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opinions please design gurus

Hey there guys and girls, I've been tasked with re-jigging our website and I'm not much of a designer.

I've come up with a few logo ideas and a couple of mock ups for the home page.

If anyone who's interested wouldn't mind having a look and letting me know what they think about logo and design. All criticisms welcomed :) No offence will be taken.

Untitled Document

Whats the best logo? Is the design any good?

I was tempted to just fill the front page with categories and products but having reviewed loads of design sites and other ecommerce sites, it seems big pictures are the way to go?

thanks in advance :)
Hi Barricades,

You're definitely going for the Irish heritage theme! Very... erm... Green!

To be honest, it's not brilliant, but as you say - you're not a designer... The easiest constructive criticism for me to give really is to employ a professional who is a designer! I'm going to guess that your business doesn't actually have any budget for this though?!

Is your background in web development? Is this going to be an ecommerce site?


I can only really echo Chris Lord's comments. My initial thoughts of the images were along the lines of low budget, old fashioned and small independent shop (1-3 employees, old fashioned shop front etc). There are too many effects going on, clashing colours and various other things which render the logo ineffective.

Your company name doesn't sit well with me either, simply because it sounds more like a statement or logo tag line than the name of company. It uses generic terms which do not stand out in peoples minds, which is one of the key components to a successful brand identity.

I understand that such things might not be a priority for every business out there, but I feel it's definitely one of those areas that are often ignored, especially when people think they can produce professional work themselves. Well done for using your initiative to get feedback on your work but again I'm going to have to re-iterate on what Chris has said - which is that you really need to employ a professional to do this for you.

I'm not even going to talk about the difficulties of web development and how much time and effort you will save by hiring a professional. You'll also be increasing your chances of generating business and decreasing the time it takes to deliver results. It's most certainly not the case that if you build it they will come!

Good luck with your site :)
Hey guys, thanks for the honest responses.

I get it, it's a bit crap. D'oh!

As Chris insightful guessed we don't have much of a budget, hence why I'm having a stab. I did have a look at employing designers but to hire one here costs a small fortune and ones from other countries are cheaper but designs can be a bit hit and miss!

To answer questions Chris - I'm coming at this from a developer point of view. I mainly do building and SEO. This is going to be an ecommerce site, in fact if you remove the design/design.html from the url you'll see the full working shop as it is. It looks terrible but believe it or not we rank very well and get loads of visitors, problem is this year hasn't been so great and I think the competition are catching us. Hence the redesign and in due course marketing campaign.

Squiddy raised a couple of interesting issues. We actually are a small old fashioned shop with 3 employees (4 if you include me). Should our style not reflect that? (Not that that was what I was going for, I cobbled together whatever I thought looked alright!) Also are you specifically talking about the logo or the whole design?

I get what you're saying about the name but we're established now plus it's SEO gold to have your main keywords in your url so I'm not sure it's a good idea to change that. I guess we've sacrificed our staying power in people's memory (repeat customers) for increased likelyhood of picking up new customers who happen to type our company name.

Finally, as I said we're on a budget and because this year's been tight (the website's keeping the real-life store in business) I'm reluctant to spend much. What do you think would be a sensible budget for a redesign and do you guys have any suggestions of gifted designers who don't cost a fortune?

Thanks again for getting back to me. Much appreciated feedback. Mind you it'd have been better if you'd have said it's all great (and that was true of course!)
There are plenty of talented designers on here that would be willing to do the job. My suggestion would be to place a new thread in the 'Tenders and Requests' part of the forum outlining your brief and potential budget. Maybe if you outlined what pages, or how many pages, whether there is a logo etc needed, how you would like the website delivered, then maybe people can quote on their going rate etc. If you try and be as liberal with your requirements as possible you will get an accurate response back.

I'm sure there will be plenty of people who'd be keen, as long as you allow a sensible budget.

Getting this done properly and correct now, will help save you money in the future and also make you more now - it's an investment! Your quote - "the website's keeping the real-life store in business" highlights this point greatly.
I think I may have to look into hiring someone then. Just out of interest though, so I can at least learn something out of all this, where was I going wrong?
Logo wise: the colours, fonts, positioning, icons, outer glows and amount of detail.
Web design: the drop shadows, colours, banner height, banner content, background patterns.

One quick tip; when designing, (most of the time) avoid using outer glows, emboss, drop shadows and textured patterns. Also, decide on a colour scheme and stick to it. I don't think blue, yellow, green and grey work well together, for example.

Hope that helps a little.
Hey Alex, thanks for the input

I have read a few design tutorials which have said the same as you, ie no dropshadows, outer glows etc... also they often advise using a plain, easy to read font for the logo.

But... When I go and have a look at all the nice designs which bloggers are kind enough to cobble together as examples of superior web design, they frequently have patterned backgrounds, drop shadows, outer glows and fancy text.

Granted about half won't use shadows, textures etc but the ones which I would consider to have a lot of character do.

How do you know what way to go?
I think it comes down to personal taste and to who these 'nice designs' are created by. Maybe if you shared some examples with us of the ones you have found? In some cases it can be used, just not all the time.

Also, with the example of a drop shadow, I often find, that when I do use it (which i personally avoid most of the time) it works best when its very faint (ie: 25% visibility).

Here is an example of a wallpaper I made about a year ago where (imo) the shadow works because of what I am trying to do with it, in this case give a greater sense of depth:



In response to your question; logo or whole thing, I'm going to have to go with whole thing to be honest.

I live in an area with a lot of old fashioned independent store owners. Perhaps I didn't put my point across very well but they are the kind of shops that have been there for decades and haven't done anything in terms of maintaining the shop (interior or exterior), about half of them use old fashioned credit/debit card machines and the other half don't have any. That's the kind of 'small old fashioned shop' I meant. There's nothing wrong with small company's, I love them, but I don't like old companies that have put no thought into where their business is going and how to deliver great value to their customers. I'm sure you've seen a couple of the shops I'm talking about!

Now, regarding the use of effects - by all means you should use them. They increase the aesthetic of any design. However, this is only true when you know how to implement effects such as drop shadows, reflections, glows, textures etc properly, and in all that knowledge (and trust me there's a lot more to it than this) is the difference between a graphic designer and someone who thinks they can do it themselves!
Lol... Squiddy, I wasn't taking offense about the old fashioned bit. The opposite actually.

The bricks and mortar shop we operate from could be described as old fashioned, hasn't changed in years, family business started in the 30's using old fashiond card machines (not now though, at least not for my site) and there is 3 people working in there.

You're like a psychic or psycho or sommit.

Having said that, it would have been nicer if you'd guessed all that from the old design rather than my attempts to modernize and update. lol


I think it's probably best that you don't give me the opportunity to see your old design, lol. ;)

P.S. Psychic and psycho have two very different meanings...!


The only ones I liked were the following:

Fair Trade Clothing, Knickers, Vests, Shorts, Thongs, PJs - Life's Not Fair But... My Knickers Are!
Yogi | Yogi Organic Tea
The Goodies | Marie Catrib's

I felt that heartbreakerfashion only just worked, the logo, navigation area and pink horizontal areas beneath the navigation and above the footer didn't work very well.

I think the yogi logo would look better without the purple radial gradient and some kind of stroke/border instead of the glow effect.

If you want to learn more about graphic design I suggest reading up a little on design. There's plenty of information on the internet or at college/uni ;)