Our latest project is now live. OneCity Mortgage are a mortgage company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have been working with them for the last couple of months to create their branding and online presence. The project has been great fun from start to finish. Courtney over at OneCity Mortgage gave us carte blanche to create a sleek, professional look with a little bit of edge. With those words in mind we came up with a mortgage website with a little bit of a difference. Along with great copy writing the site design stands head and shoulders above the usual boring mortgage company website – proving that with a little bit of imagination you can make anything fun!
Just like the previous post this has been done many times before. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a good process to repeat. Always analyze what you do and by making lists you can analyze in a concise and easy way that can be helpful in the future.
The first list was a general overview of the design and planning process. This list starts off with an overview of re-design vs. re-align and then delves further into some of the items that were skimmed in the last post. There is a little more detail on designing navigation and some hints and tips for speeding your site up.
With art as bold and beautiful as Diana Thorneycroft’s, Grow Media’s challenge was to create a website that enhanced her artwork without getting in the way. Our approach was one of simplicity and style – streamlining information and focusing on her collective galleries. As always, functionality was a main priority, but we also wanted to dress it up a bit. In the end, when you have a client as controversial as Diana Thorneycroft, our job was to give her the ultimate platform to let her work speak for itself.
The technique we are going to discuss isn’t groundbreaking and it certainly isn’t new. What we hope to achieve with this post is to show how simple it is to create a stylish but simple photo gallery with jQuery. There are no bells and whistles on this one, but the two jQuery plugins we use can be taken a lot further and both bells and whistles can be added with ease. We like making things simple here at Grow Media, it means we can spend less time at the computer and more time outside!!
Disclaimer: I have a feeling this is a bit of a touchy subject, so let me start by saying they’re both Adobe programs, use the tool that works for you.
I come from a print background and so when I entered into the web design world, I thought Illustrator was the King of all programs. Seriously, I probably couldn’t have sold it better had I been hired by Adobe to do so. Yes, it was almost fanatical, possibly a tad overkill – either way, I loved Adobe Illustrator.
Back in the day, when I was first learning how to design for the web, equipped with all my know-it-all print design knowledge, I was adamant on doing all my designs in Illustrator. Sure I knew that I’d eventually have to slice everything up in Photoshop (Illustrator does have a Save for web feature, it’s nowhere near as easy to use as Photoshops), but if it meant I could use Illustrator, I was willing to take on extra work to transfer it over. One word to sum that up… ridiculous!
The ironic part of today’s blog post is, currently, I am creatively blocked. So much so I wish there were mental laxatives I could take! Right now I can’t find any of these on the open market so instead of continuing a fruitless search I decided to do a bit of research on the problem. I found suggestions ranging from go for a run to take a vacation so I put together a little summary of my findings. Hopefully as I write my list my block will clear.
I know this has been done a thousand times before, but it is an important process for every web designer/developer to go through. It doesn’t matter if you publish the list to a blog or if you just write the list for yourself. Analyzing processes is an invaluable part of life. It is impossible to improve something without analyzing previous attempts and working out what can be changed and what can stay the same. Life is an iterative process with constant analysis both sub-conscious and conscious without which we wouldn’t survive very long.
The transition from print design to web design can be a frustrating one, but as we make the shift from paper to web, it is an essential one for all graphic designers to make. Truthfully speaking, the thing that initially made it difficult was the very thing that I thought would help – design experience… print design experience. Don’t get me wrong, my print background provided me with a comfort in the design field that was invaluable, but what it also provided me with was a know-it-all attitude. I honestly thought there couldn’t be much of a difference between print and web design. But I was wrong.
We had decided that the new Grow Media site would be designed with a full-browser background image. We didn’t want a repeating image and we didn’t want a solid colour. We wanted the page to impact on first view. We had no idea how hard it would be to both design and then implement.