Way before Responsive was a thing…
It was twenty years ago today (where did I hear that before?) when Kenyon and I started our web design careers by joining The Global Internet Foundation (www.gif.com, ages before that domain belong to istockphoto.com). In short, we landed at JFK on June 5th, 1995, took the bus to Norwalk and met Brendan. A short trip to CompUSA to buy the national bestseller “Teach Yourself Web Publishing With Html in a Week” and we were web designers already. Netscape 1.1 was THE browser at the moment, which included background images. It was a happy time; Internet Explorer wasn’t born yet. We started to work in beautiful downtown Norwalk, doing several demos and learning by copying code from other sites. There was an email list with the online Argentinians around the world and it was smaller than the average Whatsapp group today. Animated and transparent gif files were the thing back then and when tables came it was heaven. Those transparent pixels by David Siegel came one year later.
In early August 1995, with a couple of months of web design experience under our belts, we went to a networking event on Broadway at Houston in NYC and met an enthusiastic guy who was looking for web designers. Since we were exactly that (yes!) we agreed to meet with him a few days after at his office in Midtown.
We drove back to CT and started to work on our website. Mariana, who was also a designer and wanted to join us, took the photos. I borrowed a suit from TG, fixed my hair a bit (yep…) and we were ready. Kenyon worked the copy, we both did the design and code, scanned the photos, selected the clipart icons, worked the transparencies, scanned some toilet paper to create a background pattern and we had a website. Eighty-four files, 1 mb in total. We needed a name so we became “The Team”.
Mariana was working that Friday so she couldn’t come. We had the interview at Lexington and 43rd and it was… polite. After the meeting, since we were wearing suits we decided to brag a bit so we walked to 42nd and then 5th Ave, all the way to 57th. We were young, in suits and we had money in our pockets so we went to… Planet Hollywood. A couple of hamburgers, then Metro North and back to Norwalk, to meet friends at The Globe and share our adventures.
Some days after we heard back from that company; we didn’t get the job but we made some noise (which I won’t write about today). Web design was fun for me back then and I’m extremely lucky I feel the same about it today. Mil gracias to Kenyon, Brendan, Liza, Trudy, Jorge, Matt, Elaine, Rob, Gillian, Betsey, Adrià, Esther, Gory and everyone else in these 20 years.
OK, enough. Below you’ll find some screenshots. It wasn’t responsive because there was no viewport meta tag back then, but I guess if I add it now it will work. Enjoy the copy, the tables with borders, the pictures, the transparencies and the “get Netscape 1.2” message.