Decimal greet you with the globe on their website for accessible satellite imagery platform SkyFi
Established to democratise satellite imagery, SkyFi allows its users to easily and attainably access archived, live and contemporary imagery of the earth. It was the role of NYC-based design and technology studio Decimal to create its accessible and intuitive website, determining the UI, UX, design and development, with messaging and marketing led by Santa Monica-based agency Hawke Media.
Precise and pronounced, Decimal’s execution of typographic hierarchy and immersion leads the user on an exploration of the site, a journey reflective of a satellite’s movements. Not without its limitations, however, Decimal worked within SkyFi’s existing identity system created by Orlando and Camden-based agency Maven Creative, including the use of Hanken Design Co.’s HK Grotesk as the primary typeface. “From the beginning, we really enjoyed the identity created by Maven Creative,” Co-founder & Creative Director Guillermo Brotons tells us, “the only small adjustment was to find a Google font instead of their original mono font proposal,” opting for Google Font’s DM Mono.
Discussing the use of type, Brotons continues, “we found some moments to be large and bold,” referring to the use of HK Grotesk, including key messaging and headings. “This font works very well at large sizes and we wanted to find some confident and surprising moments,” he adds, aesthetically matching DM Mono’s more pragmatic construction. “We really enjoyed the contrast of both fonts but also it was important to infuse a somewhat ‘technical’ look and feel,” Brotons remarks. “When we are showing imagery next to some associated technical information we’d use DM Mono,” he details, “but for longer descriptions, we would use HK Grotesk because it’s more readable.”
Decimal also chose to introduce a satellite-like mechanical flair to the identity, including thin lines that complement the weight of the typography. The stark visual structure and monochromatic colour palette subsequently strike a pleasing contrast with SkyFi’s powerful visuals, allowing the imagery to be truly championed in the face of the brand’s functionality. As a result, the combination of the two inevitably heroes the beauty at SkyFi’s core; planet earth.
SkyFi’s emphasis on the planet is no greater exhibited than on the globe-centred homepage that greets its users when entering the site, a feat achieved through an intensely technical process, including UX, static designs, motion studies and modelling before its interactive creation. “The globe on the homepage was definitely the most technically challenging aspect of the project,” Brotons explains, “because we created a Web GL built from scratch,” linking the latter to the CMS admin so that additional locations can be added. “A subtle but important component was to have the satellites around the globe,” he continues, “after different design explorations, we decided to keep the satellites pretty light, only with the structure, the skeleton,” giving a more engineered look that feels familiar to SkyFi’s technological nature. “When the satellites are moving in front of the globe, it doesn’t feel too heavy or intrusive,” Brotons concludes.