It was 2003, and the task was to create an online Catholic magazine that didn’t look like a Catholic magazine. The result was GodSpy.com.
On the surface, it didn’t seem that difficult. It would have been easy to create a look that was too obviously trendy or even profane. But the GodSpy design had to do more. It had to communicate that the publication’s content was modern yet 100% Catholic; in other words, both avant-garde and traditional; ancient yet new.
After a comprehensive search, we found the right person for the job in designer Peter Massarelli. His designs combined precise structure, elegant typography and striking imagery, with dark, vibrant color palettes that were beautiful yet edgy. It had to communicate that the publication’s content was both avant-garde and traditional.
Back in 2003, beautifully designed publication sites were less common. In the Catholic market, they were especially rare. GodSpy’s design made such a strong impression that it helped the publication generate considerable buzz, despite a very low budget and no full-time staff. At times it seemed the design did such a good job of conveying the possibilities of GodSpy, what it could be, that readers overlooked the fact that the site’s content wasn’t updated frequently.
GodSpy ceased publishing in 2008, but still attracts website traffic.