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panoz7
Apr 25, 2006, 04:58 PM
I'm in the process of redesigning my portfolio site. I want to try and build up my portofolio this summer (with the possibility of using it to apply to a design school... see my other thread), and the old site just wasn't cutting it. I made the old one back when I was 15 and I think its time for a change.

I wanted the new site to be quite simple while not becoming too cold. I was also looking for the design to be somewhat organic. I'm a little concerned that I may have taken these ideas to far. Is the design too simple? How do the fonts look? Colors? Thanks a lot.

I've attatched a screen shot of my old site (the one with the bumblebee picture), my idea for the new one, and two drafts of a business card I've been working on. Any criticism is welcome (and very much appreciated).



WildCowboy
Apr 25, 2006, 05:01 PM
Simple is good...I generally like it a lot.

The only thing I don't like is the "e" in that font...

techound1
Apr 25, 2006, 07:58 PM
I think you've got a good sense of weight, but my own personal taste strays away from the abstract-by-blurry look. check out beforeandafter.com - they've got some good theoretical stuff that will help you hone your idea.

Mitthrawnuruodo
Apr 25, 2006, 08:06 PM
I like it... I don't think a front page (for a designer) can be too simple, i.e. if it's simple and elegant... you cover both of those... :cool:

The only thing is that I feel maybe the grey "frame" is a bit too dark (making it a bit too dominant), but I guess you've tried a few and gone with the one you liked the best, and very often when I get one of those feelings I end up very close to the starting-point, after a bit of trial and reject, anyway... ;)

panoz7
Apr 25, 2006, 08:10 PM
I think you've got a good sense of weight, but my own personal taste strays away from the abstract-by-blurry look. check out beforeandafter.com - they've got some good theoretical stuff that will help you hone your idea.

Hmmmm... maybe it is too abstract. So far all of my friends have really liked the abstract look where as my mom thought it was too abstract. What's the general consensus on abstractness? The other pages will be much clearer... I was kind of going for something intriguing on the homepage. Maybe I went to far...

By the way, are you sure that's the right link? It takes me to some site on plastic surgery. Maybe I'm just slow and missing a joke, but I think it might be wrong.

EDIT: What's with the crabs in the avatars? Is this another joke I'm missing?

panoz7
Apr 25, 2006, 08:14 PM
The only thing is that I feel maybe the grey "frame" is a bit too dark (making it a bit too dominant), but I guess you've tried a few and gone with the one you liked the best, and very often when I get one of those feelings I end up very close to the starting-point, after a bit of trial and reject, anyway... ;)

I'm actually not sure about he background color. Like you guessed, I tried a ton and ended up with that. I'm not that happy with it either, and most of the criticism I've gotten from friends is related to the background.

Anything darker seems to be too contrasty (the current color might be too contrasty as it is) and anything litter washes out. I've also tried colors and none of those seem to work. Any suggestions?

Mitthrawnuruodo
Apr 25, 2006, 08:17 PM
Nah... not really... but I usually start with #CCC for non-white backgrounds and take it from there... ;)

You could try a very light grey, like #EEE, which is what MR uses for the name-field to the left, though... but then you might have to do something with the thin white border...?

dmw007
Apr 25, 2006, 09:50 PM
No, I do not believe that it is too simple. To be honest,
I think that it looks very good panoz7! :)

OutThere
Apr 25, 2006, 10:08 PM
Simple is highly underrated these days...

with all the new technology people want to add bevels, strokes, shadows, highlights and other fancy stuff to everything.

All of that stood out before everyone could have the tech. to do it....

now something simple and clean stands out much more than something busy and cluttered.

Moshiiii
Apr 25, 2006, 10:22 PM
When I try to design I keep in mind the "Got Milk Add", just how simple it was. I like the layout!

kiwi-in-uk
Apr 26, 2006, 03:06 AM
.....
By the way, are you sure that's the right link? It takes me to some site on plastic surgery. Maybe I'm just slow and missing a joke, but I think it might be wrong.
.....
He might have been thinking about bamagazine.com - although I might be wrong.

