View Full Version : so i *think* i like this site...

Jan 27, 2006, 05:42 PM
Hey all,

I'm working on starting a business specializing in design for performers and artists. As a vocal performance major, I figure that I might need *something* to help me make some cash after I graduate. Anyhow, here's the link:


Any thoughts/suggestions? It's still in its infancy, i.e. the web portfolio section has yet to be added. Okie, thanks :)


Jan 27, 2006, 06:20 PM
Hey there, I'm also a music major with a vocal focus. :)

The website looks nice, but the text is rather small in relation to the rest of the site. It also isn't really clear what you do. You may want to go in to more detail about that. If you scroll over three times in the web portfolio you receive an error message. The print portfolio opens in a small window that is only a quarter of the size of the image within it.

I like the look of your flyers.

Edit: Out of curiosity, what did you use to make the website? Did you hand code it, use a program, a template?

Mr. Anderson
Jan 27, 2006, 06:28 PM
the intro isn't necessary - and its always a pain to have to click to skip.

Make the intro animation as part of a preloader if you really want it - but it should really only take a few seconds at the most.


Chip NoVaMac
Jan 27, 2006, 09:19 PM
the intro isn't necessary - and its always a pain to have to click to skip.

Make the intro animation as part of a preloader if you really want it - but it should really only take a few seconds at the most.


My thoughts exactly. I understand that the intro is build the brand, but I find it annoying for small companies that I never have heard of. Also the lack of sound was disappointing in the intro.

Like the general look. The above comment about font size was spot on. Good effort so far.

Jan 27, 2006, 09:31 PM
I love the suggestions made and think you should listen to them. Overall the site is very nice.
Good luck.

Jan 28, 2006, 10:03 AM
Thanks for the comments, they definitely help me out :) I think that I'll be changing the colors and a few other things in the near future. Considering that I'm just starting out, I'm still trying to figure out exactly what it is I'll be doing, which is probably why it's a bit ambiguous at the moment. I'm hoping to find my niche in the performing field from which I come...there are a lot of really bad looking things floating around in our community. Ideally, I'd be able to help them become more successful through a bit of effective design and promotion. Who knows, this thing is still in its naissance :)

Colors? I'm thinking they're a little too bright perhaps...might change them around a bit.

To make the site, I just made the interface by hand in Illustrator, sliced it up, exported, brought it into Dreamweaver, made a template and went from there.

Jan 28, 2006, 10:20 AM
1) I tend to agree with the suggestions about the intro. Although it's actually quite a good Flash compared to some of the other things I've seen, I find these "intro" clips really have no place on the web. That's just my opinion, but I know it has been echoed by others.

2) It is quite clear to anyone that views your source that you used an automated slicing tool to create this site. It is littered with tabless and spacer gifs. Maybe this isn't what you are looking to learn, but you should consider designing without tables and in CSS. Here's a nice little resource (http://www.stylegala.com/resources/css_layout.htm) that would help you get started, if you're interested. One of the huge advantages of designing without tables and without as many images, and creating the visual design with CSS, is that if you ever want to extend or change your site, you won't have to throw the entire thing away. The idea here is to create the information with XHTML and the design with CSS.

Maybe these suggestions are redundant - maybe this is just a demo site and you know everything I've said. Nevertheless, I see that you will have a web portfolio, so if you haven't already considered these things, I suggest you do.

As for the appearance: I don't actually dislike the colors. I think the problem is that rounded corners on the container (the main body of the site) are very difficult to design in such a way that the overall site looks good. I think you've done a good job so far, I'm just not a huge fan of rounded corners, although that is more because I've never had success with them than some deep-seeded dislike for their use.

With regards to your niche: I think this is a good plan. I've dabbled in some design (although I am not a designer) and web site creation for an artistic group in the UK, and I have to agree - there is a lot of poor design floating around. Build up a few contacts, pad your portfolio and you could be in business.

I like your logo.

Jan 28, 2006, 12:16 PM
Did you know that 90% of all intros are skipped?

And probably 5% click back.

Just and FYI, It's what I tell my cleints all day long. Last thing, and no offense, the last thing I want to see after running around the internets all day is someone to try and make a cutesy intro. Just my $0.02 :)

If it wasn't you asking for us to look, I would have clicked back.

Jan 30, 2006, 07:33 AM
intro = BAD idea! Also, what about adding some photos of the types of performers you are hoping to attract? It seems kind of bland without any photos or graphics.

Jan 30, 2006, 07:38 AM
So I'm getting the impression I should kick the intro out the door hehe...it was a bit of an afterthought anyhow; I had just been learning flash and that was my test project, so I figured I would try to put it to use. Guess not! :)

I'm trying to secure some pictures and had thought about doing a flash slideshow type thing to the left of the buttons (where the small rectangles are just kinda hanging out now). Any recommendations for where to find some good stock photography for free? Right now I'm just relying on what I have and on clipart.com's rather meager stock of photos.

I sing in opera, so I know quite a few people in that field as well as some in the choral realm too.

