Even the Birds Were Gone

web design, illustration


This assignment, an open concept studio project, was presented to me in my second year as a student. I worked on this assignment throughout my term, putting to use my skills of design, illustration, and code.


Even the Birds Were Gone is a website that tells the user a story, using illustration and animation, all put together with basic code. My goal was to inform a younger audience of a past event, so I chose an event that I was told about countless of times by my parents: the Red River flood of 1997.

I referenced nearly twenty books and articles on the subject, including A Red Sea Rising – The Flood of the Century by the Winnipeg Free Press, as well as a really well written article by Darren Bernhardt of CBC News, Even the Birds Were Gone. These became my main sources.

My colour scheme was comprised of cold and warm colours, allowing for nice contrast in my illustrations. I worked these colours into my wireframes. These wireframes went through multiple stages of detail, from sketches to colourized mockups.

The static content of the website put in using HTML. CSS was used for not only styling the content, but also creating some of the animations using @keyframe animations. And lastly, I used JQUERY to activate these animations at precise points, a language I was not familiar with at the time, and spent hours researching and testing with my content.

My illustrations were all done in Photoshop, and later positioned and animated with code.


As a student project, Even the Birds Were Gone was an opportunity to challenge myself in finding different approaches to bring my designs to life in code. The next step is to make a responsive mode – a mobile version of this storyboard website. The current version can be viewed via the demo linked above!

Designed by Julie Tétreault