It's not rare that I mention "graphics work" in my blog. Referring, of course, to one or more of the tasks I'm planning to embark upon on any given day. But except for my clients themselves, or friends who've shown an interest in my work over the years, it was brought to my attention that there's no real tangible knowledge of what I'm talking about! So this morning's blog is going to provide a little behind the scenes look at one of the (usually) more fun elements of my job. The job that entails making websites for artists, writers, families, small businesses, individuals, and non-profit organizations.
These little graphics I speak of are elements I design for clients who want their sites to have a little kick...who want to ensure their pages don't look like all the other pages on the 'net. Assuredly, if you looked over a list of my past sites (and I really am going to put a list of links to some of my work, one day...promise,) it may become evident that you're looking at a Melody Watson website. I mean, what artistic person doesn't eventually take on a style of her own? But because each of these are created for the specific client in question, and are based on color schemes and thematic elements chosen by the client, they certainly aren't cookie cutter bits.
I will be the first to tell you my graphic designs are limited to either these cartoonish headers you see interspersed in this blog entry or the more abstract graphic I use as the background on this very website. Both of these are favorites, and the other kind of more complex work, while interesting to me, is out of my range of experience and training. Beyond a simple graphics class, I learned much of the graphic design work I do through trial and error.
So how do I use these little graphics? you might ask. Well, they are created as large page headers, announcements of new sections of a page with much text that needs to be broken up, or small ones are created for links. What you WOULDN'T find, of course, is the use of all the different ones I'm using for example in this entry, in a single site. The key is to use these elements for visual continuity, so that each page in the site that you visit is clearly a part of the same site. So, for example, the client might say, "We need a family website to keep up with our friends and other family members across the country/world. Will you please use these fish in all the designs as our family is very much into all things fish - diving, aquariums, etc. - and then use each of our children's favorite colors in their special page headers? Then for the main page elements, please use a sort of aqua blue, like you'll want to use in our daughter, Nyla's, pages." And so on and so forth.
Anyway, now you've had a little lesson about how some of my work goes, and now I'd best get back to some of the work. The graphics I mentioned in recent entries are actually complete. I built them this weekend and have enough samples that my client will know exactly what the end result may look like. Then she'll have choices in those pages she'd like to change. All in all, it was a productive batch of work.
May today be just as productive. I need to build just these kind of graphics for a repeat client who has given me total control. Even color scheme. I think it's gonna' be great, but I have to admit I haven't had The Spark of Inspiration I'd expected by now. Sometimes it takes longer than other times, when you're looking at an entirely blank canvas. I'm leaning toward green. Maybe. :) I guess we'll see where this takes us.
Thanks for letting me use my blog as a forum for hopefully getting that spark of inspiration to rise to the surface.