You may of noticed a few changes round here the last month or so… well I’m finally pleased to announce that it’s all up and running! …HOORAR!!
This project has been in the making for over a year now… and even longer if you count my previous web designer. Two years ago I realised that my main website needed updating badly, while there was nothing wrong with it intrinsically ……it was just built in flash, and had no way for me to be able to update the portfolio, no backend admin system… the images were fine, and business was great – but I got bored looking at the same work over and over, and it’s always good to keep your portfolio fresh and display your recent work etc… (Say’s he who hasn’t updated his blog in ages!)
Anyway after my original web designer let me down for over a year…… it was time to find a new one, and I was recommended to the very talented Michael at Homemade.
This was back in November of last year!… and originally I thought, yeah…… I just need a new website, bish, bash, bosh – done!
But after our initial meeting I soon realised…… that I needed to let go of my logo and branding (that I had created a very long time ago by yours truly) ……to stand back and think objectively about it, and give someone else the creative freedom – that actually knew what they were doing when it came to branding & websites.
Below is my old logo and colours, it served me well – but I felt it didn’t really encompass me anymore or have any relevance to my business, it was quite dark and oppressive… when most weddings are light and joyous, full of life & colour.
So after a very detailed market research questionnaire I sent out to past clients, friends, and industry experts…… (thanks to all who responded, it helped a great deal)… it was time to get thinking!
I left the design of it in the capable hands of Michael…… but what I didn’t really bank on, is coming up and and perfecting a logo takes ages!
But equally this is a good thing, as I didn’t want to rush this process… it needed to grow organically and with love. So another 6 months flew by, and we had finally perfected it…… to be honest I actually settled on an earlier design, that didn’t look anything like it does now, and it was only with Michael’s amazing commitment; he felt it wasn’t quite right and there was missing something… that he ended up taking it to how you see it today. So if you’re looking for a new logo/branding… I can highly recommend Micheal…… he definitely goes the extra mile!
Then the website design process was more simple, but equally to get it perfect… took time, and typical it had to land right in the middle of the busy season!
So let me introduce it to you…
…and what I feel about it.
Firstly the logo and colours… well as ‘Touch Photography’ will purely be for weddings & couples shoots from now on… I wanted it to reflect this, I carried over the purple from the previous design… but apart from that everything else is different.
The logo itself I feel represents either two people coming together or it could be two rings or/and it also sums up the actual name, plus it can be deconstructed to just the ‘O’s – and still be recognisable to the brand.
The background was also a conscious choice, obviously coming from black… and how harsh that was, I wanted something softer & cleaner, I wanted it to be tactile like you can ‘touch’ it… hence the texture – it’s actually a scan of some textured paper… but also it couldn’t be too distracting and had to be fairly neutral in colour so the colours of the images sit right against it.
As for the design brief for the site… it had to be clean, unique & contemporary, simple layout, easy navigation, fast… and most importantly letting the the images speak for themselves!
We researched a lot of wedding photographers websites and found the majority… utilise a single large image on a loop as their front page, there’s nothing wrong with it… but to be unique & contemporary – we had to be different to think outside the box …not so much that it over complicates the navigation, but still achieving that instant wow factor!
I say ‘we’ …but credit really all lies with Michael at Homemade.
So using the crop aspect of a 35mm frame… it was to be a grid of images that fit within the majority of peoples screens, with a dynamic clever layout… I personally feel it certainly lets the images do the speaking – and what I love about it – is that it’s never the same!
One image then changes every 3 seconds… and I can personally speed that up or slow it down if needed.
Though the cleverness doesn’t stop there though… every single image is click-able, ……so just choose one you fancy and hey presto – it will take you to that image within the gallery!
The gallery itself also has some very clever jiggery pokery going on in the background… one of my conditions was that everything had to load fast, no mega loading delays! …I hate waiting for images or websites to load just as much as anyone else!… Originally when you clicked an image on the homepage, it would load the whole gallery before displaying it = instant fail! …The next attempt was to load every image individually, so the image you clicked would show instantly, but then between every image thereafter when you clicked through the gallery you would have to wait 2 seconds or so for each image to appear and you would see that dreaded loading spiral! …better, but still not perfect!
So after speaking with Michael and the developers… I realised there must be a solution, a bit like when you watch a youtube video, it buffers… and then continues to load in the background, you never notice any loading at all. So some clever custom programing later …they eventually came up with a brand new solution, that apparently has never been done before with jquery*… so hats off to them too 🙂
The testimonial section I felt was equally important and was one element missing from my original site …so this is a mixture of testimonials and real email reactions I’ve received after they’ve viewed their slideshows and images within the client area. (If you’re a past client – and haven’t done one yet 😉 …feel free to drop me an email anytime)
The other pages are pretty self explanatory… apart from as usual I may of written too much! …but hey that’s just me!
So I would love to hear what you all think?… feel free to leave a comment below…
Massive thanks again to Michael & the team at Homemade ……if you’re looking for any new branding, graphic design or website – then definitely check them out!
* = jquery – is a bit like flash, but not… it’s basically geeky webdesign talk.