ATD
Apr 26, 2006, 11:35 AM
I liked the new web page a lot, it's clean, simple and has a nice energy. The cards are nice seem to be lacking the energy of the web page. Have you tried tying the cards to the web design? Just a thought.

LimeiBook86
Apr 26, 2006, 03:41 PM
Simplicity is Genius!! It's great the way it is, very good job. :D

superninjagoat
Apr 26, 2006, 06:28 PM
redesign looks great. I like the simplicity. Elegance beyond your years. I'm actually cool with the abstract blurred image.

As a (theoretical) prospective client (or design school admissions director), your front page tells me a lot about the type of design you do, and whether your work would be a good fit for me.

btw, I live in Apex. Just moved here from Chapel Hill where my wife was in school. (Apple Chill is dead! Long live Apple Chill!) I'm the assistant graphic editor at the N&O.

I really dig your sense of design, and I find it hard to believe you did that first sight at 15 years old. That's really impressive.

I do agree with the criticisms about the border being too dark and detracting from the main image of the redesign. Call me old fashion, but how about 18 percent grey? Photographers used to carry 18 percent grey cards around for taking light-meter measurements. I did a quick replace-color with the image you uploaded, and it seemed to balance well.

As for the business cards, I like the desaturated version. More subtle. The more saturated version seems to hit me over the head with the abstraction.

superninjagoat
Apr 26, 2006, 06:33 PM
What's the general consensus on abstractness?

I don't think there is a general consensus. It has more to do with what you're comfortable with and what you audience/client wants.

The other pages will be much clearer... I was kind of going for something intriguing on the homepage. Maybe I went to far...

I'd make sure that you incorporate some of the abstract motif throughout the inside pages, for artistic unity. If, on the other hand, you feel like that doesn't fit well with your overall design skills/philosophies, you should tone down the home page.

Mitthrawnuruodo
Apr 26, 2006, 06:34 PM
Call me old fashion, but how about 18 percent grey? Photographers used to carry 18 percent grey cards around for taking light-meter measurements. I did a quick replace-color with the image you uploaded, and it seemed to balance well.You're old-fashioned... :D

Just kidding... 18% grey... what is that in web-friendly RGB? #DDD or something?

superninjagoat
Apr 26, 2006, 06:44 PM
18 percent grey is
R206:G206:B206, aka #CECECE

EDIT:
R204:G204:B204 is the safest Web-safe color, #CCC. So, we're back to you're original suggestion, Mitthrawnuruodo. That's around 19 percent grey. Close enough for government work.

superninjagoat
Apr 26, 2006, 06:57 PM
While I'm posting craploads in this thread, I might as well put in another suggestion. If the depth-of-field shot in the redesign home page is a crop of a larger photograph, perhaps the grey area could be a black box with, say, 40 percent transparency. You'd have to fiddle with that number depending on your background image. Here's a rough example with the image I happened to have on screen when the idea hit.

panoz7
Apr 26, 2006, 07:21 PM
redesign looks great. I like the simplicity. Elegance beyond your years. I'm actually cool with the abstract blurred image.

As a (theoretical) prospective client (or design school admissions director), your front page tells me a lot about the type of design you do, and whether your work would be a good fit for me.

btw, I live in Apex. Just moved here from Chapel Hill where my wife was in school. (Apple Chill is dead! Long live Apple Chill!) I'm the assistant graphic editor at the N&O.

I really dig your sense of design, and I find it hard to believe you did that first sight at 15 years old. That's really impressive.

I do agree with the criticisms about the border being too dark and detracting from the main image of the redesign. Call me old fashion, but how about 18 percent grey? Photographers used to carry 18 percent grey cards around for taking light-meter measurements. I did a quick replace-color with the image you uploaded, and it seemed to balance well.

As for the business cards, I like the desaturated version. More subtle. The more saturated version seems to hit me over the head with the abstraction.

