R+Co (opens in new tab) is a collective of hairstylists, and has a highly unconventional yet surprisingly slick website. Created by NYC-based digital agency Domani, the site breaks with convention by utilising sideways scrolling.
This works really well – primarily because the site doesn't hijack the scrolling. I also love the use of the grid and how content gracefully breaks out of it. Overlapping elements and a subtle parallax effect help create a sense of depth, as text and image sit over one another.
When the user initially accesses the site, device detection establishes whether it should deliver the mobile or desktop experience. While we are used to (and have come to expect) responsive websites now, in some cases serving separate experiences can still be the most pragmatic choice.
As the experience relies quite heavily on the grid and horizontal scroll, there would inevitably be issues with how it would work on mobile.
My favourite part of the site is the use of product images which have a 'masked' transparent body. This effectively creates an area that knocks through to the background content, allowing the site to run imagery, GIFs or video straight through the product.
The typography is also fantastic. The headings are set heavy and spaced out, to help maintain legibility against the strong background photography. Overall, the minimal use of colour, with emphasis on type and imagery gives a stunning, strongly art directed aesthetic.
Words: Chris Allwood (opens in new tab)
Chris Allwood is a digital designer and co-organiser of grassroots event Second Wednesday. He works at Studio Output in Nottingham, UK.
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