EJR Beads

Author Topic: Designing A Shop?  (Read 13435 times)

FranOnTheEdge

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Designing A Shop?
« on: October 28, 2014, 09:01:38 PM »
I have never designed a shop from scratch before, so I'm wondering how you do it.

I have 3 websites at the moment all hosted on Lunar Pages, they keep increasing the price every year, but when I decide to move because of the increase, they instantly lower it again. Makes me anxious at renewal time, but less hassle than actually changing hosts - so far.

I can start up another website and simply host it on Lunar Pages too, like I do my main site: http//www.franontheedge.com
and my 2 subsidiary sites:
www.franontheedge.com/crafts
and
www.franontheedge.com/animation

Well, this is what I've come up with so far:


Of course a lot of these images are just placeholders for now, but I wanted to see what it would look like full.  There are also no prices as yet.  And I wondered about using either the light blues or blue to black backgrounds for each item?
« Last Edit: November 18, 2014, 06:52:38 PM by FranOnTheEdge »
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MelMcG

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Re: Designing A Shop?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2014, 01:29:50 PM »
Your sites look great Fran.  The first link didn't work though.

Mel  :)

FranOnTheEdge

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Re: Designing A Shop?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2014, 07:34:14 PM »
Your sites look great Fran.  The first link didn't work though.

Mel  :)

Oh thanks Mel, I'd forgotten I'd posted this.
Sorry about the top link, I've fixed it now.

I was most worried about the picture of the (as yet unpublished) shop layout website.

I wasn't sure about the soft buff coloured paper background, and about the black background around all the items for sale (or what will be the items for sale) you see.

I've been wondering about this look:


Or something like this:


Or even something more like this:
« Last Edit: November 18, 2014, 08:07:24 PM by FranOnTheEdge »
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JonB

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Re: Designing A Shop?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2014, 10:49:19 PM »
Not so sure about the gradient in the box behind each item. It's all getting a bit complicated. My advice fwiw would be to keep it simple and fairly neutral if you want the layout to go with whatever colours you may feel like using. The work should stand out rather than have the background bits and pieces fighting it. Maybe that's a bit boring, but then if so it makes the work look even more interesting by contrast ;-) It's a tricky thing to get right, because it has to reflect who you are and where you are coming from creatively, but not get in the way of your work. . It also has to look professional without being boring. . . This is why the world has graphic designers in it ;-)

FranOnTheEdge

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Re: Designing A Shop?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2014, 11:15:44 PM »
Not so sure about the gradient in the box behind each item. It's all getting a bit complicated. My advice fwiw would be to keep it simple and fairly neutral if you want the layout to go with whatever colours you may feel like using. The work should stand out rather than have the background bits and pieces fighting it. Maybe that's a bit boring, but then if so it makes the work look even more interesting by contrast ;-) It's a tricky thing to get right, because it has to reflect who you are and where you are coming from creatively, but not get in the way of your work. . It also has to look professional without being boring. . . This is why the world has graphic designers in it ;-)

Okay, thanks Jon.
How about this then:
FranOnTheEdge

MilleD

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Re: Designing A Shop?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014, 07:47:28 AM »
They all look a little contrasty to my eye, not easy to look at.

Even the last one with the pitch black against the pale background seems a bit too much for me.

In fact I've just taken a look at some of the jewellery sites I visit and they all have either a white or pale grey background with the pictures laid directly onto that or with a very thin border.

Not that I'm saying you need to look exactly like another site, but there must be a reason they are all similar and they do feel easy on the eye.

MelMcG

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Re: Designing A Shop?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2014, 10:03:43 AM »
Oh OK.  I like the top pic with the black background.  I agree with the contrasty issue.  I think it would look a lot better if all your photos had the same background (plain white), then it would be a visually appealing contrast. 

Mel  :)

JonB

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Re: Designing A Shop?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2014, 10:05:25 AM »
I'm with MilleD on that. Still too zingy on the eye with the black. The text is an issue because often the title of the piece is wider than the pic so it butts up against the next title and looks weird, as in the two mermaid's tail/tales top left. Also the spacing between the boxes and the titles in the third row is smaller than on the other rows which looks odd. If you cold knock back the texture a bit/a lot it would help the text to be more readable against it. Maybe a font with a bit less serif? The serif kind of merges in with the horizontal marks on the texture sometimes. Just my opinion, please don't feel I'm giving instructions. I'm not a graphic designer but I have degree in it, technically, though that was looong time ago ;-)
Maybe start with the work on a plain background and see what then needs to be added. Have the courage to be boring ;-) the work isn't and it has to be the most important and visible thing on the page.

FranOnTheEdge

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Re: Designing A Shop?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2014, 12:41:23 PM »
They all look a little contrasty to my eye, not easy to look at.

Even the last one with the pitch black against the pale background seems a bit too much for me.

In fact I've just taken a look at some of the jewellery sites I visit and they all have either a white or pale grey background with the pictures laid directly onto that or with a very thin border.

Not that I'm saying you need to look exactly like another site, but there must be a reason they are all similar and they do feel easy on the eye.

