to an end.


I really like it.

It’s like really old design meets really new design.

It shouldn’t work. But IMO it does.

EDIT: Actually, I bloody love it. It’s rather awesome. Especially the news page.

EDIT EDIT: I really REALLY love it. Ity’s pretty genius if you ask me. The attention to detail is really strong. I love the favicon. I wonder if I can make a template like that ;-)

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Built with this


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So many design ideas in the “Built by Economy” section. I’m inspired!

Loading those sites on a rubbish internet speed is rather interesting When I say interesting, I obviously mean unusable.

Serves you right for living in the middle of a big field.

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It’s a nice showcase for CSS grid: lots of overlapping and crossing, but still fundamentally a mass of rectangles doing rectangular things. Does it do much more than this? (And the typography is very art-studenty — I can enjoy its youthful energy and its naive rule-breaking and its retro web 1.0 references, but I don‘t actually like the effect). I’d struggle to make a home in a site like this.

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And I’m tempted to compare it with glyphsapp.com, which is also uber-gridded, but is doing really interesting things with animations and variable fonts (it’s all one variable font) and romances type design in a way that the Yale site fails to do for the visual arts. It‘s possible to show off, and show something, at the same time.

This is what I’m taking from it.



I presume your aware of this group

They did declare web brutalism to be dead as a design philosophy as it had become too mainstream and thus defeated its own purpose.

If it has come to RW then this is most certainly true! :)

Viva neumorphism and glass.


To a large and discouraging degree, a very bankrupt contemporary art practice revels in a bad-boy, anti-art “aesthetic”. Skill, artistry, technique is disparaged. Beauty is a dirty word. Epater la bourgeoisie, if that is even possible anymore, is everything. Snark rules.

Printed Matter, in NYC, is one of the most prestigious art book distributors. This is their website, built with the same software as the Yale site:

I could not agree more with @Webdeersign. This sucks.


I am kinda sorta aware of that brutalism stuff, no idea if the site linked is it, or summit else. I have enjoyed making that little project page though and quite like it too.


I actually quite like your site as well despite not liking brutalism. I think it must be the cat!

I also wish all email signups were labelled SPAM, that is truly inspired.


@tav Tav, scroll down to the footer on that site, see the text with the colour background? Is that poss using summit like PP+?

I’ve done that using the HTML stack and a span div, but can’t get it to work with a paragraph stack. No biggie, just curious.


Why not just put the span tag into a paragraph stack directly?

You could then benefit from all the other settings in the stack but just add the CSS for you bg color. It would be better to give the span a class as well so that you could just add the CSS once for wherever you need it on the site.

Don’t forget that paragraph stacks are (almost always) just containers for RapidWeaver Styled Text (yes - like the page type). This means that you can put HTML in there (it is also how the styling buttons at the top of the text editor work; they just insert spans with an inline style for color: or whatever.

Funnily enough, although not a paragraph, HeaderPro has exactly the functionality that you have replicated here. It has extensive options for the “Text Background” for making these sort of brutalist designs.

I think I did try that, but couldn’t get it to work, will revisit.

The headers on that site are mostly HP with the background colour applied.

Sorry, I mean background color. ;-)

I wasn’t aware but not surprised really.

If someone created a “stack” to create the Yale site, priced it at a stupid high price and promoted it with a high% off sale, it would probably sell quite well to the Weavers.

Oh, and this, I’ve decided, isn’t brutalism. I’ve created a new genre, it’s called “Harshism Design”.

Harshism design is like brutalism, only it’s just a bit harsh, not brutal.

I think it’ll catch on. And once it does I’ll immediately denounce it.


You can then take it down a notch again to “Unpleasantism Design”

I also wish that the word bilious was used more in relation to web design. A nice old fashioned way to not like someones design.


In fairness, that is what most of my sites already are.

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