Testing website

 

After publishing my site i wanted to make sure my contact form worked correctly so that i could be sure i would get any messages through.
So i sent the link to someone to try out and they sent me a test to confirm it works.


TEST

 

I also had them go through the website on their phone and computer and test each page and just to confirm that everything appeared as it should and it functioned on different devices.

 

http://www.nicolatoondesigns.co.uk

Statement of intent & Timeplan

Initially i think id had been a little ambitious and tried to set myself the goal of creating 5 patterns for this project however i soon realised that i simply didnt have the time to produce that amount of drawing along with the amount of other things i hoped to achieve through this project.

My initial statement of intent was: For this project I intend to create five patterns, while also trying to incorporate more colour into my work. I will then make these patterns into marketable items for the home. I also intend to make a website to promote myself and my work and sell these items.
Amended:

It is my intention after graduating to set myself up as an independent designer, specialising in surface pattern design and homemade craft. For this for this project I intend to create a wider variety of patterns, while also trying to incorporate more colour into my work.
I will then make these patterns into marketable items, predominantly for the home.
I also intend to brand myself in order to present professionally, and create a website to promote myself, my work and eventually have a platform to sell these items upon.

Initial Time plan:

TP
this was my initial timeplan, though after going through it with marianne i realised i would need more time allocated for drawing and making things and less time allocated for making my website.
and so i amended my time plan to this:
TIME

though i had amended my timeplan, so many things happened that i couldn’t have anticipated, such as having to wait for a print slow, having to wait for my online prints to arrive, which meant i couldn’t commence making my items until they had arrived which held me back and so i wasnt able to keep to this plan so there was more of a mad rush towards the end than i had hoped for. Though in the time waiting for my designs to be printed i was able to move forward things like self branding and making my website.

Making a Website

before making my website i had a little look at what web building sites i could use, having previously used wiz and wordpress and finding that these didnt allow to do all the things i wanted to i decided id check a few out this time before settling on a site to go with.

first i tried

http://www.shopify.co.uk/

this site initially seemed perfect, everything was really simple and easy and professional looking, though after doing so much i found out why it was so good, the cost to keep the site was pretty ridiculous so i continued to look elsewhere…

until i came across weebly,

http://www.weebly.com/weebly/userHome.php

before singing up i checked out some tutorials and it seemed to be really simple to build a site from scratch. With their simple build tab, you can simply drag on text boxes, image boxes, slideshows, galleries etc, straight on to where you want it. This feature also makes it really easy to edit exist items and shuffle my work around.

http://hc.weebly.com/hc/en-us/sections/200354313-Beginner-s-Guide-to-Weebly

This has also allowed me to do things that other sites would not, which is why it appealed so much. It allows me to create a link from an image, that will open up an entirely separate page where i can include information about my designs and have additional galleries of images such as the different components to my pattern.

Hidden pages linkingadding imagesdesign pages

It also allowed me to incorporate an online store which was exactly what i was looking for, and the packages should i choose to upgrade to one are pretty reasonably priced.
I bought a starter package with them as this allows me to have up to ten products on my page, and i’m able to customise my website as much as is needed, i’m also able to have as many pages as i like and it links straight up to my email account, so anyone that goes on my site and wants to get in touch can do so there and then on my contact page

.contact

adding products is a simple process too, theres a special tab specifically for the store which allows me to add and remove products as and when i want to. I am also able to add more than one image for each product and when hovering over these images they enlarge so they can get an closer look.

PRODUCTS productsaddproductpageprductsprd

though i havent currently got any of my products for sale on the site and so arent visible by the public i have put up a slideshow on the products page which will appear above my products so there is a constant reel of products visible.SlideshowPRODUCTSspped
i am able to customise my slideshow, there are a few transitions to pick from such as “slide” or “fold”. I opted for slide as i feel it was the smoothest out of the options. And i’m also able to adjust the speed between transitions, size and shape of my slideshow. as well as which image it begins on, i’ve left this as random so that my page is different every time it loads.

i added an about page and wrote up a bit about myself so that people know who i am, what i do and what i stand for.

ABOUT

 

on each of my design pages, which are only visible when you click on the designs, i first added the title for my design, followed by a set of three images from my product shoot to show my designs in context. Followed by a description about my design and its different components. Then finally another gallery, this time showing the completed design and individual illustrations.

 

adding images  design pages

across my site i had a header image along with my header title and navigation menu. As this runs throughout my site i used one of my professional shoot images. I tried and tested a few different images before deciding that my rolls image was the best as it allowed me to show all my designs in one image without losing the menu within it. Though i did have the edit options available including the blur tool i felt these edits applied heavier changes than i had wanted, so i took my rolls image into Photoshop and blurred it ever so slightly so that my menu stood out even more. Previous to this the “design” page link was a little less clear than the other options due to the black tones in the print on the image behind it.

