2 pennies on design

a while back  i had listed the process by which i was able to quickly put together the site in a matter of a few saturdays. what really facilitated the whole “process” portion however, was my very early and surprisingly rapid planning stages.

quite a few projects of mine begin with the question what if… shortly after i decide in the affirmative with a well, why not? then the big question is how?

by how? i’m not actually asking myself the question of function but rather how do i convey a style, an idea, a feel. what was easier for me with this website project was that i had already been developing a blog over a period of time. the “what” question had been covered by the content that i already had produced over several months.  the question that i mulling over was how to put it together in a coherent way that was to convey an aesthetic of simple, elegant, fun but not too fussy.

the blog itself began as a way of communicating my current art projects to friends who were interested in what i was up to. it was a simple, straightforward medium but it really lacked dimension. i didn’t want to lose that kind of simplicity and that sense of intimacy, but i did want to create a site that would appeal to a wider audience. and therein lay the question, how?

while whether or not i’ve successfully accomplished that “experience” within this site is still up for debate, the manner in which i tackled this task was to

1. carefully test out font styles. i’ve chosen a sans serif for a cleaner text. simple lines are always elegant.

2. crafted a signature, to the surprise of many people the script writing is not in fact my handwriting. sorry to disappoint you if you feel deceived. but then again, that does speak to how branding is so subtle and our connotations with font is actually quite powerful. how often do you see a signature anymore? i know that i personally associate handwriting with a “less electronic” era in my life, when handwriting mattered and letters came with postage! to me, a handwritten signature actually implies intimacy — and if you feel betrayed by my confession that it’s not my handwriting, then you must feel the same!

3. spent time considering the color scheme. what is elegant and fun? magenta! magenta is a powerful color, it’s playful and bold and can be overwhelming when there’s too much of it. to balance out the pops of magenta, i decided on gray as it’s counter. this is a site i’ve developed for fun, but it is also a serious site in the quality of content that i’d like to display.

4. small short notes on the images. from blog to site, the purpose has always been to convey my thought process and approach. this site is about my particular perspective in a particular moment. art is intimacy. and i use intimacy the noun and not the adjective purposefully here.

5. soundtrack. i really struggled with deciding on a music player and the right music that would enhance the tone of the site. and i think it’s a weakness of this site, to be quite frank, and i haven’t found the right resolution. for now, i’ve settled on a blue player (because it won’t let me change the color!) and a sampling of fun mellow music. also in order to make it less intrusive, i’ve set it so that the player is available as you browse throughout the site should you choose to use it.

6. layout. obviously another way of emphasizing simple is to structure a layout and navigation that is simple. this took a few tries both with the blog portion and the right-hand navigation plus the drop down menu to the overhead menu. i even spent sometime testing out different header text (art photo blog) versus (what, where, why), etc. i couldn’t have the navigation undermining the simple, elegant, fun.

anyways, there are definitely still lingering issues with the site that i still need to clean up. i have a feeling this project will be going on for quite sometime…


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