Gabriella Buckingham New Portfolio Website

gabs buckingham websiteLast year, my good friend and talented artist Gabriella Buckingham asked me to help her with designing and developing of her new portfolio based website. The driving force behind this was that Gabs had agreed to exhibit at the SURTEX show in New York City in May 2015! SURTEX is an important trade show for designers of patterns and illustrators to showcase their work to buyers of world famous brands.

For months we have been emailing and meeting up to discuss on how we wanted it to look and work. It wasn’t a chore for me, as it’s always lovely to spend time with Gabs talking about art, life, and children!

We both agreed that the new website had to be white, simple, and clean. Gab’s work is very colourful and bright (something I wish I could do for my own illustrations) and we wanted the emphasis to be on the pieces and not the website design. She was also in the process of reinvigorating her logo and brand, so it had to all tie in beautifully.

So, I set about creating the theme and structure and functionality and handed it over to Gabs to populate with her images and copy over a period of weeks. Gabs had to familiarise herself with a new content management system and upload new work as she produced it.

Gabriella BuckinghamI have to say that I love photography that has been used (well done Mr B). It really shows how much fun and creative Gab’s personality is and of course this shines through in her style of work.

I’m really pleased with the result and I think Gabs likes it too. It’s always a pleasure to work with other designers and artists and such an added bonus that it’s for a friend. I’m very proud of the website and I hope that it continues to adapt and grow with the business.

Simply Solids – Logo Redesign and New Website

Simply Solids New Logo
Simply Solids New Logo
I was contacted by the lovely Justine last year to help her rework the logo for her new business venture – Simply Solids.

We both liked elements of previous logo, but the design did not lend itself well to being printed on stickers and marketing material. It was also a wide design which made it cumbersome when trying to incorporate it onto circular web badges, stickers and marketing design.

Simply Solids Old Logo
Simply Solids Old Logo
We both loved the bunting element (who doesn’t?) and so after a few tweaks we came up with the new logo. We choose a lovely unstructured typeface making it organic and still used lots of lovely bunting. We used a stronger colour palette and added in a ribbon swag to pull it all together. I am thrilled with the result. Simply lovely.

Following on with the new logo, I was asked to work on a brand new design for the website. Justine wanted to move her shop over to the create.net e-commerce platform and wanted a custom template for the new look business.

We went for a very clean modern feel using some bold contemporary fonts and implemented the pastel colours from the branding. I think it works really well and I hope that the website continues to grow and evolve with the business as it goes from strength to strength. It’s been a pleasure working with Justine on this project and I hope we get to work together again soon!

www.simplysolids.co.uk

Simply Solids Website
Simply Solids Website

Skull and Cross Buns

wamc_jan13_promo_scb So, can you guess what this website sells? You’ll never guess and that’s one of the best things about small independent businesses. This fabulous website is the brainchild of the very lovely and very talented Emily Fox. Emily sells hand carved stamps and designs, but not just any ordinary designs, some really fun animals, words, bunting and seasonal stamps. All lovingly hand carved by her fair hands!

I was asked by Emily to come up with a design for a website that matched her unique and quirky style. We had a great palette of pinks and greys to work with. Emily was keen to have a neutral website which allowed the products to shine through, but was also fun and not too serious.

I used a combination of washi tape patterns in the pale pink and we introduced a new fancy font to add some interest to the design along with a lovely duck blue colour to add some zing!

The website was designed using the fabulous create.net platform and I think the simplicity of the layout and the design really works and I am thrilled with the results. The new site has had such lovely feedback on the official Skull and Cross Buns facebook page. Go over ‘like’ immediately (please) and be sure to visit the website and get yourself some proper fabulous stamps.

website_template_skullcrossbuns

Cherry Pie Lane

A while back I recieved an email from Charlie of Cherry Pie Lane (imagine my excitement people), alas, my dream of being paid in the form of cake was quickly dashed, but very quickly replaced by wanting to own lots of beautiful ceramic designs.

Cherry Pie Lane already had an online presence but it was time to upgrade to something that was easier to manage and give the business a new face-lift. Charlie wanted to start using the create.net system for her e-commerce solution. I believe that we found each other through the mighty twitter-sphere, although I am lucky to be in create’s little ‘black book’ of WDK designers and often get referals via that route.

So, Charlie gave me a detailed design brief which was along the lines of ‘I like clean lines, pink gingham and linen’. Simple really.

After a few rounds of revisions, me insisting on ‘less is more’ when it comes to gingham and some whipping sessions (don’t ask) we arrived at the final result. Although I jest about the loose brief, I knew that Charlie had a clear vision of what she wanted and it was up to me to translate that into a website that not only looked delicious but worked for Cherry Pie Lane.

It has been a pleasure to work on this project with such a fun and clever lady and I am thrilled that the website really does let the designs shine and take centre stage. Check out the new website and tell me which designs you love. My personal favourite has got to be the circus inspired designs, but I may just be channelling my inner clown.

Kyleigh’s Papercuts

Late last year I was asked by the very talented papercutting Goddess Kyleigh to help her set up and develop her own website. Kyleigh is a best seller on Not on The High Street, but she had never had time to set up her own website.

So the idea was that Kyleigh would provide me with a design concept and I would ‘plumb’ it into an e-commerce platform. We discussed various options and in the end we settled for a system that offered flexibilty to grow and be 100% client manageable.

It was a great pleasure working with a designer who knew what she wanted, but who was also open to suggestion when it came to adapting her ideas into something that would work online.

We actually completed the website last year, but because Kyleigh was totally swamped with orders over the holiday period she wasn’t able to finish uploading products to the site. I only nagged her a few times over that period. Honest.

