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The Gallery page

13 Jun

The Contact page and sitemap were two pages that I whizzed through on my Project Two website. The Gallery page was another matter entirely. Well, it wasn’t the Gallery page itself but the extras that were added to it. The Gallery page consisted of six thumbnail photographs each of which opened up in a new window when clicked and a video to the right of the thumbnails. I registered with Vimeo which is a video sharing site. I then uploaded a video of mine to Vimeo, once this was processed (it took a long time) I was able to copy the code giving the address of the video file online plus other information such as the size of the video and other info governing its behaviour. The video and thumbnails were from the recent wedding of my wife’s sister. That was the Gallery page finished for the moment. I was happy enough with it.

Gallery page screen print

The Gallery page

Next I had to augment the Home page of my Project Two site. I was going to add a slideshow to it. This involved adding pictures inside a container called “slideshow” and then adding jQuery, which is a form of Javascript, to the code. Thankfully I got this working first time round. It wasn’t difficult as it was mainly a case of copying a few lines of code and so long as everything was in the right place it would work.

As preparation for what I wanted to achieve with the Gallery page, I did an assignment whose aim was to create a “Lightbox”. What this basically means is that when you click on a thumbnail a white box appears containing the full size image with the option to click an arrow to go onto the next image or the previous image. It is basically another sort of slideshow. The instructions to create this Lightbox were in my web design book but unfortunately there were several omissions which meant that every so often I would have to ask for my tutor’s assistance. Once it was seemingly finished it still didn’t work. With assistance from my tutor Martine and web design student Ross I eventually managed to get the assignment to work. The problems I had were mainly to do with the fact jQuery is case sensitive while HTML isn’t. The folder containing my images was in uppercase but in the code it was in lowercase and I didn’t realise this for the longest time.

It was now time to add the jQuery code for the Lightbox to my Gallery page. Even though I got it working for the assignment I couldn’t get it to work for the Gallery. Once more it turned out to be problems with case sensitivity! I was slow to learn my lesson! Another problem I had was that the text describing the photo in the Lightbox wasn’t visible. It turned out that the text takes the colour given to it in the body property of the CSS. The colour there was white and the background of the lightbox was white which meant of course you couldn’t see the text. Finally the Lightbox worked and the text was visible. It was worth the frustration though once it was finished and it is a great addition to my Gallery page.


The Lightbox slideshow in action


Creating the logo for my client

18 Feb

My initial idea for my client logo

Part of my web design course consists of designing a website for a client. I had a bit of free time on my hands so I decided to come up with some ideas that I could use for my client’s logo. I had not officially started on my client’s website yet but I thought it was a good use of my time.

I came up with an amber sun with yellow rays emanating from it and a white cloud at the base of it with the heading “Live Well Dietary Coaching”, my clients company name. I used Adobe Photoshop to produce the work as I am reasonably proficient using it.

The client is a friend of mine and as I was seeing her socially that evening I showed her a print out of my idea. She liked the colours and the idea of the sun. She had some ideas of her own such as using scales to signify balance in life. This seemed like food for thought to propel me in the right direction.


My initial idea for my client’s logo

Logo Mark II

Over the coming days I worked on the logo. My tutor Martine told me I had to use Adobe Illustrator to produce the logo as it was a requirement of the course so I had to stop using Photoshop. I eventually produced a logo that had potential. I e-mailed a PNG file of the logo to my client to seek her opinion on it but she didn’t reply. I showed it to Martine and she suggested adding some gradients and shadows to give it more depth and texture.

The logo consisted of a blue sky with an amber sun in the centre creeping over the horizon. Then there was green land with a black scales (signifying balance) in the foreground. Finally the name of the company was at the bottom in gold with a black background.

I was pleased with the final result. It had been one week since I had shown my client my initial idea and now I was going to meet her again to do an interview with her to set out the parameters of the website I am to design for her. This was when my work for my client officially began.


My subsequent idea for my client’s logo

The interview & utter rejection

I met my client on 7 February 2013 to interview her regarding the website. It was the first occasion where she proffered an opinion on the logo which I had been working on over the last few days. She didn’t like it. She didn’t like the scales which she herself had asked me to put in it. There was green in the logo and she told me for the first time that she doesn’t like green. It was a major blow for me and I found it hard to keep my emotions in check. She told me that she wanted blue, yellow and orange in the logo and that she wanted the sun and sea in it also. She drew me a sketch of what she was looking for. It looked like a holiday company logo. Not exactly what her company was about.

Next I had to proceed with the interview which went well. I had an Interview form to fill in which had very specific questions that needed to be answered. I was able to fill in most of the form with the remaining questions to be filled in at a later time.

If first you don’t succeed…

Over the next couple of days I tried various ideas out, none of which were to my satisfaction. I was almost starting from scratch although this time I had a better idea of what my client was looking for. Nothing I came up with seemed to have the potential for further development. I looked at logos online for inspiration. Finally something triggered an idea which seemed worthwhile. I set to work on a new logo which felt right.

My new logo consisted of a very light blue sky with a yellow sun on the left at the horizon and a deep blue sea with “Live Well Dietary Coaching” to the right of the sun. I developed the idea to such an extent that it could be shown to others. Martine, my tutor wasn’t in so I e-mailed it to her and I sent it to my client as well. This time I made it clear to my client that I needed her to proffer an opinion as I needed to know whether to work on it further or whether to start on a new logo. Martine replied that it was a good idea and then my client e-mailed me saying it was “fab”. However she wanted me to add rays of sunshine and waves in the sea which was fine by me.

The definitive article

The next day I worked on giving the sun rays. I gave the rays a transparency so they wouldn’t overpower the other components of the logo. I tried to do waves but was unhappy with the results so I hoped that my tutor would be in the next day so she could help me. Thankfully she was. Martine showed me how to paint waves using brushes and I was pleased with the results. She also helped me give the sun a more prominent texture and give the horizon more definition.

I printed out the logo to show my client whom I was seeing that evening. Her response was muted when she saw the print out but when she saw it on her laptop screen it was as if it leapt out at her. She loved it but but there was a proviso –  the font of the company name had to be changed and  the sea should  be cropped slightly.

As soon as I got onto my computer the following day I got to work on cropping the sea and changing the font. I e-mailed my client four versions of the logo so she could choose the one she liked best. She e-mailed me back telling me which one she wanted. Now, finally the logo was finished! She showed the logo to some friends of hers and they loved it! I was jubilant.


The final article approved by my client