Anna has been rebuilding the website of a science-fiction club we were in when we met, back when I was out east for school. The club is still around, meeting monthly, doing things, but their website – which we’ve been hosting – was still pretty firmly stuck in 2001 – at best – so Anna has been throwing everything into a more modern WordPress environment.
They’ve had this old logo – their club name (LexFA) in a state-of-Kentucky graphic – but countries and territories, being irregularly-shaped blobs, are not exactly a design element, and there wasn’t really a place for it in the new site. So I decided to play with it to see what could be done, grabbed some NASA starfield and nebula imagery, and came up with something kind of interesting. (The star with the points is both in the original NASA photo and locates the club.) But it’s still pretty useless as a standalone element, even with added text.
So I started poking around with it as a background element, and, with translucency, realised I could take advantage of LCD screen technology to do something kind of cool.
I can’t screencap the result, since the effect relies on the way LCDs physically work. But I can photograph it, even if the photography introduces moiré patterns which aren’t visible to the eye.
Here’s what a typical page looks like, looked at straight on, or from higher than the screen – the usual screen arrangement:
And here’s what it looks like if you tilt the screen (or laptop) back, or just look at the screen from below. Again, that’s minus the moiré pattern seen here, which is purely a camera artefact and not visible to the eye.
The Kentucky has you, Neo
Once you know the graphic is there, you can see it at the normal angle too, but it doesn’t get in the way. And it fades to black as you go down from the header – the version I actually have online has more stars below the state outline, and fades to black, so I don’t have to tile anything.
I’m pretty sure the only time anyone will notice – if then – is if they put their laptop down on a table in front of them and then lean back in their chair or on a couch.
Anyway, it’s kind of a silly trick, and will be less and less effective as LCD technology continues to improve. But it’s fun for now. ^_^