Caledonians & Creating Websites

Today I once again put on my creative hat and joined my husband in some web design and development. As I tend to be the more artistic of the couple I put together images and layout whilst Bear codes and adjusts and actually does the hard bit. Our aim: firstly to create a site that might attract people within Birmingham with connections to Scotland to come forward and create a society. Secondly, we were to make a church website (also with Scottish links). Two very different websites and different briefs.

Creatively I was given a lot of freedom. Which was nice. Having helped my husband create a logo and blog design which would fit the young, IT-crazed person he is, and redesigning this very blog, I was a bit more experienced with how layouts would work best, and how to keep things simple whilst good-lookin’.

First, the Caledonians. For this I wanted a little tradition and culture, but alongside the modern diverse city that Birmingham is. If this society really takes off it could be a great thing to be a part of: ceilidhs, music and amazing food. I’m not one to complain about a good night either so I needed to get across a little of both.

I decided on an image of the city, full of the diverse architecture and colour, and put it alongside a tartan which used similar colour and tone as the photograph. With this I wanted a simply logo and with tones of purple a thistle seemed like the perfect choice. Editing all of these to fit nicely together it resulted in a sleek, sophisticated header for a simple website. I also put a short quote from a poem, paraphrased to relate to the purpose of the site.

The second of the two, the church website, was far more difficult. I have come across far too many dull, cheesy and badly-designed websites in the Christian tradition. At least Bear could sort out the security of it all. We found out a short while ago that church websites were far more likely to be poisoned with viruses and malware than any pornography site. Why you ask? It comes down to people: if you don’t manage your website properly, or no-one actually uses it, or it just sits there for years, then it will gain bad attention, and there will be no-one to stop it. It was my job, however, to come up with a website that was functional, simple and stylish without looking like we were trying too hard.

I decided upon using the logo of the Church of Scotland, which in itself is nice and simple using the St Andrew’s flag and a burning bush. Next to this I tried to make the text attractive, using two contrasting typographies, I complimented the name of the church with the location. When the websites are up and running I’ll link you to them, in the meantime there is a little more work to be done.

As ever, constructive criticism is always welcome!

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