I am thrilled to announce that it is finally launched and it is totally magnificant. Please go and admire the unique designs and wonder at the skill (there’s a clip you can watch) at what it takes to complete a custom papercut.

Thank you to Kyleigh for allowing me to be a small part of her papercutting empire. It was a pleasure working with such a talent.

Rosettes by Little A Designs

I received the most amazing package of goodies the other day. I had asked the very lovely sewing and hand stitching goddess that is Marna of Little A Designs for some special rosettes.

I knew they were going to be gorgeous, but I was blown away at all the attention to detail, from the washi tape ribbons to the hand made ‘little a’ ceramic buttons to the authenticity certificates. Beautifully presented and all made with love. When you commission something from Marna, expect something very special indeed.

My only dilemma is that I want to hang my HQ rosette in the middle of my monitor so I get to look at it all day long, however, this makes is a tad difficult to do any actual work.

I look forward to wearing my ‘nobber’ and ‘cakeface’ rosettes with utter pride.

The Sunday Gardener

The Sunday Gardener is an independent, non-profit, advice and resource website for gardeners and enthusiasts.

I was contacted by Carol, the owner and editor of the blog-style site with a view to updating the template. Carol had built the site on the Create.Net platform and was using one of their templates. The site was growing in content and it was time to update it to allow for drop down menus which the existing template could not allow for. Carol wanted to maintain the style of the existing website, so working from a revised sitemap and using the style of the existing website as a guide we eventually came up with a new updated design.

It has been a pleasure working with Carol on her website. She had a very clear idea of how she wanted it to look and the style, so it was a case of translating her thoughts into a workable design.

This is an excellent example of how to use an e-commerce solution like Create.Net for a non-commerce website. You can visit the site at www.sundaygardener.co.uk for lots of lovely tips and hints on looking after your garden. There is also a handy annual calender which helps you plan your activities.

The Crystal Boutique

The Crystal Boutique is an online business selling bespoke and customised crystal shoes.

I was contacted by the owner and designer Jorden to help her re-work her existing website on the create.net platform. Jorden had previously commissioned someone to design a template for her using Create’s WDK system, but the template was not working the way she wanted it to with major layout issues.

I was sent me some screenshots of the pages that were of concern with some ideas of what style and design changes were required. Based on this, I prepared some concept designs which we played around with until we had a design that we were both happy with. Using this design I created a template for the Create system. On this occasion it was easier to start from scratch instead of using what was there previously.

The great thing about using a templated system such as Create is that there is very little content changes that were required. A few product images had to be updated to match the new template, but apart from that once the new template was applied and tested the new Crystal Boutique website was launched!

The business owned by Jorden, an ambitious young lady who is going places, so keep an eye on her. You can see the new website in all its glory at www.thecrystalboutique.com. You can also follow Jorden on twitter @TheCrystalB_

Little A Designs

A couple of months back I did some work on Little A Designs’ old e-commerce website and blog. It was a straight forward change of some elements of the shop page and creating some new styles for the blog. I really enjoyed working with Marna, she’s super creative and has a clear direction on the style and format she likes.

So, it was a great pleasure and privilege to be asked to help Marna completely define and devised a totally new concept for her shop when it came for time for her to re-invent herself (a la Madonna style, but minus the boob tassels).

I asked Marna for a design brief. What I got was a mood board in a box full crammed full of her favourite ribbons, washi tapes and fabrics along with some screens of design elements she liked.

It was rather difficult for me to not want to use all the delicious ideas, I had to use my restraint, imagine that! I came up with three different concepts all using different design elements that had been outlined. It’s always a nail-biting time for me when waiting for feedback on initial concepts, because although I love the designs I send off to a client, there is always the fear of them not being not quite ‘right’.

Design feedback for Little A Designs initial concepts
I need not have feared. Marna loved them all, and do you know how I could tell? She sent me a picture with different parts of all three designs cut and paste (literally) onto a new hybrid design.

I had hand-written notes and comments on the various elements and also suggestions on what would work. I would soon get very used to this sort of feedback ML style.

We worked on refining the design further with each revision until we came up with a design that we were both very happy with.

I can honestly say that we were very much on the same wave-length when it came to what worked and what didn’t work. I think I only had to put my foot down once and do a ‘designer strop’ to get my own way.

The final website is a true reflection of Marna and her creativity. From the bits of fabric on the basket/cart area to the crochet frame which she made along with her favourite washi tapes. Most personal were the frames that have been used in the gallery pages which came from her own collection and housed pictures of the gorgeous Lunt family.

Alongside the talents of illustrations of Artwork by Angie and the beautiful product images by Lyndsey James photography, I think that you will agree that this is a real team effort and I for one would not begrudge all the hours that have been put in to come up with such a bespoke and unique product for such a truly inspirational lady.

Please go and have a good old nosey at the site and the blog and treat yourself to something beautiful while you are there.

www.littleadesigns.co.uk

Gift Wrapped and Gorgeous

Deborah Meaden Twitter Special MentionThe other day the very lovely team at Gift Wrapped and Gorgeous won a special mention from the equally lovely (with great shoe collection) BBC Dragon and hugely successful business woman Deborah Meaden.

Deborah is currently running a twitter campaign encouraging others to support British businesses by buying British this Christmas. I totally agree with this and whenever I can I always try to look for British based and if possible hand-crafted goods and products. I am lucky that I know so many fabulous designer makers, many of whom are on twitter.

I was asked by the GWAG team to design them a badge that they could use to promote their ‘special mention’. I have created a few for the ‘other’ Dragon Theo Paphitis for his ‘Small Business Sunday’ twitter winners, so it felt right to do this for Deborah’s campaign. As with all my badge work, all proceeds will be donated to charity. This month I have chosen the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Be sure to check out Gift Wrapped and Gorgeous for some lovely goodies.