Here are 2 different home page mockups for a potential client.
She’s an artist working mainly in pastels (which often produce very soft and light art), so my #1 guideline is to downplay the impact of the page design to emphasize her art. I showed her these two mockups, and she seemed to be about 50% convinced to hire me. Obviously, I’d like that closer to 100%.
#1: The square thumbs will open larger versions of the art above. I kinda feel like the header area is too heavy and distracts from the art. But I do like how the somewhat neutralized color scheme emphasizes the art.
#2: An alternate layout arranged by art media. Here too, I’m not satisfied with the header. And maybe the entire content area needs something (a subtle border?) to better define it because it seems to be floating aimlessly. And maybe too much rounded corners?
I welcome all comments, kudos, criticisms, suggestions: objective third-party opinions will help a lot.
Having looked at both comps, I have to say that I’m more drawn to the second comp! The pastel colors are much more interesting and varied as opposed to mostly grey tones on your first comp. The first comp seems a bit bland because there’s too much grey!
I like the rounded corners in the second comp–it adds to the soft display of her work. If the focus is on her work, I’d consider making her artwork bigger so that becomes the focus!
Regarding Comp 2, I would agree, it does feel like there isn’t a space defined…things appear floating. I would lengthen that purple pastel color down the page to provide a framework/layout boundary.
If you want clever little ideas, I have some as well? What about using pastel chalk strokes as the roll-over indicator for each link? As you roll-over home, etc..you get a pastel chalk stroke line?
Overall, I’d say continue using those pastel colors, and play/up or “emphasize” her artwork more! I do like the feel that rounded corners give as a “soft” appearance to her work.
I appreciate the feedback – thanks.
I too prefer #2.
To better define the content area, I’ll try extending the blue-gray of the header as you suggest, and also try some subtle borders.
I agree, it’d be better if the art images could be larger. Not sure how I’ll do that on the home page without crowding things together, and I really want to keep it open and light. Of course subpages will have much larger images of the art.
Really interesting idea with the pastel strokes. I like it and will see what I can come up with. Maybe also incorporate some sort of paper texture.
Using colors from the art was intentional; when I have images of her art (these aren’t hers), I’ll use muted shades of her actual colors to unify things.
The artist suggested we meet over coffee (hopefully later this week) to talk about her website. By then I’ll make some of these changes and have a couple more versions to show her. We’ll get a better idea of what she wants in and from her site. After we determine how many pages, how many images, and so on, I’ll be able to quote her a price. She already asked about updates, so we’ll talk about that (how often and how extensive); a separate maintenance agreement might be best for her needs, so I’ll have some preliminary figures ready for that too.
You’re most welcome!
Your idea of paper texture is a nice thought! That could work, especially if it’s subtle with the layout. Maybe using paper textures as the background behind the images is a good thought, or as border enhancements. A massive paper texture as a background could prove too over-bearing. It’s hard to see unless you test it out!
But, I do like the idea of texture/pastel strokes..sort of gives some variety to solid/gradient colors.
Have fun and keep us posted! I know I’m excited to see the final site!
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