Today I’m very excited to announce my redesigned website. Ever since becoming a freelance web developer my website has been a work in progress; something that I would finish off when I was less busy. I’m sure my old site must have put some clients off and it definitely didn’t reflect me in the way I wanted.
Well, I’m still busy, but I decided that 2011 would be the year I made my website something I was really proud of. It’s been my evening and weekend project for a little while now, and all the effort has finally paid off.
On previous redesign attempts I’ve got stuck at the idea stage. I didn’t really feel inspired and my designs didn’t seem to work. Just before Christmas my friend Andy (aka Hexjibber) delivered a box of his self-published colouring books to me. On the box he’d drawn a cartoon picture of me. I loved it and a few weeks later I had the idea to commission him to design a banner for my site.
Working with Andy was fantastic. I’d recently been to an exhibition in Sheffield of industrial art and poster design from the first half of the 20th century. I wanted some of that feel, combined with Andy’s own style. Andy really ran with that idea and made something far better than I could have imagined.
Once Andy had designed the banner the rest of the design seemed to flow quite naturally. I had a starting point rather than just a blank page. I came up with a colour scheme based on the colours in the banner. Red is my favourite colour and I think it makes the site really striking. I spent a lot of time adding lots of spacing between things and trying slightly different things to see which looks best. Slowly the design took shape and I started to really like it. I hope you do too.
This design has also been my chance to get the hang of Orchard theming. Orchard is the CMS I now use on this blog. I’ll be blogging more about that later.
The main thing I’ve learnt from this is that it can be really inspiring to work with an illustrator and it’s worth spending some money to get a professional whose work you admire in to help you.