A little under a year ago I wrote about the radical re-design of the portfolio site for the agency Modernista. They turned the site into a redirected rollover HTML menu that appears on the top left corner on many established sites including Google, Wikipedia, YouTube and Flickr. You can mouse over and check out the agency’s portfolio on Flickr, an about section through Wikipedia, latest agency news through Google New, TV work through YouTube and contact then via AIM or Skype. It had it’s hiccups along the road but it was a pretty cool and unique idea.
So I was cruising through my usual collection of digital designs sites this morning and a screenshot caught my eye for the re-design of the Skittles Web site. After clicking on that screenshot I was asked to enter your age and agree to a terms of service that acknowledges that the content beyond this page is not Skittles content. After hitting enter I was shocked by the realization that I was looking at the Modernista site with a Skittles logo on it. The site had loaded the Skittles’ Wikipedia page with a purple square navigation overlay in the upper left hand corner. As you start to explore you will find that ‘Products’ moves you to the bottom of the Wikipedia page, ‘Friends’ takes you to their Facebook page, ‘Photo’ to Flickr and ‘Chatter’ to their Twitter feed.
For me this is one of those cases where Agency.com, who did the re-design, should have done their homework and known better. Scratch that. We all know they have seen the Modernista site and this isn’t a case where the Skittles site is kind of close to the Modernista but is the closest thing I can remember to a straight rip-off by a major brand. How they didn’t think this would be viewed by current clients, potential clients and potential creative talent as a huge red flag is beyond me. I know times are really hard and we all need business but our industry is better than this.