A talented photographer, Mar Lébou, ventured into the Carpathians to uncover the mysteries of the Molfars – the ancient Hutsul shamans.
Upon his return, he brought not only captivating photos of the Hutsul people and the breathtaking Carpathian landscapes but also an intriguing story – The Book of Molfars.
My role was to bring this story to life through a website, encompassing structure, visual style, animations, and assets.
To achieve this, I first delved into the world of the Hutsul people, exploring their culture, beliefs, and traditions. By combining my research with the author's materials and input, I set the following guidelines for the website's creation:
1. Maintain a naïve, meditative, and slightly mysterious atmosphere.
2. Ensure the design and illustrations complement, rather than overshadow, the photos and story.
3. Implement a slow pace and speed to make readers feel at ease and fully immersed in the narrative.
4. Use animations and visual effects to enhance storytelling, akin to cinema.
I developed a structure, scenario, and prototype using Adobe XD and Readymag to present my ideas to the author. After receiving approval, I shared the prototype with the developer and provided all necessary technical details, including animations and effects, allowing them to begin work on the website as I focused on the assets.
Mar Lébou had designed several symbols to accompany his drawings and poems and inquired if they could be incorporated. Finding them charming and fitting the desired mood, I included them and added a few more for use throughout the book.
I opted against using traditional Cyrillic fonts, like Ustav or Poluustav, which are often linked to religion and the church. Instead, I sought a font that would seamlessly blend with the atmosphere evoked by the photos, poems, and drawings.
My research led me to Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors by Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky and the movie adaptation by Sergei Parajanov. The movie titles, created by Georgiy Yakutovich, served as the perfect inspiration for the headings.
Consequently, I crafted three sets of letters, one for each language: Ukrainian, Russian, and English. These axe-carved letters harmonized perfectly with the overarching concept.
Next, I designed three sets of lettering phrases in the three languages, intentionally roughening the letters to differentiate them from cartoon-style lettering.
The website also features subtle details. For instance, the menu icon gradually fills with text as users scroll. Moreover, when the narrative suggests burning the book, the icon dramatically catches fire.
photography, text, dreams, poems, drawings
video art, english text editor
english text editor
english text proofreader
front-end and coding