Another site I have designed has recently gone live: Dreamknot are a small company that take pride in providing quality Celtic jewellery and a selection of official and non-official Lord of the Rings merchandise. They required a new online store to showcase and sell their products, choosing Karova Store 2 as their software solution.
Goals for the design
Dreamknot wanted a website which was light, vibrant, and allowed the products to do much of the talking. There was a desire to in some way reflect the Celtic/Welsh properties of the items, but avoiding any obvious typography and images. In addition to the normal design there was a requirement for a secondary design which would effectively ‘re-brand’ the site when viewing one of the LOTR categories. This second design needed to evoke the feel of the movies without using any movie imagery or typography. All of this needed to be done on a tight budget.
Achieving the goals
I decided to keep everything as simple as possible with the exception of the footer, which is where I felt the vibrancy and celtic feel could be achieved without sacrificing the requirement of simplicity for the product showcase. To that end the only graphic decoration apart from the re-designed logo is the green strip of the main menu, the box-outs required for the side-bar items, and a shiny green button for the site-search (shiny, because this is a jewellery site after all). The footer consists of one of the supplied photo’s taken in the Welsh mountains. I wanted to try and keep a certain softness about it due to the nature of the image, which is why there is a ‘cut-out’ flower poking above the main footer, and why there is a transparent gradient allowing the photo to ‘bleed’ into the main page.
Much of the site contents were added by the clients through the powerful control panel that ships with Karova Store. Unfortunately many parts of this content had been copy-pasted from Microsoft Word, and as such contain a pile of HTML and non-HTML garbage tags. For this reason, some pages do not validate. We have since found and implemented a solution to this problem, meaning the control panel now strips out non-valid and dis-allowed tags (begone evil
<font> tags!) Unfortunately the budget did not allow for us to retroactively correct the pages with Word generated HTML.