I'm supposed to be writing a paper on Minoan Art, but I just can't resist responding...

Glad to see some more people from the triangle. Hope you're liking Apex. I went to High School at Cary Academy, so I had the pleasure of driving through part of apex every morning on the way in. Can't say I miss the fifty minute drive, but Apex seems like a nice place. Its cool that you work at the N&O. We've gotten that paper at my house for as long as I can remember. I can honestly say that one of the best things about going home from the dorms on the weekend (beyond seeing my familly of course) is reading that paper. I really should get a subscription here at school....

Anyway, back on topic... I'm liking the 18% (or 19... they look pretty much the same to me) grey. Not to dark, not to light. Which I guess is the definition of grey :)

The background of the site is a crop of a larger picture, but its not too much larger. My DSLR is kind of old and not the highest resolution so there aren't too many pixels beyond that frame to work with. I attatched the original picture I took for the site. I'm going to give the darkening thing a try later tonight once I finish some work.

Thanks again for everyones replies.

BTW... not to sound like a traitor or anything, but is there a more appropriate forum to be posting this stuff on? I like getting criticism, and I trust people here at MR, but I sort of feel guilty posting non mac related stuff here.

ATD
Apr 27, 2006, 01:06 AM
BTW... not to sound like a traitor or anything, but is there a more appropriate forum to be posting this stuff on? I like getting criticism, and I trust people here at MR, but I sort of feel guilty posting non mac related stuff here.

Graphic design is about working on Macs, they are very related. Once you get into a design school and start working in the field you will see what I mean. Try one, you might even learn to like it. :D

Mitthrawnuruodo
Apr 27, 2006, 04:10 AM
BTW... not to sound like a traitor or anything, but is there a more appropriate forum to be posting this stuff on? I like getting criticism, and I trust people here at MR, but I sort of feel guilty posting non mac related stuff here.Don't worry... this is exactly the kind of topics that are appropriate for the Design and Graphics forum. Of course, since there's a web page involved you could have posted in the Web design and Development forum, but I think this thread is even better here in this forum... ;)

superninjagoat
Apr 27, 2006, 07:02 AM
We've gotten that paper at my house for as long as I can remember. I can honestly say that one of the best things about going home from the dorms on the weekend (beyond seeing my familly of course) is reading that paper. I really should get a subscription here at school....

I think we offer student discounts ... :D
Glad you like the paper. I think our general design is a little dated and tends toward a more conservative look than I'd like, but the content is strong. Did I mention student subscriptions.

Apex
I kind of feel like I've joined the pod people. All the houses in my neighborhood look the same - like pods. The same basic colors on the same brand of vinyl siding. Same mailbox. Same cars (and SUVs) in every driveway - pod cars. everyone goes to work at 7:45 a.m. and comes home at 5:30 - pop people. So I bought a new pod car, got an iPod, and, when my son was recently born at Rex, it was in Pod C. He's a pod baby. ...When in Rome ... :o

Living in suburbia is very different for me than where I've lived previously. I don't dislike it, but it confuses the heck out of me. I'm showing my redneck upbringing here, but WTF do I need a neighborhood association for? It's my house, and if I want a fence and purple drapes in my front window, why is that the business of some dude who lives half a block away?

On the other hand, where I'm from, you just put a singlewide in a corner of daddy's farm when you're ready to move out. That's to say I think I'm better off here than back in my hometown.

Anyway, back on topic... I'm liking the 18% (or 19... they look pretty much the same to me) grey. Not to dark, not to light. Which I guess is the definition of grey :)

It is a great neutral grey. I painted a room in our last house 18 percent grey. It was great because it seemed to change colors depending on the character of the light outside. In the mornings it was a steel grey, around sunset it almost looked mauve. After a good spring thunderstorm, the room would pick up green hues. Loved that room. </nostalgia>

I'm going to give the darkening thing a try later tonight once I finish some work.
Can't wait to see how that comes out.