I had a look at polymer clay jewellery shops on etsy, and they are all uniformly grey with pics on a large white border.  Making me wonder if that's how Etsy is laid out, and that's all you can do with it.

I've had a lot of problems finding jewellery shops that are not Etsy - basically I don't know how to search for that.  Just trying "polymer clay jewellery" or "hand made" or "Hand Crafted" or "artisan" or "metal jewellery" doesn't bring up just shops, it's mostly blogs... I found some folksy shops but the only difference between them and Etsy is the shade of grey background used...
Trouble is I'm sure I've seen more elegant shop designs in own website shops, but I can't remember how I found those in the first place.

I'm okay with changing the too zingy black and with muting down the background, not so sure about a sans serif font as I have problems reading sans serif myself.  I notice the font more than with a simple Times New Roman.  I also find a stark white background makes my eyes ache after very long, so I'm wary of that - the greys are better.

I therefore offer this as a possibility:


I'm of two minds about this, as I'm still not sure if I should create my own shop like this or just go with the bog standard Etsy & Folksy layout - the Etsy route might be quicker to get started with, but do you still need to do SEO stuff if your shop is on Etsy?

Millie, I would be interested to know what the jewellery sites you've visited look like - if they are not Etsy or Folksy but owner sites.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 12:44:16 PM by FranOnTheEdge »
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FranOnTheEdge

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Re: Designing A Shop?
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2014, 12:45:53 PM »
Oh OK.  I like the top pic with the black background.  I agree with the contrasty issue.  I think it would look a lot better if all your photos had the same background (plain white), then it would be a visually appealing contrast. 

Mel  :)
Same background, I can understand that, (nods earnestly) not sure about white though, it can pretty quickly give me a huge headache.
FranOnTheEdge

FranOnTheEdge

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Re: Designing A Shop?
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2014, 01:17:04 PM »
I'm with MilleD on that. Still too zingy on the eye with the black.

Okay, I've changed that. (see below)

Quote
The text is an issue because often the title of the piece is wider than the pic so it butts up against the next title and looks weird, as in the two mermaid's tail/tales top left.

Yes, I see that, okay I've reduced the size of that text now.
(see below)

Quote
Also the spacing between the boxes and the titles in the third row is smaller than on the other rows which looks odd.

Okay, is that better now? (see below)

Quote
If you cold knock back the texture a bit/a lot it would help the text to be more readable against it.

Background blurred to a more uniform colour, is that better?



Quote
Maybe a font with a bit less serif? The serif kind of merges in with the horizontal marks on the texture sometimes. Just my opinion, please don't feel I'm giving instructions. I'm not a graphic designer but I have degree in it, technically, though that was looong time ago ;-)

I too once did graphic design, unfortunately I didn't finish that course as I obtained a back injury and when I was well enough to return to the course the government had closed it down.  Mine too was a long time ago, but if you got a degree that's more than I managed at the time, so you must know more than I do, anyway most of what you are saying is making a lot of sense.

Quote
Maybe start with the work on a plain background and see what then needs to be added. Have the courage to be boring ;-) the work isn't and it has to be the most important and visible thing on the page.

Yes, okay, that last sentence has hit home, thanks.

I was thinking of trying to create a plain maybe black background/backdrop to take the final photos on.

I have at present only a black journal, that photographs as a black to grey colour, I might be able to buy some black velvet... hmmm, thinking about that.  Do you think that might work?  Anyone?

I have noticed that lots of people are taking their photos on grey slate or other rocks or on gravel, sand or on wood branches of some kind... I'm also thinking about that. Hmmm.
Opinions anyone?
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 01:19:40 PM by FranOnTheEdge »
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MilleD

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Re: Designing A Shop?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2014, 01:33:22 PM »

Millie, I would be interested to know what the jewellery sites you've visited look like - if they are not Etsy or Folksy but owner sites.

Fran, I have PMd you.

Claire.

JonB

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Re: Designing A Shop?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2014, 02:00:05 PM »
A lot better Fran, the work is what you look at now. No distractions.

MyrtleWeed

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Re: Designing A Shop?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2014, 06:28:40 PM »
Hi Fran, I liked the black background, thought it went well with your designs, had a magiciany, enchanted look that appealed to me.

FranOnTheEdge

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Re: Designing A Shop?
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2014, 09:51:10 AM »
A lot better Fran, the work is what you look at now. No distractions.

Thanks, that's what I'd hoped for.

Hi Fran, I liked the black background, thought it went well with your designs, had a magiciany, enchanted look that appealed to me.

Yes, I liked it too, but as Jon said, maybe it's too noticable, and the work should be what you see, not the design of the background?  Or maybe it's just another way of bringing the work forward, only a black background instead of white/pale?
I'm kind of torn myself but most other sites, even owner sites, (thanks, MillieD) not just etsy, seem to be uniformly pale & bland.

This is not an easy thing to figure out, which is why I'm so grateful to hear everyone's opinions on this knotty problem.
Thanks all. I really appreciate you all taking the time out to look at this and reply.
FranOnTheEdge