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Discussion in 'Website Design Critique:' started by SeedySteve, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. SeedySteve

    SeedySteve Member

    Hi,
    If anyone would be good enough to cast a beady eye over my site & blog, I'd be grateful.
    I'm about 40% of the way through and wanted some feedback...
    http://www.coalfieldstudio.com/
     
  2. Jordan

    Jordan Active Member

    I like the idea of the horizontal stripe layout, this seems to be very popular at the min in design.
    I think there is a lot of space wasted at the top of the website, which could be utilised better. Maybe a nice big image of work etc.
     
  3. Eh... everything is too big. The drop shadows are horribly over powering, the text doesn't really pop out at me or entice me to read it. There's far too much text in the "The Studio" section. Keep it short and simple, people don't have the time, patience or attention span to read so much info!
    Just a note about your logo, I really wasn't sure what it was meant to be. It has been pointed out to me that it is a pit wheel, which to be honest I'd never really seen or heard of before. If your aiming to deal with clients nationally or internationally, there might be an issue there. I actually quite liked your old logo!
    Hope the feedback has helped, let me know if you want any more specific advice!
     
  4. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    Hi Steve,

    I know you're just learning and things, but would you prefer people take that into consideration, or, treat it like they would treat something if they were critiquing for anyone else? :)

    Tony
     
  5. SeedySteve

    SeedySteve Member

    Cheers lads - I'm happy to take anything you have for me, Tony, thanks mate - Best way to improve I think...
    Yeah, the text needs to be darker i think on the content, I can see that looking at the blog, i'll revise the volume of text. I was going to add navigation to the top to clear some of that dead space at the top.
    ahhh - I really like the logo - haha - It's based on a window of a local listed building - I suppose they based the window on the wheel, but I'll look at it again :(
     
  6. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    I don't mind the logo but I think it can probably be associated to "the North" maybe? Sean wasn't quite sure what it is when I last talked to him I don't think!
    I'll go over your site in a bit more depth with you later, but, I would definitely lose the massive massive logo. It's taking up far too much site estate!
     
  7. SeedySteve

    SeedySteve Member

    Thanks Tony,
    Yeah - point taken - I've started re-doing things in my head and have an idea how it might turn out.
    Might change tack and go with a similar lay-out to this >> http://owltastic.com/
    The logo - yeah - My intentions were 'Window' primarily, with The North, Industry in general and generally relating to the context of the Coalfields area. I know that will limit the people 'getting' the reference, but I want to build an identity based on the work I do. Having said that, I don't think mining is restricted to the northeast of England alone.
    Any thoughts on the colour scheme?
    Thanks again for your time.
     
  8. I think it's great that you're coming on here and looking for honest feedback. When I first started in design, I remember showing stuff to people that I'd been working really hard on and thinking I'd done a really good job only to receive mixed reviews at best. When I look back on the work I was producing, it's now completely understandable why that happened..! No you're not seeing any of it :p You get used to it and you begin to work out what works and what doesn't. Eventually you can just 'tell' what's good and what isn't, even if the design is rather alien to you. Just keep on going with it :)
    As for your logo, you say you want to build an identity based on the work you do, but what does a pit wheel or window have to do with your work? If that was presented to me I wouldn't have a clue what the company was about, even with the name underneath it.
    As for mining, well I'm as south as you can get and thinking about it, I can't think of a single mining company, any tools used for mining or even the names of any mines! I think this is the first time I've even discussed mining with someone! Maybe I'm an anomaly, but as far as I'm aware mining is definitely not big in the South!
    I think you should stick with the current layout you've got and just keep working at it until you've got something that looks good, think of it as a challenge :)
     
  9. SeedySteve

    SeedySteve Member

    Yeah, I know where I need to improve, and I know what skills I need to improve - and that's just practise and review isn't it...
    I get what you're saying on the logo, but I'm basing it on heritage and more importantly symbolism of the area. It's not a direct reference to mining as such.
    There are plenty of logos like this, Arsenal's got a cannon on their logo based on it's history, Starbucks a 'siren' from greek mythology, (dunno why that came to mind). You build new meaning into a logo by communication and experience. That's my take on it anyway.
    But yeah, I'd listen to criticism all day rather than praise to be honest - it's much more valuable. :D
    Thanks again
     