BTW, where did you get your design training? Also, what programs do you work in?

Ish
Apr 27, 2006, 08:08 AM
I liked the new web page a lot, it's clean, simple and has a nice energy. The cards are nice seem to be lacking the energy of the web page. Have you tried tying the cards to the web design? Just a thought.

I like it. You've got a good eye for such things, something that I don't think can really be taught. Like Mitthrawnuruodo's suggestion for lightening the grey border a little to give it a more similar weight to the picture. Also think the suggestion above is a good one, to consider tying the cards to the web design so you have a recognisable 'theme'. That is, of course, unless your theme is the pictures of flowers with a certain 'something' and you have more of them in which case, great.

Of the two cards, I prefer the right hand one. I think the two, slightly smokey, contrasting colours are quite exciting.

panoz7
Apr 27, 2006, 10:28 AM
Graphic design is about working on Macs, they are very related. Once you get into a design school and start working in the field you will see what I mean. Try one, you might even learn to like it.

I love macs. I know that most design is done on macs, it was just that this topic isn't explicity about macs so I wasn't sure if it was appropriate or now. I miss my mac more then anything. Well, not anything, but you get the picture. My university requires windows only programs for my major, so I had to sell my mac and buy this "wonderful" laptop that I'm typing on right now.

Also think the suggestion above is a good one, to consider tying the cards to the web design so you have a recognisable 'theme'. That is, of course, unless your theme is the pictures of flowers with a certain 'something' and you have more of them in which case, great.]

The background to the business cards is actually part of that flower image. I really want to link the two but I can't seem to get it to work out right. More fiddiling is in order I guess.

[QUOTE=superninjagoat]Living in suburbia is very different for me than where I've lived previously. I don't dislike it, but it confuses the heck out of me. I'm showing my redneck upbringing here, but WTF do I need a neighborhood association for? It's my house, and if I want a fence and purple drapes in my front window, why is that the business of some dude who lives half a block away?

Suburbia scares the crap out me also. I grew up out in rural chatham county. Cary (and apex to some extent) really give me the creaps some times. Don't get me wrong, I think cary is a great place to raise kids, but personally, I could never live there. When I was little I dreamed of living in a real neighborhood, with friends that weren't a 20 minute car drive away. Cary has that. Now that I'm older I've learned to appreciate a more rural atmosphere.

Can't wait to see how that comes out.

It didn't. It ended up being way to busy. That original picture just didn't lend itself to that idea. I think I'm just going to stick with the 19% grey. It grows on me the more I look at it.

BTW, where did you get your design training?

I have had no design training at all. Its really a shame. I didn't appreciate art as much when I was in high school. I think I only took one true art class in high school... and it was required. That's the extent of my formal training.

I'm a science person (or at least I was). I'm currently a Biomedical Engineering major at Carolina. Lets just say my schedule doesn't leave much time for an art class, or really anything beyond physics, chem, calc, and bio.

My interests have been changing, and recently (at least with finals coming up) I've become disgusted with what I'm studying and really have no true interst in pursuing a career in science any further. This is really strange for me. It used to be I enjoyed spending my free time reading about science and working physics problems (heck... I even learned lightwave just so I could model an engine and learn the physics behind it). Nowadays I'd rather spend my time drawing or taking pictures.

I'm thinking of applying to the design school at state. I've heard its very hard to get into and I'm really doubting that my work is good enough. The whole process is kind of intimidating to someone with no formal art experiance.

Also, what programs do you work in?

Right now I work primarily in Photoshop. I started playing around with it a few years ago and I really like it. I've been using Pagemaker for basic graphic design stuff, and have been forcing photoshop unwillingly into doing the more complicated stuff. I know Flash, but I try and use it only when absolutely neccessary. Beyond that I code everything by hand in a basic text editor.

I really want to learn indesign and illustrator this summer. I'm usually pretty quick at learning computer stuff, so hopefully it won't be that bad.

