A favicon (short for "favorite icon") is a small icon that appears near the web browser's address bar. (It also appears next to individual entries in web browser history and also next to a saved web bookmark.) Most websites have unique favicons. If it’s a company or brand’s website, typically the favicon is a minified version of its logo. But in the case of an individual or artist, often the favicon is more expressive. But what about an institution?
In designing Artists Space's website, I wanted to consider some aspect of the website a separate but linked exhibition space to its physical location. So the favicon seemed like the perfect "space" to exhibit artist work. Similar to exhibitions, it could change contents and be reimagined by artists on a regular basis.
The first favicon is an animated galloping horse. I wanted to use a horse because my introduction to art as a child was through drawing them. And more broadly, the horse appears regularly throughout art history. For example, in 1848, Eadweard Muybridge captured sequences of a horse's gallop to finally answer the question, "When a horse gallops, does it ever become fully airborne?" Yes.
Day and Night
One other specific characteristic of this website is its changing state. After sunset New York time, this website changes from day to night mode. At night, the text is white and background is midnight blue. As its implicated by the website, it mades sense for the favicon always to have two states.
During the day, the horse favicon is composed of various pixel colors. These colors exist behind images before they load on this website. During the night, the horse is a solid midnight blue to match the website.
The favicon changes away from the horse if you land on an individual artist's page. It becomes a unique shape derived from the name itself. These shapes were algorithmically generated by Taichi Aritomo, who programmed this website.
— Laurel Schwulst