In a World of Ed Hardys, Be the Chanel

FOUR32C_Chanel-BlogAt FOUR32C, we consider ourselves to be fashion experts. Not just well-read, sophisticated, and stylish humans, but experts—not just chic, but très chic. So, of course when the team is creating interactive products and refining our design process, we look no further than the woman who invented modern style herself, Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel—Coco to her friends.

As you know, because you, too, are a fashion expert, after World War I, Coco liberated the modern woman by freeing her from très gauche constricting corsets and introduced easy, wearable silhouettes that became the fashion of the day or the à la mode. Coco ushered in a seismic shift away from the more is more design principle of embellishment and excess to the less is more minimalist take on fashion. Chanel drove this idea home with her iconic statement:


“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.”


We think this is a great way to look at a website before launch. Do you really need the dancing hamburger, background video, animating logo, and parallax transition? Maybe not. If luxury is simplicity then overdone sites border on vulgarity. Not our words, credit Coco.

Here are some pro tips to make sure that those mad front-end skills you got are properly chaperoned to their maximum très chic advantage.

  • Start with typography. Spend time thoroughly analyzing how a beautiful typeface tells the brand story to the right audience.
  • Limit number of typefaces. If more than one, be thoughtful on the pairing. Multiple weights are acceptable.
  • Structure a kick-ass grid layout. Think of this as a good silhouette. It’s a classic.
  • Constantly edit your style guide. Keep refining until you have the minimal number of styles necessary.
  • Limit animations and effects. What are the one or two things that take your beautiful design and make it come alive?

Remember Coco knew everything! And in her words…

“It is always better to be slightly underdressed.”



FOUR32C: design firms in NYC. We’re curious digital natives who bring creativity and intelligence to the world’s most beloved brands. We create thoughtful, compelling interactive experiences by starting every project with questions. Our process leads to evocative digital products designed with a purpose for every pixel.