At Raging River we will work with you to determine your target audience, select a color scheme that portrays your message and set up a design and style that will be unique and clearly recognizable as your own. At the end of the process you will have a strikingly beautiful web design that you can be proud of, something you’ll want to show off.
I learned design at an early age. In fact I jumped into the design field right after school: August 8, 1976 to be precise.
The principles of design have not changed one little bit since that time. The only difference today is the medium used for the presentation. Personally, I much prefer today’s electronic monitors to yesterday’s paper and somehow the ink seemed leap out of the printing press onto me as I would walk by.
I recently did a search on “Branding”. That was my task one morning, to read up on this Branding thing everyone kept talking about. Had I missed some new development? Was there some new twist on design which had been developed in a secret collegiate lab somewhere?
Nope. I discovered I wasn’t missing a single thing, except maybe some nice new names. The principles of design had indeed remained unchanged since at least 1976 when I began designing for the State Legislature in my hometown. Lucky for me I lived in the State Capitol, huh?
However, I found something else that was interesting. I had Googled “web design branding” and read through about a dozen different articles on the subject. Except for a few words changed here and there these articles were virtually identical. The principles were even presented in exactly same order. Had these articles been assignments in a classroom the whole class would have failed for copying from one other.
There will be no post from me on this subject because of this. Instead we will discuss these same principles briefly here but in my own words and from my own experience. I will present their principles in the same order to prevent confusion when comparing.
I actually have a rather difficult time considering these “principles” as separate and distinct. To me they all contribute to and effect each other endlessly and are artificial divisions of something that can only be employed as a whole.
Color effects mood differently, each color reacting differently on different groups of people. This is the psychology of colors, By determining your target audience, the reaction you want to inspire, and the presence, or impression, you wish to convey, selection of a color scheme is tailored for your success.
It wouldn’t do to write one page of your site in the style of Mark Twain, only to switch to a Carl Sagan or a Jim Gaffigan style voice on another. In truth. the type of character selected and used should at once be your own while still tailored to suit your target audience in the best manner.
This one seems to be about 50% common sense and about 50% literary padding. In fact the type of site pretty well dictates this factor. For instance, a car repair site naturally wouldn’t wish to bring it’s readers to tears, while a site for a clinic or medical facility would naturally seek to invoke a feeling of trust. I will say this though, never write angry. Not on a website at least.
We always used the word Continuity instead. When your audience looks at one of your pages it should be instantly recognizable as one of yours. In order to do this we set up a template for Pages, another for their cousins the Posts so that everything has continuity. Colors, borders, alignments, typography all contribute to this. In the old days, we also called this flow.
Reusing Code and Visuals
More padding, We just talked about this in Consistency.
Size and Position of Logo
Here we have padding again. There is an old addage that says the only person who cares about your logo is you. Making your logo too big devours the area “above the fold” by forcing the header to be too large. There are much better uses for this real estate, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Your logo should be visible and large enough for your brand recognition purposes, and it should be the same on every page, but continuity has already told us this.
Website logos are, always have been, and likely always will be in the upper left hand corner of the site, or in some cases the center of the “header”. This has become normal and expected by users and visitors today, and that logo always has contained a link that returned you to the homepage when clicked. To change this would confuse your audience pointlessly.
This is one of the most important items on this list. This should appear towards the top of the page so that it greets them when they arrive. This is where you explain, briefly, the value that you offer, or how you can help this new visitor to your site. The goal, of course, is to make them stay, look further, subscribe, purchase or return again. This is exponentially more important than your logo, but should appear very close to it nonetheless.
Tone of Voice
We covered this under Character and we are starting to really see very clearly how these categories run together, overlap and work with each other as a whole.
When you are seeking a web design you naturally want something that is unique to you. If that were not important you would be using Weebly or Wix or Squarepace or some other platform that uses a template structure. At Raging River we also use templates, but these are templates that are designed uniquely for you, by us. The main purpose of these templates are to ensure continuity from page to page, and to make the creation process a little more timely so that you receive the finished product much quicker. These templates also ensure that when you, as the client, adds a page or a post the format matches the pages and posts you already have.
Raging River does not, at this time, sell templates. However, I do have access to quite a few professional templates. Should you decide that your budget concerns outweigh your concerns over uniqueness contact us and we can probably work something out. Templates can be customized rather easily to give you a feeling of uniqueness.