Once again, it’s time to shake things up at the shop and redesign our site. Dissecting our current layout and planning themes for a new build, known simply as the Just F**king Logos edition. JFL for short.
We usually try to revamp our website every couple of years, just to shake things up a bit, fix things that may have been broken, or gummed up in the earlier version. Well, it’s that time again, and we’ve begun working with preliminary wireframes and mock-ups of what the 9th version of our site should look like when we trot it out in a couple of months.
To re-design our website, we usually take a long, hard, look at the pros and cons of the layout, navigation and design bits to see what we can improve, toss out or add. There’s lots of room for improvement in our current site, that’s for sure (you can read about how the current version came to be here) and our re-design will involve tossing most of it out. Where to start? Our home page is a little bit ‘clown shoes’ for a ‘modern’ web site. Far too much ‘whoo-hoo’ for my liking now. When we first launched this site, I figured color coding all the various sections would be a cool idea (it wasn’t – just leads to more clown shoe vibe) and we’ve decided to go with a more monochrome color theme this time around (we’ve ditched our traditional purple color for blue, at least for the time being.) Here’s what it should look like once it’s all been converted to HTML.Simple. To the point.
The design basics.
Our logo, in all its beveled glory is on the top right corner – well, that seemed clever at the time, but in this era of logo on the left, just seems a little disconcerting now. We’ve also ditched the cog shield that’s part of our primary logo, in order to give the logo a nicer, horizontal aspect ratio. And while we’ve always been a little coy about getting into people’s faces about pricing and what-not (a little unseemly for a design company), let’s face it – the design business, especially for those of us marketing online – has become a severely retail environment. In other words, if you can’t beat them… Rather than the hodge-podge of links now available in our UI, we’re going to strip down the navigation options by about 60% and focus entirely on logo design, as opposed to the ‘all things to all people’ approach we took with our current version. While The Logo Factory is primarily a logo design studio (over 95% of our new work is designing logos) we attempted – too hard I’d now argue – to bring add-on design services into the mix. Sure, we develop websites and animate logos too, but our core business is logo design. That’s our specialty, and by adding a wide range of graphic design services into the mix, we had also weakened our brand to that of a mediocre graphic design company, rather than a leading logo design studio that was, and is, our original goal and corporate mantra. That decision, after a fairly intensive discussion, even led to the internal code-name for our new site build – the Just F**king Logos edition.
JFL for short.
As nice as these layouts looked, and they were playing really nicely with HTML, turned out that responsive layouts – sites that collapse into smartphones and tablets – started coming down the pike shortly after we got out of the planning stage. Accordingly, the planned JFL rebuild was never completed and never launched, making this post kinda moot. Except for some of the design rationale, which would be brought into subsequent redesigns, so we kept it here.