SS Site Showcase: Red Oak Weddings
One of the core pillars behind SSDG is a place for designers to showcase their work. There are some incredible designers out there, and they should be able to show off their work. The more designers join together in celebrating each other, the more we will learn and be able to raise each other's business up to another level. SS Site Showcase is a chance for designers to submit sites they have designed and tell us about the world they have accomplished! Do you have a site you want to submit? Make sure you show us your amazing work! SUBMIT HERE.
Red Oak Weddings
WHAT WAS THE CLIENT'S OBJECTIVE? The client came to me for a full branding project for a new venture of hers. She is a wedding stationery designer and wanted to create a wedding blog for similar vendors in the tri-state area of NY-NJ-PA. She wanted something that felt classic yet modern, and gave her all the "bling" that a custom wordpress site would have. As a designer herself, she wanted to hand over the project (design-wise) to someone else for another perspective, plus she's a pretty busy mama! Three young kids, full time job AND a second business, this was a third. So the site needed to be easy to update and maintain.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE DESIGN/SITE PROCESS: Because of the portfolio quality of a wedding blog, the site needed to have qualities that would showcase anyone's work, not just one specific style. The branding needed to just feel "timeless" and almost fade into the background, but at the same time provide a great sense of the site even without the vendor's content. We used turquoise, greys, soft browns, and a rusty-red as our palette so that it wouldn't clash with anyone's content.
WHAT DID YOU DO TO DIFFERENTIATE THE CLIENT'S SITE IN THEIR FIELD? The key to this site working was providing content that was easy to use, and yet not be able to guess it was on SS at first look. It could be a custom developed WP blog. The dead give-away on many blogs is the heart for likes, but we kept it for ... the likes!
IS THIS SITE CUSTOM DEVELOPED? Absolutely not, reason being this client wanted to be able to run the site on her own after launch. She understands SS well and has other sites on the platform, and knows they are constantly adding little features that we might not see (like the search # in instagram). Because of this we did everything we could to NOT go on developer but provide something MUCH more enriched than a simple site setup.
IF NOT, WHAT TEMPLATE DID YOU USE? Five. It's my go-to for blog sites where the client wants a sidebar. It has the most features while also using the sidebar. This version puts the logo in the center banner, but the great part about five is that it's flexible even if the client changes their mind about the wireframing of the navigation, it's possible to edit.
WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 CREATIVE FEATURES YOU IMPLEMENTED? Carousel galleries. We used them on the weddings page for the "search" functions. The images have a white background on a white page, and link to blog categories, which makes it seem like more detailed blog searches. We also used this on the sidebar to put text next to images, (we just made the text an image) for the social media links. We also altered the quoteblock so the background would be a different color and she could have multiple lines of vendor copy.
WAS THERE ANYTHING ELSE INVOLVED IN THE CLIENT DESIGN PROCESS? What worked best in this site was the details that allowed it to stand out. One of my favorite pages is the events page. The little flag we added plus the background for the events info makes it seem like a really fun calendar event and easier to see the hierarchy in the content at first glance. The other great aspect of this site was we never said "no" we said, "let's find out and make it work". Sometimes it took 3-4 days of good thinking and testing, but some of my best ideas come out of figuring a problem out and not just saying "it's not possible on ss" instead, we found something that worked to make the client's life keeping the site updated and add content easier!