Apple gets a lot of grief for its use (or abuse, depending on your opinion) of skeuomorphs. This website uses skeuomorphs in various ways—perhaps most obvious among them are the four corner elements “holding” the images in place as in an old photo album. You also find a number of textures at work that resonate with their real world alternates, in particular a number of fabric oriented textures. Finally you see a number counter similar to what you might find in a rail station. What does all of this add up to? A rich textural design we can relate to? Abuse of a pattern? It’s a matter of opinion. At the end of the day, the critical question for me is, “Does the theme match the product, the intended audience and the purpose of the site?” In this case, the answer is yes. I think the use of skeumorphs clearly connects us back to the real world. And the site’s purpose is to get people to impact their real world. It’s a perfect design solution.
Need more design inspiration? Check out the Web Designer’s Idea App for iPad, with hundreds of stellar websites selected by Patrick McNeil.