Monday, January 5, 2009

Designing the website

Usually when I'm designing a site, I spend a lot of time searching for inspiration and a small portion of that is attained through checking out other people's work. With the Qi website and this blog, there was such a strong visual direction emanating from the logo work we did that the look and feel of the site materialized almost immediately.

I began designing the site in early September (or at least that's the date of the sketch you see above) soon after completing an unrelated freelance project. Again, the PSD mockup came together with surprising ease, though there were some changes. I realized at that point that the idea of a doodle for the mask didn't fit very well with the overall aesthetic of the brand (even though I love the sketch feel for many snowboarding related sites out there) and instead of having five boxes for the five W's, it was reduced to only three since our content really didn't warrant the five W's format. If I run out of material in the future I'll come back to this and post up the doodled on masks, it's around somewhere in one of these PSD mockups.

For the background photo, it's actually me in Kevin's studio (the friend who originally discovered the mask in Japan). In it, I'm rocking his jacket, a pair of my Dragon Mace goggles (love their fit, as well as IS Design's) and a mockup of the mask, although after working with the RAW files, I had to punch up the mask a bit in Photoshop. The background texture you see is actually a closeup of fabric from a pillow. So there you have it, the mystery has been revealed, the background image isn't all that exciting anymore is it?

For a while, I had the background fixed and the site's content scrolling over it, but just the other day, Jonlin mentioned to me that depending on the resolution of the viewer's monitor, they may never see the mask, so I changed it up and made the background scroll with the site. I'm so used to working in high resolution either on my trusty ThinkPad or 24" Dell that I never even realized that the background image was so large that the mask ended up beneath the fold.

Last note on this subject, the whole aesthetic of the site might remind you of Oakley when it's finally released. I actually didn't consciously do that. In fact, I was channeling Under Armour's aesthetics when brainstorming for our site (love their commercials even though they aren't a core snowboard brand).

Anyway, off to ride at The Canyons again. Halfway through our Utah trip and the legs are beginning to tire. Not complaining though, just making excuses in case I get embarrassed on my board =T.

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