I think this summer's going to be great. I spent last summer working in a genetics lab (the whole science thing again) but I think I'm just going to devote this summer to building up my portfolio. I really want to apply to design school, but having not taken any really art classes, my current portfolio is kind of small and strange. Hopefully that'll change though.

ATD
Apr 27, 2006, 12:13 PM
I'm thinking of applying to the design school at state. I've heard its very hard to get into and I'm really doubting that my work is good enough. The whole process is kind of intimidating to someone with no formal art experiance.


I would not worry about that. I had art classes all through high school and college but I didn't get good design training until I was in upper division college (BTW my minor was physics). You are way ahead of where I was at your age. Keep posting here, we will get your portfolio in shape.:D

superninjagoat
Apr 27, 2006, 12:19 PM
The background to the business cards is actually part of that flower image. I really want to link the two but I can't seem to get it to work out right. More fiddiling is in order I guess.

I got that they were linked. It doesn't matter that you can't "get" what the picture is in the card. It's an abstraction, so it's OK. The unifier is the abstract nature of the image and the typography. Also, I know someone else in the thread said they liked the color version of the card. (I said I liked the grayscale background.) Another reason for the grayscale card is that a commercial printer can produce it in two inks: black and green. The other would require a at least four-color process, and likely a fifth color of the green (that is, if you really want it to pop). Lots cheaper to go with the grayscale. BTW, if you're planning to print them yourself, don't. Cards are cheap a couple hundred bucks for two-color for hundreds of them and they so much better. You don't want you're calling card to say "cheap."

I have had no design training at all. Its really a shame. I didn't appreciate art as much when I was in high school. I think I only took one true art class in high school... and it was required. That's the extent of my formal training.

Design isn't about art. It's about presentation of information. Some artists are wonderful designers, but it doesn't have to be that way. So, I wouldn't worry about the lack of formal training.

I'm a science person (or at least I was). I'm currently a Biomedical Engineering major at Carolina. Lets just say my schedule doesn't leave much time for an art class, or really anything beyond physics, chem, calc, and bio.

My interests have been changing, and recently (at least with finals coming up) I've become disgusted with what I'm studying and really have no true interst in pursuing a career in science any further. This is really strange for me. It used to be I enjoyed spending my free time reading about science and working physics problems (heck... I even learned lightwave just so I could model an engine and learn the physics behind it). Nowadays I'd rather spend my time drawing or taking pictures.

I'm also a science guy. It helps me when doing medical illustrations and science pieces. It's great when I go talk to some scientist at Duke about genetics or cellular biology and they assume that I'm going to be some idiot, and I understand the basics of the subject and how his research fits into it. LOVE lightwave. I started picking it up about a year ago.

I'm thinking of applying to the design school at state. I've heard its very hard to get into and I'm really doubting that my work is good enough. The whole process is kind of intimidating to someone with no formal art experiance.

Go talk to a professor in the program with a selection of your five best clips. See what they say. Experience means a lot, but so does raw talent. If you'd like, you can send me some clips and I can critique. (You can IM me files. I'm MrDrennan on iChat (and AIM).)


I really want to learn indesign and illustrator this summer. I'm usually pretty quick at learning computer stuff, so hopefully it won't be that bad.


Yup, you've got to know the entire Adobe suit through and through. Quark Xpress wouldn't hurt, although it's becoming outmoded. Don't worry about speed yet, only mastery of at least 80 percent or so of what the program can do. Speed comes later. I reread the manuals of all my industry standard aps at least once a year. That helps ensure that I remember the capabilities of the programs when I need to use a super-obscure feature. But, then again, I'm a dork.

panoz7
Apr 28, 2006, 08:52 PM
I would not worry about that. I had art classes all through high school and college but I didn't get good design training until I was in upper division college (BTW my minor was physics). You are way ahead of where I was at your age. Keep posting here, we will get your portfolio in shape.:D

Thanks for the comments and encouragement. I really appreciate it.

