NDWorld was conceived as a content site for Microsoft .NET developers. But just because the intended audience is a sheep-like herd not known for taste or regard for security doesn't mean the site couldn't be attractive. In fact, it seemed imperative at the time to give NDWorld a bold -- dare we say it, cool -- visual presence.
Oh please, you might say. Can anything related to Microsoft be cool? Well, the fact that we couldn't actually use Microsoft (TM) or .NET(TM) logos actually helped. In fact, the management wasn't entirely sure that we could build a .NET-related site without being sued out of existence. Still, it was hoped that once Microsoft was shown the preliminary site, they would be thrilled by the free publicity. Correction, not free. The plan was to ask Microsoft for advertising money. Flattery on corporate scale works in mysterious ways.
In this atmosphere of uncertainty, danger and reckless marketing abandon was I tasked with designing the look and feel. And oh: don't use anything close to the Microsoft blue since they might, you know, sue. Fine by me. I was thinking two things: One, Marxist propaganda, and two, Martha Stewart.
Like most designers, I have a deep love of the early, arm-and-hammer, Internationale-style propaganda visuals, if not the message that was carried through those visuals. Microsoft having the reputation that it does when it comes to employment practices, it seemed rather fitting to originate the site's identity design from this source. As for Martha, I was hankering to use celadon or jadite, a shade that she's used judiciously just about everywhere. That and orange, but the latter tends to be hard sell.
Then again, some colours are catching. The final vote was for orange after a loooong process during which I designed the logo. Besides the two below, there was one other -- archived here. As with Techinformer, I have the main pages of NDWorld archived on this site. The main topic pages -- News, Tutorials, Case Studies & Opinions, Reviews -- as well as the White Paper and About Us can be navigated to from the front page.
NetDeveloperWorld never did see the light of day. It languished on the dev server for over a year. It died when IDG Communications shut down all of IDG.net's remaining electronic assets. I doubt they even knew the site was there.