Too simple?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by panoz7, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    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).

    Attached Files:

  2. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Simple is good...I generally like it a lot.

    The only thing I don't like is the "e" in that font...
  3. macrumors 68000


    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 - they've got some good theoretical stuff that will help you hone your idea.
  4. Moderator


    Staff Member

    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... ;)
  5. macrumors 6502a


    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?
  6. macrumors 6502a


    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?
  7. Moderator


    Staff Member

    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...?
  8. macrumors G4


    No, I do not believe that it is too simple. To be honest,
    I think that it looks very good panoz7! :)
  9. macrumors 603


    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.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    When I try to design I keep in mind the "Got Milk Add", just how simple it was. I like the layout!
  11. macrumors 6502a

    He might have been thinking about - although I might be wrong.
  12. ATD
    macrumors 6502a

    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.

  13. macrumors 604


    Simplicity is Genius!! It's great the way it is, very good job. :D
  14. macrumors 6502


    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.
  15. macrumors 6502


    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.

    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.
  16. Moderator


    Staff Member

    You're old-fashioned... :D

    Just kidding... 18% grey... what is that in web-friendly RGB? #DDD or something?
  17. macrumors 6502


    18 percent grey is
    R206:G206:B206, aka #CECECE

    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.
  18. macrumors 6502


    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.

    Attached Files:

  19. macrumors 6502a


    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.

    Attached Files:

  20. ATD
    macrumors 6502a

    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

  21. Moderator


    Staff Member

    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... ;)
  22. macrumors 6502


    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.

    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 ... :eek:

    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.

    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>

    Can't wait to see how that comes out.

    BTW, where did you get your design training? Also, what programs do you work in?
  23. Ish
    macrumors 68000


    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.
  24. macrumors 6502a


    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.

  25. ATD
    macrumors 6502a


    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

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