Creativity 50 2013: Michael Renaud

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The web is a jangle of come-ons, clutter and outbound links -- basically a comprehensive set of reasons to stop what you're doing, briefly look at something else and move on again. So we owe mighty thanks to 2013 National Magazine Award-winning music site Pitchfork for its browser-wide "cover stories" on Daft Punk, Savages, Ariel Pink and others, which not only offer to take over your entire screen but make it a must.

The approach, incorporating stunning art and animations tied to readers' progress down or across a screen, arose primarily as a way to showcase the site's deep reporting and writing, according to Michael Renaud, creative director at Pitchfork. 
But the cover stories that resulted -- a collaboration with the editorial staff, developers including technical director Matt Dennewitz and senior graphic designer Molly Butterfoss -- are also carefully designed not to overwhelm. "We try to take these things as far as we can as far as keeping people's attention, but we try not to take away from the story," Mr. Renaud said. "We adhere to a lot of print principles."

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