Art For Art's Sake

/ design

I'll admit it right up front: our website isn't great for generating inbound leads. And I'm ok with that. In fact, it's kind of the point.

Marketers see the "above the fold" real estate on the home page as the most valuable (and rightly so) for driving action. CTAs and value props abound pushing visitors to buy this trinket or request that service. In fact, this is why it's often called the "hero," a bold way to grab the visitor's attention and persuade them to relieve themselves of a pocket of coins.

When creating the very first version of, the intent was to use the hero space as an expression of how we feel and think at Border. Along with the rest of the website, it provides a peek into what motivates our work. Why we do what we do. How we approach challenges. What we do around the edges of the effort.

The first version of the website utilized an animated postcard with a jet floating above the San Diego skyline as the sun rises over the Coronado bridge. Originally, there were to be several postcards randomly displayed. Alas just one lived proudly as the hero for nearly two years. (As an aside, I debated putting an image of the old hero here in this article, but some things should be remembered and not relished.)

Today, we unveil our latest hero experience. A place for play and reprieve from the daily grind. What's the point, you might ask? To that, I say there really isn't one. A few of us Border folk quickly brainstormed a fun game for our visitors. A few lines of simple code rendering generative art provides the effect.

A selection of photos capturing San Diego, Mexico and other vistas close to home deploy their geometric abstractions one shape at a time. Color sampling from the photo changes to squares, circles and quarter-rounds atop a random gradient. Subtle translucency creates a unique experience every visit as random selections collide in a colorful confetti of tiles. Sliding the cursor around the screen pops the mosaic into view bit by bit, until it finally slips back into the sea of color after a display of fuzzy photography.

It's a fun experiment to try and use a corporate website as a platform for an experience that isn't monetarily driven. To some, it will be a missed opportunity. To me, the web desperately needs more expressions of creativity in the business space.

I choose to present an alternative to the marketing firehose. I choose to create art.

Aaron Martlage

Aaron Martlage

Aaron loves innovative solutions to complex problems. He's a strategist and designer who fights fiercely for great products. His vast experience and focus on process encourages new thinking in others.