To commemorate the anniversary of the launch of 2Pac’s debut album 2pacalypse Now, Folder Studio was commissioned to create a new design for 2Pac.com that would preserve the legacy of the rapper and serve as a resource for fans. The new design is unmistakably retro in its stylings, with long pages of texts and oversized type, harking back to the stylings of the internet when the album was launched. Offering well written and insightful articles and a host of great images of notebooks and other paraphernalia from the 2Pac estate, the archive is designed to grow and grow. It’s Nice That caught up with Wesley Chou, Takumi Akin and Jon Gacnik of Folder Studio, to find out more about the project.
How did Folder Studio become involved in the project?
The estate reached out to us in June to create a website that felt recognizably 2Pac. Later that week 2Pac’s face appeared on a billboard for Sprite right outside our studio.
What was the concept for the website? It seems designed to evolve – what are the future plans for this?
We decided on an editorially driven model, which can grow over time and lends itself well to 2Pac’s complex personality. The visual element, the story, and the product act together as a threefold representation of his significant life moments.
We launched the site in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of 2Pacalypse Now which signaled the beginning of his recording career and is the first draft of his manifesto and philosophy. The site will continue to develop through personal stories from his friends and contemporaries.
How did you decide on the aesthetic for the site?
We researched significant moments in 2Pac’s life, his discography, movies, and music videos. There were also specific visual cues in his fashion line, magazine features, interviews, and TV appearances. 2Pac is memorialized in this imagery and we wanted to capture those aesthetics in a design direction that would be representative of his life and career.
What were the challenges of producing the site? How do you hope people respond to it?
Finding a tactful balance between past and present visual language was a big challenge. We decided to translate 90s style video montages, like the ones in the music video for Changes, to the web. Using WebGL, we were able to recreate the effects and render them realtime in the browser.
We hope the visuals on the site establish a sense of time and context for the editorial pieces and that the site will regularly offer something interesting for new and existing fans.
How do you manage the weight of expectation when working on a project like this?
The site is forward with its intentions and we hope it serves the estate and fans well. As the site grows, so will our understanding of 2Pac.