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Whoa, you have TWO sites?!
The line with "About Us, Meet Our Writers, etc" could stand out a little better I think. My eye isn't as drawn to it as I think it should. Same for the text over the image above "Sign Up Today".
I'd lose all the navigation tabs and location bar at the top that look like Firefox. It might confuse people using Firefox.
not bad but not good. would have been good 5 years ago.
For the client/end user I think it works great. Not every piece has to be ground-breaking, experimental fashion work, so a lot of people here will slate you for no reason. Generally speaking of course, I'd listen to the small points.
The cutesy image metaphor stuff - leather binding, wood background, post it notes - it looks OK on a mockup but to be honest there's really no point.
I'm guessing since this is a site for writers there's going to be a lot of reading involved. Imagine how annoying that wood background is going to be after you've been sitting in front of the site reading something for ten minutes.
If you want people to use your site, scale back all that stuff and just create a clean, functional layout.
- This is a good point. Graphics are nice, but text is (presumably) the overwhelming focus.ismith
- client requested organic, dimensional, photo realistic, layered, retro design with a wood bg. If you remove all the homepage elements do you still perceive the nav/header as being too much? All inside pages will have mostly html nav and body content toojerseyred
- all the homepage elements and picture an interior page with html left nav and body copy does it still seem too much?jerseyred
looks like it's from template monster.
let's all down tools and use template monster from now on.
I think this layout will be a pain in content pages.
I'd think about losing some edges so you can use white (or black) space more constructively.
One approach that might be worth pursuing is to drop the home page for now and focus on designing one of the interior pages. if the site is going to be dozens of pages of content that are all laid out a certain way, and then one homepage that has a different layout, how much sense does it make to base your overall design decisions off the home page?
Just lay out the text part of it with the best typography possible (meaning live text - take a look at some blogs and WP Themes that do a good job of this). Then rebuild your design around that. If you have to do the background to appease the client maybe consider light wood or crumbled paper or something.
I'll just comment on comp 1. I read above what your client requested and can understand this. But I don't think the imagery here as the way to go. I see: "newer" wooden background (which is seamed together poorly) on top of that "faked" antique paper wrapped on top and bottom with two strips of leather (where usage of the stamp tool is quite evident). Then I see a photo area above where the inside edge is clean and the outer edge seems like it's trying to be "retro". It contains a very "stocky" photo composed into yet another modern style of wood (this time the grain runs perpendicular now) where shadow has been added but this shadow somehow does not lie over the paper to the left of the laptop. Below this are three notes of laid paper stuck onto the antique paper by large black knobs (which look more like magnets to me but I'm assuming must be pushpins) with shadows moving in opposite directions (left to the left, right to the right) which is OK if the source of light comes directly from above, but then make sure the shadows on your "pushpins" follow this as well. Then on top of it all is HTML typography plus Facebook and Twitter logos. This look is possible to pull of, but make sure all the pieces make sense together. I'm afraid here you're using way too many things which used together don't hold water. Especially to a smart writer : )