About Love is Dead

“Mission Statement”

To be blunt, I love Dali, and I want you to love Dali too! The purpose of this website is to promote Dali and to give current fans a central resource for information, media, and news. I am passionate about providing clear, complete, and concrete information. This means that I will never leave a live-distributed CD out of the discography simply because it is not a “normal” release. This means that I will make sure my information is 100% correct to the best of my ability. This means that Love is Dead is the definitive Dali (and SUGAR FORKFUL [シュガーフォークフル]) information resource (more so than the band's official websites). I hope that you find this site well designed, easy to use, and informative. More than that though, I hope that you come away with a sense of Dali's personality. Whether it be through learning the band's history, reading the band's lyrics, or even just looking at pictures of the members, I hope that, through this site, you will find reasons to love Dali the way that I do.

Design

Prototype of a logo that wasn't used.
This is version four of Love is Dead, the version that took the longest to complete. I started with a clear vision for this version, but, due to two(!) harddrive failures, I lost everything and had to start from scratch several times. It was good in the long run, though, as it made me thoroughly define my goals:
  1. Use specific visual cues to represent both bands throughout the layout
  2. Increase usability and modernize design without becoming trendy
  3. Streamline HTML, PHP, and scripts, and reorganize logically
The goal of uniting both bands was fairly easy. I chose the pink and black color scheme because it represents Dali and is very close to the red and black scheme that SUGAR FORKFUL [シュガーフォークフル] often used. Similarly, SUGAR FORKFUL [シュガーフォークフル] is represented by smooth curves throughout the layout, while Dali is represented by hard lines and sharp corners. The new logo followed a similar process, as it was based on Dali's logo and then modified to represent both bands.
An early version of the layout from March of 2009.
Next, I chose visual cues to bring continuity to the site: specific shades of gray to indicate level of relevance, pinks and whites to indicate important headings, semi-transparent glass panels to contain content, and so on. I then created the “skeleton” of the layout, focusing on usability. I centered the layout and to clearly place navigation at the top and bottom of every page. I eliminated the need for invidivual navigation pages by fleshing out the header navigation, and I put the sitemap in the footer rather than making a separate page. Finally, I modernized the layout by utilizing CSS3 for new effects while ensuring that they degrade gracefully in browsers like Internet Explorer. Finally, I streamlined all code as much as possible. This was accomplished mostly by cleaning up my HTML and PHP, and by utilizing jQuery to write my own scripts for specific functions. I also implimented new systems on certain pages (for example, the discography pages) to make load times faster. Overall, I really like this layout, even though it took several tries to create it. It feels modern without becoming too trendy, but also feels much simpler in key areas. It is also easier to update than older versions (although I have not yet transitioned to a CMS, as I plan to do some day). Despite the wait, I think it's a success.

History

The site's first layout.
This all started in October of 2005, when I opened VIRGIN WORK, a fansite for SUGAR FORKFUL [シュガーフォークフル]. A few months later, in February of 2006, I opened antithesis, a fansite for Dali. After a few months of running both sites in tandem, I decided that I should combine the two into a larger fansite. Thus, Love is Dead was opened in May of 2006. The first version of the site was based on an image of a noose, since that really captured the melancholy in the site's name. The design itself was fairly simple—everything was grayscale and arranged in a central column—but it was fairly complicated code for me at the time. That has become a characteristic of the site in general: I've learned more from working on this site than on any other. In late 2006, I finally opened the Dali community at LiveJournal, NO LIFE, NO SIC. Then, in early 2007, I introduced the second version of Love is Dead, which was loosely based on Dali's funeral dessin period. Due to the complicated nature of the first version, I made the second version left aligned (which in turn allowed a unique navigation area and header comprised of graphic paint splashes). Along with introducing a new design, I also remade much of the content, leading to a more “professional” site all around.
The official Dali fanlisting.
In June of 2007, I opened the official Dali fanlisting, Another Consciousness (and, incidentally, learned how to spell “consciousness!”). After finishing that site, I began working on a series of small updates around Love is Dead. Finally, in June of 2008, I uploaded a “new” version. The layout of this new version was a remake of the second version with only modified visuals but completely overhauled code. My goal with the third version was mainly to make the site feel even more professional, which I accomplished, to a certain extent. In the following months, I focused only on information updates. It wasn't until February that I started working on a new version again. Unfortunately, I had to start over a few times, so it ended up taking over six months to complete (and to add a little taste of irony, I finished the new version of the site just as Dali paused activities). On the plus side, I feel that this fourth version of the site is the very best and that it lives up to the four years of history behind it.
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