Justin Skolnick lives and works in Portland.

Horn Design

with Thirst

Like most thoughtful creative work, Thirst’s minimalist redesign for Chicago’s Horn Design conceals a lot of complexity. The interface stands back to showcase the full, beautiful range of Horn Design’s portfolio.

Every section and screen was designed to display any number of images in several orientations. This demanded custom scripting, not only to size them to fit, but also to stand ready to convert any two or more images into a slideshow. Further complicating matters is the site’s fully responsive layout. Scale down to mobile and the project slideshows break apart, shifting extra images below the project description; scale back up and the slideshow recomposes.

Just as flexible are the client’s options for constructing slideshows on the back-end — image slides can be manually sorted and interposed with full-width block quotations. Horn Design pushed certain parts of ExpressionEngine to their extreme limits. The site was a challenge in the best sense of the word.


  • Front-end development: HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript/jQuery
  • Back-end development: ExpressionEngine, PHP, and MySQL
  • Home

    Home, 2014

    Visitors may toggle among four featured projects.

  • Project detail

    Project detail, 2014

    Block quotation slides overlay the next slide in the series.

  • Firm overview

    Firm overview, 2014

    Content-rich sections feature dramatic typography and optional slideshows, albeit at a smaller scale than on project detail screens.