Stuff & Nonsense product and website design

Comedy candidate Count Binface’s website needed a design which matched his personality, so I imagined how that could look

In this week’s General Election campaigning, Reform’s Nigel Farage announced he’s standing for a seat in Clacton after promising everyone he wouldn’t stand as a candidate. Farage popped up on BBC Question Time, which, in fairness, promised they’d invite politicians from other parties. Speaking of novelty candidates, I hope the BBC will stand by their promise and invite someone with real common sense policies like Count Binface. The Count has obviously been too busy conquering the galaxy to get his website ready for the election, so I imagined what I’d make if Count Binface came calling.

Count Binface website, June 6th 2024

(For international readers, Count Binface is a satirical political candidate created by the British comedy writer, director, and producer Jon Harvey. Count Binface is a space warrior from the planet Sigma IX and the Leader of the Recyclons. He’s stood in elections against Boris Johnson and Theresa May and twice for Mayor of London.)

The Count’s current website is built on the Squarespace platform, a solid choice for non-technical people (and busy intergalactic space warriors.) What’s up with Count Binface’s current design? Who am I to argue with someone whose hobbies include invading planets and dominating inferior species? It’s a series of tall stacks of pictures and YouTube videos punctuated by the occasional text block. Those videos are full of the Count’s personality, but sadly, that doesn’t transfer to the website design. Addressing that would be my first task.

The start of Count Binface’s home page doesn’t demand the attention his Highness deserves, with its lack of a strong identity and a long list of topics. To reflect the Count’s elevated status, I created a new graphic illustration of him, which would rise up if I implemented this design in code. Then, I added some of Count Binface’s most attractive policies, plus links to his manifesto and other popular pages.

Design transformation

Video is the most common type of content on Count Binface’s website.

Count Binface website, June 6th 2024

But, the mixture of screenshots and poster images looks untidy, and finding a particular video is nearly impossible. To fix this, I designed a player frame for the most recently added video and added a type-only thumbnail style, both inspired by 1930s science fiction series, including Flash Gordon.

Design transformation

Navigation on Count Binface’s current website is confusing and difficult to use. I cleaned this up by moving the most important calls to action to the top of the page. Subsequent pages were added to a tidy new footer, making finding media, photo collections, and video categories far easier and quicker.

Top: Original. Bottom: Design transformation

While the Count himself is very recognisable, the colour palette on his current website isn’t. So, I decided on a simple but striking palette, including red, yellow, and blue accents. I used these primary colours for interface elements.

Colour palette design

I carried those colours into graphic illustrations to give the design a coherent and consistent style.

Colour palette design

Everyone should take Count Binface seriously as an intergalactic space warrior, but his being a satirical political candidate also means that I can be playful with his design. The Count’s current website uses Proxima Nova, the same typeface used by his arch nemesis, The Conservatives. Comicraft has an incredible catalogue of high-impact comic book fonts. I narrowed my choice down to two, Dave Gibbons and Wildwords before settling on the latter.

Typeface selection

Of course, this redesign is just me imagining what I’d make if Count Binface came calling. I have no insight into his plans for the upcoming election, and it would be dangerous to presume I knew more than the esteemed space warrior. I wouldn’t want to be vaporised if my assumptions were wrong. Still, I enjoyed spending some time imagining, and I’m pleased with the outcome.

Design transformation (Large image)

Your Highness Count Binface (Jon,) if you’re reading and would like to use anything I’ve made for this imagining for free, please get in touch. It would be my absolute pleasure to help you achieve dominance with your website.

Written by Andy Clarke who tagged this with design, politics

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