Brian Glanz » RE:Designing Mango Power Girl

This Brian Glanz is a social entrepreneur in Seattle, as on Twitter, Flickr, LibraryThing, Seattle Net Tuesday, Slashdot, Defend Science, MSNBC,, et al.

RE:Designing Mango Power Girl

RE:Designing Mango Power Girl, by Brian Glanz Mango Power Girl is my wife Mohini’s web site for original recipes, food photography, and related bits. Early this autumn, with the change in season Mohini started itching to freshen up her site’s look and feel. I had worked before on her graphic art and user interface design, giving me some guidance on looks Mohini had liked and not.

If I had to sum up the immediately previous graphics in a word, considering the look she wanted and our result, the word would be “urban.” The result was not overwhelmingly street but the city of Seattle and urbanity in general were strong elements.

With an evocative name like “Mango Power Girl” it’s irresistible to play visually on each word. In an urban look, this led to an array of mango colored paint splashing and glow effects. Click the image or link below for more discussion of these graphics’ origins. Graphics included a square “About Me” image and a banner for the site:

About Me for Mango Power Girl, by Brian Glanz

“About Me” for Mango Power Girl

400 pixels square, May 2008

–> a flickr version with more details

Banner image for use on, May 2008:

Banner for Mango Power Girl, May 2008, by Brian Glanz

The typeface and primary orange or mango color had been retained from her previous generation of graphics for continuity. Mohini wanted a cleaner break this time around. We changed her site’s color palette, typeface, and the general direction of the graphics. If the old look was “urban,” the new look she wanted was “organic.”

Mango Power Girl is about food stories, recipes, and food photography, but there is complementary floral and other photography in the mix. In thinking “organic,” Mohini was partly accentuating both the food and the floral, and partly giving a nod to trends in graphic design. In their article “Logo Design Trends 2008,” LogoOrange Design Group referred to the like as “Leaves Logos.” Anyone watching has noticed not only leaves, but whole vines, branches, roots, plants, and so on, growing all over logos, advertising campaigns, and blog templates. Some of this graphic trend is tied to the sustainability or “green” movement, and some of it is just graphic fashion, spilling into areas unrelated to anything “organic.”

If the organic and floral were the “girl” in this art, the “mango” was still primarily represented in orange colors. The main orange became darker and redder as the entire palette swung toward autumn and winter. Another color motivation was greater contrast for usability in links, headlines, and other visual elements, the colors of which are matched to the graphic art. The “power” in the graphic was a warm, orange glow implying fire. The letters in “Mango Power Girl” were styled like embers. An orange glow, centered between the first “o” and graphic art behind the lettering, created depth and interaction between the title and background.

Banner image for use on, October 2008:

New Banner for Mango Power Girl, by Brian Glanz

In other user interfaces, differently sized banners were in order, so we were careful to settle on an image that scaled well. For Mango Power Girl’s Twitter profile, it became:

New Banner, Small for Twitter, for Mango Power Girl, by Brian Glanz

With “organic” as the foremost thought in Mango Power Girl’s mind, and with a nod to her college major of mathematics, her new favicon picked out the spiraling vine:
New Favicon for Mango Power Girl, by Brian Glanz

Mohini shared with me a few of the reviews from her readers, including “pretty banner” and “Gorgeous banner!” Excellent!

I’ll write more in another post about related work to improve and customize search on Mango Power Girl, the site’s underlying template, and its integration with other tools Mohini uses to produce content.

Besides all of this, give Mango Power Girl a read. If you’re not hungry yet, you will be!

This page was published on Saturday, October 4th, 2008 and is filed under Featured. Follow comments on this page through its RSS feed. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

One Comment on “RE:Designing Mango Power Girl”

  1. WEB SITE DESIGN MANGO | Furniture Get on August 8th, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    [...] web site design mango [...]



Upcoming @ Pacific Science Center?

Joey Mornin, @joemornin on Twitter and a research assistant at the Berkman Center, had tweeted “I have seen the future, and it is a Carl Sagan/Stephen Hawking remix …” (11:24 AM Oct 2nd from TweetDeck). That I had to see, and when I saw it I had to tweet: “This Carl Sagan Stephen Hawking remix … should play on a wall @PacSci :) via @joeymornin” (11:35 AM Oct 2nd from Google Wave (Tweety)).

Pacific Science Center, @PacSci on Twitter, understands social media. As every person, business, or organization using social media ought to be, in a word they are: social. When I mention @PacSci, they watch for it and in this case their response was: “RT @brianglanz: This Carl Sagan Stephen Hawking remix … should play on a wall @PacSci :) via @joeymornin <GLORIOUS!>” (11:43 AM Oct 2nd from Seesmic). They responded quickly, giving credit to Joey Mornin and me, and added their own comment, <GLORIOUS!> — all in 140 characters. <yoda>Impressive!</yoda>

Will the “A Glorious Dawn” remix actually appear at the Pacific Science Center? Whether on a wall, at a kiosk, or on screen before IMAX films I do think this sort of “citizen media” should be displayed alongside “citizen science” in our educational and cultural institutions. This video accentuates and amplifies important parts of the messages Sagan, Hawking, and science at large have to share. In an incomplete circle, science has made possible the technology, has made possible the culture, has made possible great grassroots work like this media; science needs to close the circle and better connect with the community.

Quintin Doroquez, @quintind on Twitter chimed in, too by tweeting “@brianglanz That was brilliant!” (11:57 AM Oct 2nd from Tweetie) and I could not agree more. Thanks and congratulations to the creator of “A Glorious Dawn,” John Boswell, melodysheep on YouTube, whose video has a perfect 5 out of 5 stars after thousands of ratings and more than 600,000 views in its first two weeks.

还原真相:To Restore The Truth


Twenty years ago on June 4, 1989, thousands of pro-democracy protesters — most of them students — were killed by the Chinese government where they gathered peacefully, in Tiananmen Square.

Seattle’s Ken Judd en Montage

Update: you are seeing this message if MySpace took the video down, again; I have it coded to show if the video cannot. The audio is out of copyright due to its age, but regularly trips MySpace automatic filters. I have had it unbanned twice by people, only to be re-banned. Alas! It is a montage from my photos of the works of Seattle’s Ken Judd.

I may remaster the video — publish a higher resolution, remove the birthday reference, add a new opening and closing, etc. Generally, this is a test of displaying video on while it is hosted here by MySpace.

Remember 2009? Google Wave was 'it', good for everything from Pulitzer Prize winning journalism to Open Science Notebooks. 2009 was also the last time I updated this web site, to which you are more than welcome with that in mind.

Also 'it' in 2009, but where you can still find me: Twitter of course. I'm @brianglanz and for more about my work, see @openscience.

You can also circle me in Google+, and since that's a more thorough effort all around by the Big G, we have taken to it -- there you could also +1 and circle our Open Science Federation Page or join our new Open Science Community.