Go talk to a professor in the program with a selection of your five best clips. See what they say. Experience means a lot, but so does raw talent. If you'd like, you can send me some clips and I can critique. (You can IM me files. I'm MrDrennan on iChat (and AIM).)

Thanks for the offer. Finals are next week and I'm trying to force my self to stay off of AIM, facebook, and MR till theyre done (I haven't been too succesful with that last one though :) ). I'll probably take you up on your offer once schools out. Thanks again.

I've been playing around with desings for the internal pages. I decided to try and keep the site unified as some of you guys suggested. I've created basic templates for two of the internal pages. They each have a different crop of the original flower image used on the homepage. I'm hoping that by doing this I'll unify the site while creating further intrigue. Probably getting a little bit ahead of myself with that one...

Anyway, I attatched my mockup showing the page templates and the background color I settled on.

here ya go... (oh yeah, ignore the text... it was just the first thing I thought of)

ATD
Apr 28, 2006, 10:27 PM
I've been playing around with desings for the internal pages. I decided to try and keep the site unified as some of you guys suggested. I've created basic templates for two of the internal pages. They each have a different crop of the original flower image used on the homepage. I'm hoping that by doing this I'll unify the site while creating further intrigue. Probably getting a little bit ahead of myself with that one...

Anyway, I attatched my mockup showing the page templates and the background color I settled on.



Nice, I like it.

3 comments if I may

1 Start working in the images of work and see if it still holds together.

2 Get the pages up to real viewing size in a web browser. My guess is the body copy is a bit larger than it needs to be.

3 A theme is important in that a site should feel like a whole. It does not have to be overt, just enough to for the viewer to feel they are within the same site when jumping for page to page. What you have there is nice but any theme can box you in. If your site grows to a lot of pages it may get harder to keep it fresh with the one image. Again, what you have there is nice, play it out to see if it can carry the full site.

Mitthrawnuruodo
Apr 29, 2006, 04:30 AM
[...]here ya go... [...]Now you're on to something... ;)

I like the grey better and removing the thin white border did wonders...

Are you making business cards in the same style...? I think the background from both "page 2" and "page 3" would be excellent as backgrounds for a business card...

dogbone
Apr 30, 2006, 01:50 AM
I think the business cards are fine but I'd be a little concerned about how they would print in 4 colour. The subtleties that are obvious on an rgb monitor might get lost and thereby lose the structure.

NoNameBrand
May 1, 2006, 12:47 PM
I think it looks really nice. Perhaps a darker border between the main area and the 18% grey?

I also like the darker grey of the original. I'm partial to darker greys and simplicity (http://lonelyfridge.com), myself. I really find that the dark grey really sets off against the colour photos I have. Not sure what I'd do with b/w photos.

panoz7
Aug 8, 2006, 08:04 PM
My apologies for reviving a dead thread... I figured it was better then starting a new one on a similar topic. When I first posted a few months ago I was just starting the design and development of a new portfolio site.

This summer has been busier then I planned and I've only recently been able to find some free time to work on it. I gave up on the original design (at least for the internal site). It was too difficult to maintain a theme throughout the pages while effectively displaying the content, especially on the portfolio pages. I've done a bit of work the past few days and come up with some new ideas.

Here's a link to the web portfolio page template I've set up. None of the links work yet, its just a first attempt at converting it from photoshop to html.

http://bumblebeedesign.org/dv/home.php

I'd love your opinions and criticisms of the new design. I'd also be interested in how you think it compares to the original.

I haven't made up my mind yet on what to do with the home page. Do you think I should go with what I had or work with something based on the new design... perhaps the web portfolio site without the web portfolio stuff (just the leaf, logo, and links)?

Thanks for your help, and feel free to be harsh.

ATD
Aug 9, 2006, 12:02 AM
My apologies for reviving a dead thread... I figured it was better then starting a new one on a similar topic. When I first posted a few months ago I was just starting the design and development of a new portfolio site.