Jan 30, 2006, 08:08 AM
The left side below the logo on the main page is blank. If this is a portfolio site, or a site to showcase your work, then you should make better use of it. For example, you could move the main nav over to t he left and make the entire solid blue area and current portfolio area where you view the images instead of having pop ups. Pop ups don't always go through, and can be a bit clunky. I don't think the buttons need to be quite so large for the navigation either and the logo is getting a lot of real estate as well. It is in the right location but I think it could stand for someo scaling down.

While the site looks like it is moving in a good direction, right now it feels clunky and a bit toyish. And, while there is nothing wrong with that, I don't think it is the look that you are going for. The person who said the type is a bit small is right. It could stand to be bumped up a point size.

As far as your logo goes, there are some spacing issues between the u/p, p/d, d/r(the serifs are kinda butting up, but don't marry nicely) and r/a. The only pair that are sort of working are the f and t, but they don't know if they want to be touching or not. The tagline doesn't fit nicely below the logotype. I'm not sure that it is the typeface you want to do, and I would give it a go without all caps.

I'm not sure if you copied each square in your logo, but the two on the bottom left don't appear to be the same as the others, at least in the intro. Also, I think you are using the metaphor o a green box breaking out of boxes to say, thinking out side the box, breaking outside of the box, that kind of thing. To be honest, and a bit blunt and I will probably get called out for being too harsh - Don't use that idea, it's cheap, cliche and it has been done a million times, and it will be done a million times again. You have a name in updraft. So why don't you incorporate the conceptual thinking behind the name into the look of the logo. If I think of updraft, I think of wind, breathing, air, movement, elevation, progression, etc. I think that from that idea you can get a much more successful logo, and if this is what you want to do when you are out of school, it will benefit you in the long run to go back to the drawing board. Good ideas, keep going.

Jan 30, 2006, 08:30 AM
It looks good for the most part. Agree with the intro - loose it or speed it up.

The colors are really strong - and I am not sure that's a good thing in this case.

I took the liberty of touching up your logo a bit. There were a few things that were, "off" in my opinion.

The type in your main logo is very tightly kerned and you have some unfortunate letter combinations: pd, ra. Since they were kerned so tight, some ligatures were in need IMO.

Also the placement for your tagline was just a bit too loose. Anyway, you can ignore all my comments please, if they offend you in any way. :)

The drop shadow on the headers seems out of place - you don't use it anywhere else.

Other than that, keep up the good work! :)

(click thumbnails for a larger view of the images)

Jan 30, 2006, 09:39 AM
Yay for good criticism :) thanks so much! I think the intro will be bid farewell...

Anyhow, I have been thinking about redoing the color scheme. Originally, I had been toying around with some other logos/colors (namely a lighter blue and a brown in combination), so maybe I'll go back to that. Originally, the green was less bright, more of a yellowish color, but it tended to look a little weak and, when used on its own, didn't convey much of anything.

I'm posting two of the earlier designs that I came up with for a logo/logotype. *Very* rough, but mainly I was just fooling around. I'm a bit partial to the first, the second never really materialized how I had wanted.


In regards to CSS, I'd love to try it out, but really, I'm not the most knowledgeable. For those of you thinking, 'well why the hell would he start a design business?!' my short term plan is to find someone to work with me on more of the technical side and I'll keep working on design for print, etc. But I'll see what I can learn...I'm in college, we don't do anything anyway, right? ;)

Jan 30, 2006, 09:55 AM
Oh quick question about what works to put up for a portfolio: I've done a lot of work for a corporation, not relating to my 'mission,' but would it be OK for those to go up in the portfolio section? I already got clearance from my boss to use them in a portfolio book that I had printed up (yay iPhoto!).

Jan 30, 2006, 11:02 AM
Just a minor point.

If you look on the intro page instead of a title the window (and tab) is called "Untitled Document", fix it and make sure this hasn't occurred elsewhere on the site as it gives a slightly unpolished feel. You might even want to change the titles for which page is showing, i.e. "Updraft - About Us", "Updraft - Services" etc etc.


Jan 30, 2006, 11:13 AM
Ok two more points.

On the page where you can get a popup for examples of prev. done work. Firstly the print popup opens too small without an option to resize. Secondly if you navigate through both examples on the web popup (which actually contains print stuff...) and then press right again you are greeted with a 404.

Finally on 'Services' you have "Web design" followed by "Website, web advertisement". IMO you should have "Web Design" followed by "Websites, Website advertising". Also having it completely centered is quite hard to read.


Jan 30, 2006, 11:31 AM
So I'm getting the impression I should kick the intro out the door hehe...it was a bit of an afterthought anyhow; I had just been learning flash and that was my test project, so I figured I would try to put it to use. Guess not! :)


you can still have the animation on your site. say somewhere "the story about our logo" and people interested will watch it. it helps people "bonding" with your website and remember you.

Jan 31, 2006, 07:20 PM
Still working on updating the site, but I think I just got a client :) Might be doing the site for an opera company I've done some work with, yay! :D