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selected project archive : Global Network Navigator

Global Network Navigator (GNN)


GNN was launched in May of 1993, making it the first commercial site on the Web. It was developed by O'Reilly & Associates, then sold to America Online in 1995. GNN is no longer in publication.

I was the Art Director (and the sole designer) for GNN, and upon its sale, joined the founder Dale Dougherty in his new company, Songline Studios, Inc.

I provided the idea for the "global-loon", created the site's graphic identity, and created all graphics and illustrations (except for the balloon itself).

Bear in mind that these pages were created in the days of HTML 1.0, which means no text next to graphics, no centering, no tables, no background colors or patterns. They look clunky by today's standards, but at the time, they were among the most interesting pages out there.

Sample HTML Pages
Click the image to see the HTML page. Unfortunately, the links from these pages do not work. (Note, pages will open in a new window.)
Home Page
GNN was designed to look friendly and inviting as it aimed to reach users who were brand new to the Web (which was nearly everyone at the time).
home page

Traveler's Center
This was my first "Center" design, and I think it will always be my favorite. No graphic in this center has more than 4 pixel colors!

travelers' center

Personal Finance Center
Each publication had its own distinct look, but was consistent with the all-over style of the site.

personal finance

Stages of Development
(screen shots)

As more publications were added to GNN, we needed to constantly reorganize the home page. These are four of many iterations.

Version 1
Version 2
Version 3
Version 4