Stuff & Nonsense product and website design

How I designed a new website for comedy candidate Count Binface

“All water company bosses to take a dip in British rivers to see how they like it.” “National service to be introduced for all former prime ministers.” “European countries to be invited to join the UK, creating a new ‘Union of Europe.’” Who would disagree with policies like these?

Although it’s not purely a British phenomenon, the UK has a long tradition of perennial and sometimes novelty parliamentary candidates. People who frequently run for elected office but rarely, if ever, win. Screaming Lord (David) Sutch—an English musician—first stood for parliament in 1963 and then again 38 times. He founded the Official Monster Raving Loony Party in 1983 and was a familiar sight at election counts until he died in 1999. Lindi St Clair and her Corrective Party ran for office under the monicker of Miss Whiplash. Nigel Farage—perhaps the most hapless parody politician—has run seven times for election to the House of Commons but hasn’t won once.

Count Binface website
The all new, all conquering Count Binface website

There are many perennial candidates standing in 2024. Still, few have captured the public’s imagination and affection as much as Count Binface, an intergalactic space warrior with a dustbin-shaped helmet. After already contesting the London Mayor election this year, Count Binface is now standing against Prime Minister Rish! in Yorkshire’s Richmond and Northallerton constituency.

Since Prime Minister Rish! called the snap general election, I’ve been studying and writing about political party websites. I imagined how I’d design Labour’s campaign website if Sir Keir called me and, for balance, I wanted to redesign another political party or candidate. I was in no mood to help the Conservatives—no matter how indirectly—so I imagined how I’d design the website of Count Binface, should he ever come calling.

Well, it looks like my reputation has reached the faraway planet of Sigma 9 because a few days later, Count Binface called, and he asked if I had time to turn my design ideas into his campaign website for this general election. I couldn’t refuse.

Squarespace is the platform of choice for intergalactic space warriors. So—with less than a week before Count Binface was due to announce his manifesto—my challenge was to develop the website using Squarespace. It’s not a platform I’m especially familiar with, and I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to deliver all the details in my designs using Squarespace. But I soon realised I could add SVG to Squarespace’s code blocks and learned to use its injected CSS feature to override the platform defaults and add extra design details that were not possible out-of-the-box. Overall, I’m very happy with the results.

Count Binface website

Comedian Jonathan Harvey—Count Binface’s faithful servant here on Earth—input new content for the campaign, and I designed new graphic elements, including a set of colourful Count Binface-themed smartphone wallpapers. The new website went live today.

Count Binface website

Whether you think perennial or novelty candidates are a positive aspect of politics or not, I believe they demonstrate just how precious the democratic process is. Not living in Yorkshire, I’ll be voting Labour. But if I were to be in the Richmond and Northallerton constituency, I’d lend my vote to Count Binface. After all, who wouldn’t like to see Yorkshire Pudding Day become a national bank holiday?

Written by Andy Clarke who tagged this with design, news

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