Ralph Segert 


Web Design

Without doubt the number of aesthetically pleasing websites increases: sites with rendering and 3d-effects, with brilliant digital art, with photomontages and witty gif animations. Even if you have to ask yourself sometimes "And what about the content?", these sites are eyecatching and worth a visit. They are an oasis in a large web-desert which is still dominated by wobbly and uniform gif-animations, by countless HR- and BLINK-tags and by sites following the principles: As many different colors as possible! Wherever there is an empty space on the page, fill that gap with an image or a horizontal ruler!  


So far the laudatio on web designers and their efforts to make the web a bit more pleasurable for our eyes and to increase sensual enjoyment. Unfortunately -- and we all had this experience a lot of times -- graphics take a long time to download. The more sophisticated and optically brilliant the images are, the greater is their size and the longer takes the annoying waiting time for visitors. "3 K of 114 K loaded (stalled)". Sometimes it seems to me that designers create (really great) sites, but totally forget that they are not made for a CD-ROM or a magazine but for a medium where each graphical refinement of details increases the risk that the whole work doesn't arrive at the addressee. 

"Minimalism is the harmony of space"
This structural conflict between artistic refinement and "transport problems" is quite unusual, there is no situation like this for artists, photographers or dtp designers. Maybe for this reason and because many web-designers place their hope on technology to solve the transfer problem in the near future, there are so few creative approaches to solve this problem. The special exhibition we present, Ralph Segert's "SEVEN", probably is one of the most intelligent attempts. It's not a simple trick or a unique principle, but a set of rules, ideas and approaches. Altogether they form his "Minimalistic Web Design."  


If you visit the site you will soon experience that the layout and design of this site are really unique on the web. Of course there are elements which are found elsewhere as well: the use of ASCII-characters as graphical elements for instance, the principles of a few harmonic colors, differing only in nuances, the large-scaled space between site components.... But I bet: there is no other site on the web combining so many of all these different principles in such a convincing way. If I had to find a comparison in the fields of fine arts, I would say that Ralph has created the "Arte Povera" for the WWW and is still improving that style. With every website he is more succesfully and surprisingly. 

___Looking back at his career path 
________________web designer 
_______________book author 
______________disk jockey 
___________taxi driver 
Ralph, born in 1961, is a self-taught designer and a learned craftsman. For one year he worked on the assembly line in a great German car factory. Later on he had jobs as a taxi driver and interviewer and was out of work for a long time. Very late he made his college qualifications and then studied history and social science. Now and then he was able to earn some money with his hobby -- the Internet. This year for instance, he will publish a book: an introduction for WWW beginners. He is a fan of Black Music (Jazz, Latin, Funk'n'Soul, Hip Hop) and sometimes works as DJ in Dortmund, a town closed to the Ruhr Valley, one of Germany's great industrial (and footbal) regions.  

Ralph has been engaged in designing and publishing his own (ever growing) home page for one and a half year now. He has started a lot of projects since then, an ezine called kriT (because of its critial comments, features and interviews on Internet topics), a gallery presenting almost unknown (but outstanding) websites on arts and design, and he has created two awards. Maybe this was a response, since his own site has won such a lot of very popular awards. 
SEVEN Visit our special exhibition and you will understand why.  


presents 7 chapters on web design. If you don't hurry through them too quickly, there are numerous eye catching details and surprising design elements to see. And if you want to see more, visit Ralph's homepage The rare site


Exhibit design and copyright for all graphics and texts: Ralph Segert 

Introductory page: 
Gerd Marstedt - The Fine Site