Interview – Ecogex/delectable

A couple of months back I’ve discovered Delectable, a website managed by two French graphic designers, Nathaniel Hubert and Malik Diouri, who call themselves Ecogex. They store and archive beautiful and alternative websites. After searching around a bit for more information about this great initiative, and finding nothing, I asked them for an interview. The Interview and the reason why you see this 90’s computer picture above, you’ll find at read more.

What was the initial start for the website?

Last year we started a Delicious account to organise the studio bookmarks with one of our first tags being ‘Bluecheese’. It was used to store websites which used a pure #0000FF reference. We then started to share this new list with friends and they really enjoyed it. In January of 2011, we opened Delectable, a contemporary, web design dedicated showcase. The ‘Bluecheese’ tag is now one of the various tags we use to store web designs.

Where did the idea come from?

Nobody really considered web design just like book or furnitures design. Our problem was that web design was not received as noble as it can be. For instance, in our country, France, web design is frequently seen as just a decoration, and web designers are often under-appreciated. We wanted to see some changes to that, and to show off what some of the awesome designs designers of the WWW can create today. While there are millions of online web design showcases already in existence, no one is dedicated to the creations we really like: simple and intelligent layouts. We thought designers and clients should have a serious list of inspirational websites, and that’s what we set out to do.

Can you tell a bit more about the office behind the website?

Our names are Nathaniel Hubert and Malik Diouri, and we are both graphic designers. We created our studio, Ecogex based it in Paris, France in 2008. Ecogex was the name of Nathaniel’s father’s floppy disc factory. We decided to use the name for our studio after the company closed. Not a lot of our work is public because since 2010 we are working for a bigger group as a research team focused on degrowth: We are thinking about how graphic design can be involved into downscaling of production and consumption. It is an exciting political project we feel lucky to be a part of. Delectable is a more public project witch tries to keep a good relationship with the design scene, and promote talented designers.

What are the criteria for a website to be featured?

First, the website must provide a unique and innovating answer to a specific need. We also think that credits are important, we strongly appreciate when websites are signed by both developers and designers. Of course, we choose only simple web designs, which are less “photoshopped”. We love pure and simple HTML, light JavaScript, and minimal effects, but real quality comes from the details. We don’t have a specific style preference, but we are looking for web designs which follow standards, and have light, uncluttered designs. Web design is changing really fast nowadays, especially with the many recent changes to HTML. It comes with a lot of spectacular innovations but designers should keep in mind that dramatic effects are not always the answer. Naturally we enjoy quality contents and we are also affected when a website is related to our time and our constraints. For us, web design is mature enough to be compared to book or poster design. There is talented authors, implicated styles and a wish to make elegant stuffs. The thing we enjoy most, however, is finding a designer making really neat websites in a way we’ve never seen before. For that we browse a tremendous amount of websites each week!

What are the future plans for the website?

Delectable plans to focus more on archiving. We already do store a lot, but we plan to take many more screenshots of the websites in order to keep a record of truly talented designs we have found in modern times, and provide a history for the future. However, we would like to store a full HTML copy of the web designs we find, but for that we have to deal with many legal, technical, and financial issues. If you would like to help out, you can find a donation button at our website. We also plan to be more radical in our choice. We want to exhibit innovative and contemporary designs, and plan to be more and more selective in order to show only the best ones.

Is there a way for our readers to submit content?

Yes. If you go to our “About” page. You may however send us a link to your website at info[at]ecogex[dot]com


Thanks to Nathaniel Hubert and Malik Diouri


In the interviews published here on Crap = Good I would like to make a habit of posting an image of the office in question to go together with the interview. But since Ecogex is currently working for a private company and for this reason couldn’t send me a picture of their office, they gave me  a picture from the 1999 Ecogex floppy disc factory of Nathaniel’s father’s. And to be honest, I think the picture is brilliant.