This summer has been busier then I planned and I've only recently been able to find some free time to work on it. I gave up on the original design (at least for the internal site). It was too difficult to maintain a theme throughout the pages while effectively displaying the content, especially on the portfolio pages. I've done a bit of work the past few days and come up with some new ideas.

Here's a link to the web portfolio page template I've set up. None of the links work yet, its just a first attempt at converting it from photoshop to html.

http://bumblebeedesign.org/dv/home.php

I'd love your opinions and criticisms of the new design. I'd also be interested in how you think it compares to the original.

I haven't made up my mind yet on what to do with the home page. Do you think I should go with what I had or work with something based on the new design... perhaps the web portfolio site without the web portfolio stuff (just the leaf, logo, and links)?

Thanks for your help, and feel free to be harsh.


Nice work. I can see you were paying much more attention to your type now. Letter spacing, leading, size relationships, grouping, negative space, playing within a single type family and working the grid are whats needed to make your work look professional. Thats the difference between learning computer programs and learning design. A couple of things, 1) perhaps a little more play in the size relationships of the elements, maybe leave the type the same size but increase the size of your upper left element. A big vs small type of play. 2) Not sure if the vertical type works yet. I like that you are being playful with the grid, maybe the type rotates to the horizontal when you do the rollover or appears somewhere else and it's more readable. Maybe flush left to the images and rotated 180 (reading up) instead of centered... play with it. 3) I was hoping to see the rest of the links.


BTW some your your earlier layouts were good too, they had some nice energy to them. Combine that energy with great type sense and you have nailed it. Sorry for the double post.

bwanac
Aug 9, 2006, 12:51 AM
I like the design very much.

I also enjoy that you are designing for non-profits and such. This is actually a great idea, and think I am going to start offering this too. Not to bog this thread down, but do you just do designs, or do you host as well? Or how are the hosting fees taken care of? Just interested. :D

panoz7
Aug 10, 2006, 09:08 AM
1) perhaps a little more play in the size relationships of the elements, maybe leave the type the same size but increase the size of your upper left element. A big vs small type of play.

I've played around with this and can't seem to get it to work. If I increase the size the leaf becomes too overwhelming and the site no longer looks balanced. I also tried selecting other parts of the leaf, but I just can't seem to get it to work.

2) Not sure if the vertical type works yet. I like that you are being playful with the grid, maybe the type rotates to the horizontal when you do the rollover or appears somewhere else and it's more readable. Maybe flush left to the images and rotated 180 (reading up) instead of centered... play with it.

That stupid text has been a real pain. I decided that legibility in this case wasn't all that important, and that the text should just serve as a further visual delineator between the links. Its also there to break up the white space below. I'm going to lighten them up a bit so they aren't so dominating though. I hadn't thought about the flush left thing, and I'm definitely going to give it a try.

3) I was hoping to see the rest of the links.

I'll have the rest of them up soon. I just wanted to get the basic design set before I started coding the rest.

BTW some your your earlier layouts were good too, they had some nice energy to them. Combine that energy with great type sense and you have nailed it. Sorry for the double post.

I'm going to try and combine those two in the new home-page design. I've decided that the home-page should be bright and colorful and the interior pages should be fairly minimalistic so that they don't distract the viewer from the portfolio work.

I've attached my new design for the home-page.

I also enjoy that you are designing for non-profits and such. This is actually a great idea, and think I am going to start offering this too. Not to bog this thread down, but do you just do designs, or do you host as well? Or how are the hosting fees taken care of?

The non-profit thing never took off like I wanted it to. Most of the local charities and organizations either already had members who performed most of the web design work or preferred that my time was donated in other ways. I helped out with on occasion when they ran into problems, but never had the opportunity to really help like I wanted to.

I do the hosting for free. I have a VPS with a company called west-host. It doesn't cost me much to host an additional site and is usually simpler then trying to have a client select and pay for a proper hosting package. So far I haven't had any real problems, but my server does seem to be slowing down so I'm considering switching to another host... that's for another thread though.