Composite one: 5 page responsive site

For this project, a concept came to mind immediately.

The last project I had worked on at Canadian Tire before I left was a trio of brochures for the high profile relaunch of the Premier paint brand.  It’s a project I was specifically chosen to work on, and one that I’m immensely proud of. It consumed much of my life from January to May, and in that time I:

  • learned from my brilliant husband (a certified colour management specialist) how to get paint colours translated into values I could work with for accurate colour reproduction in print and online
  • learned about paper stock, finishes, coatings
  • learned (at the eleventh hour) how best to arrange the paint chips in a brochure to minimize the risk that they will rub against and deposit colour on each other
  • attended photo shoots where I was able to use my newly developed photography skills to help with art direction
  •   worked with an amazing and passionate cross-functional team of brand  and product managers

I wanted to create a sister website to these brochures; there was  just one problem. I don’t own the rights to any of the assets used to build the brochures. I went back and forth for a while, thinking that it might still be okay to use these with enough disclaimers, but eventually I gave in to that little voice at the back of my head that told me to just make up my own paint company, especially since the site had to be hosted live. So I did, it just took me a while to get there. Until Wednesday, to be exact.

I had completed some wireframes and mockups by that time but they were taking so much longer than I expected, even with me knowing the programs. I’ve struggled with transitioning from print to web for years and I still feel a creative block when trying to tackle a mockup or wireframe for these major assignments.

I wasn’t optimistic of the kind or quality of free images I could find to compliment the content I was planning.  Luckily, I found this article  which led me to Unsplash.com, where I found about half of my images. For the other half, I looked to Flickr and discovered Emily May, a multi-talented marketing specialist and DIY decor/ design blogger, who has generously posted a lot of images under the CC BY Creative Commons license which allows for modifications and commercial use as long as the original creator is credited.

Now with the images handled, I looked back to the wireframes and mockups I had managed to create and although I hadn’t completed all of them, I had to jump into coding to keep the assignment on track. I quickly realized that I needed to simplify my original design. This is the first time that I’ve built a responsive site with more than 3 pages, and given the time constraints and my current skill level (and the time I had lost having to source images and rewrite content), I decided to refocus on having greater visual consistency between the pages. My biggest win on this assignment? Finding free images that actually fit the aesthetic I was looking for.

For the results, check out my site here.

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