Russian Ball in London corporate website development

Russian Ball is the most important cultural event of 2013 in Russia. The ball is given in London’s Albert Hall in honor of the 400th anniversary of Romanov’s Dynasty. The last event of this level took place 100 years ago, in 1913, before the Russian revolution.

Russian Ball needs a Russian site.

The Russian school of web design is very different from the western one. European sites are often look like „bricks“ based on the same grid, the same rules and similar methods. Typically, European sites are poorly adapted to the width of the screen and limited within 960 pixels.

Russian web design is similar to the Russian soul — wide and boundless. Since the design itself appeared in Russia relatively recently, Russian web design lacks the rules imposed by magazine and newspaper layout. Sites do not fit into a fixed width, but occupy all available space on the screen, in a special way.

Hundred years later

The main inscription „Russian Ball in London“ turned out to be so big that it did not fit into the screen. To work this out, the main page was made split on two screens, and that split turned out as a symbol of the gap of 100 years between balls.

Designer: I’m sure the website need a painting. Many sites have pictures, but not their own paintings.

Nope, too small.

Client: That’s not a ball, that’s a bullshit Christmas cartoon. Ok, let’s start from the other side.

So many words about Russian web design and a European brick in result. Not even close.

Yeah, that’s better. But the text on photos is so annoying and hard to read. And those pictures on the right need to be changed. Let’s make an old trick with photo frames.

What about coat of arms? Oh well, famous Ilya Glazunov himself prepared a new one special for the ball.

And what’s that? A capital?

Pff. THAT’S a capital!

Taking this painting and writing huge text: Russian Ball in London. As huge as it won’t fit in one screen. And that’s the idea.

The painting by Mikhail Zichy depicts one of the balls in the Winter Palace. In modern photography — a modern Vienna Ball in the Manege.

The ball is given in honor of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov’s Dynasty and is supported by the Russian Embassy in the UK and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

The page about the ball tells in detail about the upcoming event.

The site of the Russian Ball is overly attentive to details. For example, the letter, streamlined by the text is made on the rare book sample of the 18th century.

The third part of all the time spent was spent on the details.

Between the customer and the designer there was a dispute: how to write the word "ball" — with a big or small letter? The designer, as a person who feeds immeasurable love for the Russian language, can not stand the American manner of writing headlines with a bunch of big letters. The customer, on the opposite, believes that names can be written that way.

Still, the designer can not make such a mistake on the main page.

Preparing an attack: writing out the rules from the Milchin’s Typography Directory.

And then creating a section for the press, in which making the subsection "Spelling".

All this is done for the sake of one letter. In an unequal battle, Russian grammar wins marketing.

Even such a modern element as the application form was drawn up in a pre-revolutionary manner. All engraved strokes, shadows and curls were carefully drawn.

In addition to the main pages dedicated to the Russian Ball, the website presents a dozen decorative sections. One of the pages is devoted to the venue of the ball — Royal Albert Hall.

Even for such a secondary page, a unique design is drawn.

One of the biggest pages of the site is a section with the history of the Romanov’s Dynasty.

Dulcinea typeface was used as an incidental font based on the Cyrillic handwriting of the 19th century. The font is used in signatures for the illustrations in the manner of pre-revolutionary papers with pre-reform Russian grammar. Especially for the site, an extended version of the font, which includes the old letter Izhitsa, is requested from the developer.

To create this page, designer had to look through an amount of old books and archives.

Each page of the site, without exception, is drawn in its own manner. No grid was used. We can even say that the site is a handmade.

One of the most appetizing pages of the site is the Gala Dinner Menu.

Special persons invited to the ball: well-known business lady Natalia Kaspersky, an artist Misha Lenn, and the spirit of the court painter Mikhail Zichy.

Organizer’s page. The ball is given by the emperors Alexander II and Wilhelm the First. Represented by Timofey Musatov and Elizabeth Smagin-Melloni.

Now you know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.

April 2013

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