title - information: the site

About Organic Metal...

OrganicMetal.co.uk was originally created during November and December 2000 and published on the web on December 12th. It's initial purpose was to house and display my personal artworks to visitors interested in anime, manga, comic book, and cartoon style art.

OM has grown over the years to feature a fair amount of new, in-depth content for anyone willing to check it out and has also become a means to promote my work to companies and private individuals looking to make use of my services as freelance artist and designer. If you'd like to talk business, by all means e-mail me


About the design...

At the beginning of May 2004 I began work on the second Organic Metal web design, which is what you're looking at now. I worked on this new version for months up until launching it in January 2005. Click here to check out the first version!

Typically I design static HTML websites that will load up quick and look nice. Most modern web users have grown weary of sound, animation and Flash design, but I've always loved it! For this version I wanted to use Flash in an attempt to add something to the web site visiting experience. I tried to keep a balance between loading times and easy navigation against the flashy "cool stuff" such as pictures, animation and sound. I came up with a solution which uses 'Frames' . The top navigation Frame features the animation and effects, the footer bar Frame features the music, while the bulk of content in the middle remains as easily interchangeable static HTML pages. I'm sure there are now billions of sites like this, or that implement a simpler or better solution but at the time I don't think I had seen a site work like this and I'm pleased with the result. I hope visitors find the enhanced Flash animation features worth being there!

Like with most people who create personal websites from scratch, after it's been online for a short while, I'll want to go back to the drawing board and begin another new layout and design! After creating the first Organic Metal design back in 2000, I'd thought about redesigning it for years before I actually sat down to start the design you're looking at now.

From time to time I'd write down notes of all the things I wanted in a re-design. These basically included more interactivity, movement and sound. As I'm a keen video game fan, I originally wanted users to be able to log in to the site and select a character who'd guide you around the pages and by answering quizzes and playing simple Flash or Java games you could then access previously restricted parts of the web site. This would have been cool to try, but it was too ambitious. Plus, at the end of the day most visitors will just want to quickly check out some artwork, read a page or two, then move on to something else.
I also like abstract, graphically intensive sites that look more like something out of a movie or a dream than a typical web page. The trouble with a lot of those sites is- they look great, but are ultimately difficult and confusing to navigate and sometimes you can't even work out what the site is supposed to be about! There is a time and a place for abstract concepts, ideas and interfaces on the internet, but I find without a few basic visual affordances, an innovative idea and message turns into designs which frustrates and disappoints.

The current girl mascot character on the left was never intended to be used on the site. In fact, I had already created other characters to be used- one female and one male character. However, when I mocked up the first draft of the design I temporarily used this character (a fan art I did for Britanime website). It just seemed to fit so I kept her. I may change her in the future, but she currently serves her purpose well

I hope you like this site's design and if you have any comments, questions, suggestions or problems with it, feel free to e-mail me.


Why is it called 'Organic Metal'?

My first ever site- 'Ben Krefta's Artwork Site" just sounded kinda cheap and naive so I attempted to create a kind of brand name by fusing a couple of cool words together.

I hoped the ironic mix of 'Metal'- a hard, solid substance with the word 'Organic'- soft, moving organism might be seen as something new, different or thought provoking. If not, never mind! I intend on sticking with the Organic Metal 'brand' for as long as I can or perhaps until a futuristic cybernetics corporation offers to buy my domain name for a hefty sum :D

Please note, pretty much every word, every design, graphic, image, artwork and pixel on this site belongs to me so I'd appreciate it not being ripped off. I've seen a few people use my art or an image pulled off of Organic Metal without my permission or supplying any credit or acknowledgement and it does annoy me! Plus it breaks my copyright law.

In the future I'd like to see big things for OM. Expect more art, more tips and tutorials, higher quality results, new ideas, more interactivity and more fun! A huge thank you to everyone who's visited and supported the site so far, which has generated over 300,000 hits


You might like to know...

  • This site is, to my knowlege, cross-browser compatible.
  • OM requires Frame, Flash & Java support. And has been designed for 800x600 - 1600x1200+ screen resolutions.
  • The scrolling title background can be stopped by right clicking (Ctrl + click on Mac) and unchecking 'Play (Flash version)'.
  • This web page is approx 520kb in file size including Flash navigation and sound.
  • This site can be viewed as 100% static html by entering the site via clicking the HTML link on the OM index page.
  • The footer frame plays a 200kb, 50 second MP3 music loop created for OM by James Cobb (Flash version).
  • Some text buttons such as the top title navigation require your mouse cursor to be over them to view descriptions (Flash version).
  • This site can be added to your bookmarks by pressing Ctrl+D (⌘ + D on Mac) on your keyboard.
  • The mascot's voice talent was supplied by Eve-Marie Walledge.
  • OM's back-end functionality, Guest book and PHP scripts supplied by Rik Nicol.


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