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Not just a new website…

February 13, 2012

Many of you will have noticed my new website

I’m very excited about its clean and paired-back visual style, allowing simple and effective navigation to find clear information about what I do.

Designed by Finn Creative and produced by Joyce Design, the design process was not only fascinating, but incredibly rewarding, helping me gain clarity about my goals this year.

Finn Creative began with a redesign of the lovely ‘mark’ that Designfront created for me in 2009 (which evolved from the original menu button configuration on my first website, also lovingly designed by them). Kevin Finn took this as a starting point and simplified it to bring the focus back to my name – as a sole trading artist and designer, the importance of what I do is held very much in the fact that I am the one doing it.

Finn set me the task of developing a site map for my new website. This was the clincher! It was during this process that I firmly decided on what I wish to focus going forward. I outlined three main areas within my practice: 1) my artwork, 2) client commissions, and 3) products (including my own products and licensed designs). While it sounds simple and even though I’ve been working across these areas for years, it felt like a revelation!

By guiding the focus of the site to these three areas, as well as connecting visitors to my blog and collectors to my store, Finn framed my work by making the images ‘hero’ and adding only a little text to tell the story. The idea here is more ‘sneak peek’ than ‘entire portfolio’ – to reveal the essence of how I approach my work, while igniting the interest of prospective collectors and clients to contact me to find out more. Another addition to the new website are testimonials, which provide essential feedback with great sincerity. Sometimes other people’s words speak louder and more clearly about our values and the skills and qualities we bring to projects than we can ever articulate ourselves.

Joyce Design brought the concept together through quality production of the site. I wrote my own copy and resized all my images, which assisted Henry Joyce in delivering my site in a very short timeframe.

It’s interesting to acknowledge all the self-taught skills gathered over a lifetime that all of a sudden become important, even with tasks as simple as correctly creating web-ready image files. Also, to have time to reflect on the direction my practice has taken – not by chance and yet, not completely by design either – has informed the path I wish to take into the future. Sometimes it’s only by going through these kinds of almost ‘formal’ task-based processes that we can get the clarity we need to allow us to do amazing things.

As you may have read in this post here, for me this year is about doing a few things well, taking time to enjoy the process and making very ‘considered’ decisions about the projects to which I commit. Just as my new website echoes simplicity in its paired-back appeal, so too is my practice reflecting a philosophy of ‘less is more’ and ‘simple is best’.

Image: ‘What to focus on’ by Marc Johns

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