Apart of this project and a very important aspect of being a working artist is how you present and promote yourself, in other words how you brand yourself.
In a Branding and Identity lecture it was made clear that I am going to need a persona for when I eventually venture out into the great big world. key points about the aesthetics of having a successful brand were
- Clean (No Clutter)
When creating my brand it will be important to also consider who my competitors are, who i’m going up against and how to differentiate myself from them. As well as my niche market, who are my customers? Age range, etc.
Before settling in on making any choices I decided to do some research. First up on my hit-list was my favourite illustrator the one and only mr Andrew Archer.
Straight away i’m liking the clean minimalistic ‘let the artwork speak for itself’ approach to his site. I like the simplicity of the white background and light grey tones used in all text across the header and menu. The seamless menu bar continues the weightless/light feeling to the site which, with help from the light tone fonts, centers the focus around the work itself considering Archers colour palette is very vibrant and hallucinogenic.
I also really like how the first home page is just simply a work page, straight to the point. This gives the site a purpose straight away, you can understand its intent is to act as an e-portfolio, a way to show-case his work to clients/employers. In connection with this work page, I really like the layout. The way the images average from two to three pieces per row with a white border, again adds to the weightless feel. Another piece i picked up on in the home page is the scroll over effect on his images. Seen in the second image above, the image is dulled down and the title appears over it. This is something I would like, or at least something similar, on my own sites portfolio page. Another aspect I appreciated was clicking the image would then bring up that image and let you click through the entire show case to see them larger and on their own rather than two or three spread across a row. Having that option was a nice touch yet still very simple and not overly complicating.
The above image is the footer of Archers site. As you can see it has another brief description of who he is as an artist and where, as well as some contact information and little linkys to social media with use of icons. I really like the how to subtle this effect is, hidden at the bottom to avoid being in your face, yet still there to avoid having to venture off the home page to find these important contact details. The use of the social media icons, to me, increase the professional feeling through this site. It is also fun and easy to identify throughout different cultures which makes connecting with the artist much easier.
I also appreciate the menu system, in particular the drop down menu. I like how the actual ‘Projects’ tab doesn’t lead anywhere specific, but groups specific projects in the drop down menu bar.
I did venture further through Archers site, especially checking out his about page to get an idea of how an actual illustrator fronts himself in an online web space. I felt it less personal with the way it was written in third person.
Overall I really liked how this site centered around the artist’s work, and did what you would expect an online portfolio would do. I liked the clean minimalistic feel of the site and weightlessness of the layout and colour palette. However my main issue with the site was that there wasn’t really a sense of branding going on. Besides the work itself I don’t feel like I really got an idea of who this artist is and what they are about throughout the site. Despite this fact, it definitly did have aspects that I would like to try out in my own webspace.
After looking into Archer I decided to check out Gavin Strange’s website under the alias JAMFACTORY.
Straight away I get a sense of who and what this guy is about. As stated in post Logo Me, you can see his brand, and how he promotes himself. The colour palette is fun and visually appealing yet still reserved and simplistic. The weight of the header and footer aid the colour choice by creating such dense blocks of colour. The choice of font is also fun and carries the hype that his site is creating within that first initial glance.
I like how Strange also includes the social media logos in his footer as their icons, again creating that easy to connect throughout different cultures and languages. I also like how his footer is permanently at the bottom of the browser page, so it is always visible but still has the scroll feature to see all his work.
Another aspect I enjoy about his home/work page is the tiled thumbnails. Usually this would feel very over complicated to me, but with his particular style of work which is very simple, he pulls it off. Also, like Archer, I like the scroll over effect which brings up the artworks title.
I really liked the layouts of each page but his about page grabbed my attention the most considering the above was the first thing you see after clicking the page in the menu bar. Straight away you are confronted with the artist in a way that isn’t a standard black and white portrait but something fun, interesting, and different, with a couple facts about who he is. This was something I haven’t really seen before, so it instantly grabbed my attention. It also added to his brand. It promoted the fun and creative feel that his JamFactory alias has established. There was then the option to scroll down to read a short about me blurb that felt personal and is Gavin Strange himself was telling you which made it more personal and open.
SO WHAT ABOUT MY SITE? Well what do I want?
I want something simple, so no fancy or tacky transitioning effects between pages (this isn’t a powerpoint slide). But I also want my site to have character, portray a brand, and promote who I am as an artist and as a person. I have a new and improved logo, but I need to think of a font, colour scheme, and layout to give life to Hoare.C alias in a way to portray myself effectively just like my illustrations.
The first image shows me playing around with a few different site layouts, but not furthering on as I didn’t really like them at all. In the second image I decided to start taking aspects of the two websites I looked into by combining the aspects I liked most.
This lead to further development through drawings as well as in Adobe Muse.