Web design deadline

Web design in 8hrs

We’ve all been there. Client calls with a hot project and needs an immediate turn around. After a few groans, we put on out big kid pants, turn on the coffee and start cranking away. It’s all part of the job right?

Recently, I had a client call needing a site design for one of there recently acquired companies. I had just finished designing a logo for them, so I figured a new website was around the corner. What I didn’t know was that they would need two design options for a home page and secondary page for a stakeholder presentation, with only 8hrs to turn it around.

Stressful but doable right?

But hold up there’s a few curve balls. All you have to go on is a logo, a headline for the home page and the creative direction of “think luxury”. There is no content. There is no image direction. There is no style guide. Just design a website. Excuse me while I go to my safe place.

So first things first: start the research. The client provides specialty insurance for a luxury market. I began looking at, what I considered, “specialty retail” sites such as Lloyds of London, Tiffany’s, etc. After a little digging I decided on my plan of attack.

Approach 1

For my first approach I decided to go with a darker color palette, high impact imagery to pay off the headline, clean/modular layout, and use of flat icons. I felt the darker colors would add a sense of mystery and luxury. The large header image would help the client to see how they could create high impact on first glance, even if they change the content later. The use of the serif font provided a nice juxtaposition to the sans serif body copy and added a sense of elegance.

Once inside a typical interior page, I used modular sections for easy scalability, and to help with future section additions for other interior pages. The white background of the body area helps give the impression that the user has “opened” the site, once they navigate from the home page.

Vantage Home Option 1
Vantage Home Option 1
Vantage About Option 1
Vantage About Option 1

Approach 2

For my second approach, I wanted a layout that focused on white space and a clean aesthetic, similar to sites like Apple and Tiffany’s. I moved away from using two font families, focusing on a simple sans serif font. The navigation was laid out as a more traditional navigation bar, incorporating icons to make if feel more modern. The main image for the banner was cropped so that it mirrored both a spotlight effect, as well as giving a nod to the spire/arch in the Vantage logo. For the bottom article sections, I removed the flat icons in favor of more realistic object based imagery.

The interior page plays up the use of white space, offering a clean, modular layout. The layout reflects the ease of adding sections throughout the page, without having if feel heavy.

Vantage Home Option 2
Vantage Home Option 2
Vantage About Option 2
Vantage About Option 2

So there you have it. Two site design concepts in 8 hours. Overall, the client was happy with the designs and felt that it captured what they were looking for. And I became better acquainted with the office Keurig machine.

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