 

 

headerediting header

EDiting menus  TEXT

originally the Nav bar had been white text, there was no simple way to change this, the colour seems dependent on the theme. but i was able to open up the coding, scroll myself down to the nav section. Copy the colour hex value that i wanted into the colour section and apply my changes and the font was now black.

NAVCODING

I also added a bespoke page. I have done this as i would like to continue to make and sell reupholstered chairs, but am aware that these arent exactly products i can simply sell online and post away. So i have added this page so that should anyone be interested they know that i offer this as a service and can enquire within.
Also i had wanted to make and sell my designs as wallpaper, though this costs a lot to print, and i didnt want to produce a load that may never be bought and go to waste as this is also uneconomical and the last thing i want is to be a hypocrite. So in order to avoid waste and keep costs down i will only print wallpaper to order as i have stated on my bespoke page.

bespoke

To make myself appear more professional i bought my own domain through godaddy so that i had a nice clean url rather that a .weebly.com site and applied this to my site.

addingdomain

 

I published my website and its now available to view http://www.nicolatoondesigns.co.uk

Cropping images For Website

After receiving my finished edits i took it upon myself to crop out any little areas in Photoshop that i didn’t like that i felt needed cleaning up. I also cropped some images down into a more suitable size for my site, or in the case of images where i’m showing more than one designs, so that one design was more of a focus than another so that i could use the same image but for two separate design pages.


DSC_9182b
DSC_9190ab DSC_9190ac DSC_9198b DSC_9203b DSC_9207b DSC_9212b DSC_9213b DSC_9215b DSC_9218b DSC_9219b DSC_9223b DSC_9226b DSC_9227b DSC_9236b DSC_9244b DSC_9250b

 

i feel these cropped images look a lot cleaner and nicer than before.

Product shoot – Edited Images

 

I sat down with the photographer after the shoot and went through the unedited shots we had and picked out some images that i really liked and wanted to use on my site. We then had a little play about with the images, taking down the vibrance of the back ground so that the products would stand out more, taking down the brightness so they didn’t seem too exposed and just generally tidying them up a bit. After deciding upon a general style and getting an idea of how i wanted my images to look Dave allowed me to head home with the promise he’d get the ready and sent over to me by the next day.

These are the final edited images:


DSC_9169a
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Initially i was a little worried as to how these images might turn out, id chosen the photographers house for the location of the shoot because of the large windows allowing natural light, and the exposed floorboards as i felt this would give a nice natural aesthetic to the photos that would link well with the natural aesthetics in my work. Though i hadn’t noticed previously how dirty the window edges had looked and i was concerned that this would look really tatty in my images. But for most of these images the window edges weren’t in the shot or in focus, and for the ones that it is visible in,most of them aren’t too bad and for the ones its really visible there’s always the option of cropping these bits out.
I had chosen the home environment as my backdrop as opposed to a studio as this is where i intend my designs and products to end up, so felt it necessary to show how they might look in a home environment. I felt a studio back drop might not really convey the style im going for with my work and might take away some character from my work.

Though  by using dave house we were also somewhat limited to space due to walls and fixed furnishings. I was worried that this might make my images seem a bit narrow but i feel the photographer worked well with the space.
I definitely intend to have another go at a photoshoot and really set up a full front room scene at a later stage when i’m able to find a better location to do this.
Overall though for a first attempt at a professional shoot I’m really happy with how these images turned out.

Product Photoshoot- unedited images

DSC_9167 DSC_9168 DSC_9169 DSC_9170 DSC_9171 DSC_9172 DSC_9173 DSC_9174 DSC_9175 DSC_9176 DSC_9177 DSC_9178 DSC_9179 DSC_9180 DSC_9181 DSC_9182 DSC_9183 DSC_9184 DSC_9185 DSC_9186 DSC_9187 DSC_9188 DSC_9189 DSC_9190 DSC_9191 DSC_9192 DSC_9193 DSC_9194 DSC_9195 DSC_9196 DSC_9197 DSC_9198 DSC_9199 DSC_9200 DSC_9201 DSC_9202 DSC_9203 DSC_9204 DSC_9205 DSC_9206 DSC_9207 DSC_9208 DSC_9209 DSC_9210 DSC_9211 DSC_9212 DSC_9213 DSC_9214 DSC_9215 DSC_9216 DSC_9217 DSC_9218 DSC_9219 DSC_9220 DSC_9221 DSC_9222 DSC_9223 DSC_9224 DSC_9225 DSC_9226 DSC_9227 DSC_9228 DSC_9229 DSC_9230 DSC_9231 DSC_9232 DSC_9233 DSC_9234 DSC_9235 DSC_9236 DSC_9237 DSC_9238 DSC_9239 DSC_9240 DSC_9241 DSC_9242 DSC_9243 DSC_9244 DSC_9245 DSC_9246 DSC_9247 DSC_9248 DSC_9249 DSC_9250

Product Shoot Original images

The orginial images form my Product shoot with Dave:

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