  10. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    first thoughts.... honest opinions nothing more as like you say you're still working on it
    • colours don't go with the name, coal is black or very dark grey in my experience. You've gone for a wish washy browns with hints of pink, a yellowish brown (which looks like a curry colour) and orange highlights to the text.... they just don't work that well together in my opinion. Maybe try something like kuler to get a colour combo that works.
    • not sure why you've got a wagon wheel as your logo, first things I think of with mining are darkness, dust, tin hat and lamp, the hand held lantern, that railway wagon thing for the coal (can't remember it's exact name but coal wagon would work lol) and pasties.... oh and the little yellow canary in a cage (poisonous gas warning)
    • proportions are off, everything seems too 'big'
    • your boxes/panels in the horizontal stripe need to be the same width if they're using boxes or if you're not they need to 'visually align'. They don't at the minute and that will throw everything off
    • some things could be more subtle like the drop shadow, not even sure you need them or the boxes in the horizontal stripes if I'm honest though
    edit: had a quick look on kuler website, something like 'the legend' could work well in my opinion or you could even pick 'coal mine' lol. I prefer 'the legend' personally as I can see a colour for your fonts (two paler colours), your accents (the red) and backgound choices (the other 2) while keeping that 'darker' vibe you were aiming at on the original site design
     
  11. SeedySteve

    SeedySteve Member

    OK - thanks guys. I'll check that Kuler site out Levi, I'd seen it referenced before but not been on. I'll be back :D
     
  12. You're not Arsenal or Starbucks and I don't really see the comparison to be honest. Their logos don't need to tell people what they do, and so their logo requirements are much different to yours. Arsenal has been around for almost 130 years and Starbucks just over 40 years, there's a reason why there is a large historical aspect to their logos.
    I don't have a massive problem with the logo, I'm just worried about the level of ambiguity, it doesn't mean anything to me when I look at it.
    I look forward to seeing your new site!
     
  13. SeedySteve

    SeedySteve Member

  14. GibbonIt

    GibbonIt Member

    If I am honest, It's still not there yet...
    Although your previous logo has already had feedback and I agree with all the improvements suggested, it was still clean and simple. This new one seems more messy and less professional. The 'Studio' seems to have been stretched horizontally, and I have never been a fan of that kind of technique...
    The lower text logo also seems like the symbol in the 'O' has been forced into place rather than allowing it to flow nicely.
    The upper design in the oval, could have the upper right symbol improved if you made it head on like your old icon in my opinion, but I am presuming you are trying to get a perspective?
    Sorry for the criticism, but it is the best way to achieve the best results.
     
  15. SeedySteve

    SeedySteve Member

    It's fine mate, that's what I'm after.
    These are just a few ideas I've knocked up quickly to get a feel. The fonts would change on the block one, and I've kind of gone off the top one.
    Thinking of developing the very bottom one more.
    thanks for getting back
     
  16. GibbonIt

    GibbonIt Member

    Just an idea I came up with in a couple of minutes. It takes into account tradition, but incorporates coal mine related colours (pointed out by levi earlier) And has a clear direct link to the name field.
    Not sure about very small scales, but its just an idea.
     

    Attached Files:

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  17. SeedySteve

    SeedySteve Member

    That's top quality!
    ...and that took you two minutes :D
    I like the centred text - something I'd not considered before.
    Cheers Ben - It's definitely given me food for thought.
     
  18. GibbonIt

    GibbonIt Member

    No problem, glad you think its alright.
    Let me know if I can help in any other way. I will be sure to keep up with this thread.

    Cheers
    Ben
     
  19. GibbonIt

    GibbonIt Member

    Just another idea suggested earlier in a previous post but wasn't experimented with, just to give you another idea.
    Its very rough and was done quickly, but its the best way to be more efficient in the brainstorm stage.

    Cheers
    Ben
     

    Attached Files:

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  20. SeedySteve

    SeedySteve Member

    Thanks, Ben.
    I've clearly got a bit of learning to do :)
     

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