Strip it Down

Strip it all down. That’s what it took for me to finally realize what I wanted. I had been working on my new website off and on for a couple of months, when I could squeeze in a little time here and there. In the beginning, I had bold plans. I even began to execute them well, but it wasn’t working for me. It didn’t fit me. I couldn’t quite place what was wrong until one day I just stripped it down. I took out all the bells and whistles in the design that I initially thought were “so cool.” They are cool, for someone else’s site.

I’ve always personally leaned toward simpler designs but was afraid that it would not necessarily reflect well on me as a designer to have such a simple looking site. I felt like I needed to do more, showcase more. After all, this new site was not only for my art but for my design portfolio as well. How can a simple design elevate my design career?

There was the answer. I needed my site to showcase artwork and design work. Images were the core content of my site. They were the stars, not the site itself. Don’t get me wrong. The site still needed to look good and function well. It still needed to communicate who I was as an artist and designer, but it needed to leave room for the content to shine.

At this point, I realized I needed to dive into what is probably my weakest area in design, typography. I’ve seen great examples of how typography can style a page with few other elements. It was out of my comfort zone, but stretched me. Typography brought class design to otherwise visually lackluster pages.

Whether it’s a painting, your home or a website, sometimes we over design. Inspiration abounds, but maybe you’ll just find that the best thing to do is strip it down, identify the stars and let them shine.