The other day, a designer asked me for a few examples of blogs that I think are very well designed.
It's funny how some things never occur to you until someone asks an innocent question like that. If he'd asked me to give him examples of well-designed books, I wouldn't have had much trouble - for example, the hardcover edition of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
is a beautiful object that complements the story nicely.
But blogs? That's a hard one, made more difficult by the fact that, once I get hooked on a blog, I subscribe to its feed and then hardly ever return to the site itself. It's strictly content from that point on. (There is, of course, a visual element to text composition; but I don't think my designer friend is primarily interested in how writers break up articles into sentences and paragraphs.)
The only one that I've been able to come up with so far is Merlin Mann's 43 Folders
. The site is crammed full of stuff: RSS feeds, ads, buttons, links, sponsorship, and a store. I hate cluttered pages, but 43 Folders never feels cluttered to me.