5 Totally Awesome Design Techniques from the Early Internet


I pity the generation nowadays that never got to experience the early Internet. It was a new frontier fraught with cheesy animated gifs, buggy Java applets, and ASCII art that could blow your mind.

I thought it would be fun to put together a list of some of my favorite things from the early Internet. Hopefully this will enlighten the younger millennials and tickle others’ nostalgia centers.


1. As Many Animated Gifs as You Could Fit on a Page

It didn’t really matter if the colors clashed… To see movement on your webpage meant that you were one awesome webmaster. Nothing could be cooler than 1-second videos looping repeatedly on a webpage.

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 2. Not-So-Subtle Textured Tiled Backgrounds

Solid colors not allowed. Instead, add some eye candy by dropping a tiled background on your site. I collected these like candy—even putting different backgrounds on each different page of the site.


3. ASCII Art

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words…I say a picture’s worth a ten-thousand meaningless characters. (Especially if it’s an actress from Friends.)


4. Burning Text

CoolText.com made it possible to make any logo awesomer by setting it on fire. Soooo coooooool!


5. Marquees

Want to make text unnecessarily urgent? Try a marquee!

Those are some of my favorites. What do you miss from the early interwebs? Share it in a comment below.


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