We’re back with the new year, and delighted to round up a new batch of sites that recently caught our interest—this week, with some special attention to a few sites that give us a glimpse into other people’s lives, stories, and thoughts, and a bit of our own cultural mythology.

Indigy screenshot

Indigy presents a lovely space for a powerful purpose: to share stories from cultures around the globe at risk of being forgotten. Freight Sans and FF Tisa are alternated for both body and header text here, and make for a thoughtful pairing that performs well for the longer blocks of text throughout the site while keeping navigation tidy.

Medium screenshot

It’s already evident to us how dearly the folks at Medium care about type on their site, and we love the recent redesign. The calligraphic shapes of Freight Text immediately pull us in, a great choice for long-form reading, with navigation and other elements in clear JAF Bernino Sans to make the whole experience feel completely effortless.

American Imagery Bank screenshot

Keep an eye on the American Imagery Bank for updates to their fascinating catalog of the iconic images that define the American identity, rendered beautifully in woodcuts. We love the type choices here, too, with the banner in Refrigerator Deluxe, headers in classic Futura, and body text in nostalgic SchoolBook.

That’s it for this week; share sites you like in the comments!

In this week’s sites we like, we’re going to Vassar College! We’re not ready to declare our major just yet, so let’s see what’s going on in a few different departments.

Vassar Biochemistry department homepage

Biochemistry starts out innocuously enough—with just six organic elements involved, how complicated can it really be? Well, take a look at how just one typeface, Freight Sans, is used on this website, looking cohesive but with enough variety in size and weight to establish clear hierarchy and meaning. You don’t need a truckload of elements to make something live and breathe—but you do need to know what you’re doing to make it work smoothly, as it does here.

Vassar Urban Studies department homepage

Pragmatica looks lovely up in the bold header on Vassar’s Urban Studies homepage, with lighter weights used in the clean sidebar navigation. In body text, the thicker texture of Freight Text gives a satisfying gravity to class descriptions and department information. These typefaces each carry their own distinctive voices, but on the page together they don’t crowd one another out.

Vassar Hispanic Studies department homepage

We love the look of Chaparral just about anywhere, and it suits the Hispanic Studies homepage perfectly, giving a literary flavor to the artfully composed page. Freight Sans balances this nicely in the header text and navigation, with a muted color palette working subtly to guide your clicks.

And if you’re interested in how the school serves similar content to different sites with unique designs, read more on the Vassar Web Design blog.

That’s it for this week; share sites you like in the comments!

We talk about pairing typefaces all the time here, and it’s always inspiring to play with the ways multiple fonts can add visual interest to a page. In this week’s sites we like, we’re looking at a few pages that not only pair typefaces nicely, but also put visual design at the forefront. The results are inspiring.

Screenshot from Daft Punk feature in Pitchfork

In most web contexts, FF Spinoza matches nicely with Colfax; it’s a traditional serif-with-sans pairing, but both typefaces are graced with a slightly edgy energy that makes them hum in combination. When it comes to Pitchfork’s feature story on Daft Punk, however, the designers clearly wanted something with more volume—and they accomplish this by incorporating that humming text with some fantastic and loud scrolling visuals. Ever seen a long-form article you could rock out to? This one comes pretty close.

Screenshot from Nautilus homepage

A gorgeous interpretation of what a popular science magazine can be, Nautilus introduces its first full issue with stunning graphics and thoughtful use of the Freight family. Freight Display and Freight Text both contribute to the airy, intelligent feel of the site. Bold visuals do the heavy, upfront communication, with this gentle serif text acting almost more as a side note, while Freight Sans takes on the bulk of navigational and headline duties.

Screenshot from Fabien Seguin's homepage

It’s a treat to see body text set in Futura PT, and designer Fabien Seguin uses this in an understated but effective pairing with Brandon Grotesque. It’s easy to overdo it with geometric fonts like this, but Fabien has a subtle touch that balances the text in his portfolio with a bold, entrancing background image and targeted splashes of color.

That’s it for this week; share sites you like in the comments!