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Updating the website... be gentle

Discussion in 'Website Design' started by cgsigns_jamie, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. cgsigns_jamie

    cgsigns_jamie Very Active Member

    Well, we're going to start a new marketing campaign so I figured I'd better update our website.

    What do you think??
    How do you like the fancy Facebook stream?

    So far the Home Page and Contact Us page are the only ones near completion.
     
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  2. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    well Jamie, I gotta tell ya... I think the photo montage on the bottom of the home page is the best part. I'd rather see that on top... but i clicked around & see that the black & white logo is constant on all pages.. and the navigation links are on top... but I honestly think that some nice color pics on top would look better & the links on the bottom.

    I also think you really need to find a better pic for LED message boards. That fish sign looks nice, but even the thermometer portion looks bad to me... I mean even if it's really there, I'd photoshop it out because it doesn't add anything in my opinion.

    Hope that was gentle enough... I know it's tough to hear extreme about-face suggestions... but if you're gonna do it, I do at least think it's good you are taking critiques. Do you have a nice sign? is it in color? I'd love to see a colorful icon for your company brand on the website.
     
  3. Farmboy

    Farmboy Active Member

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    I like the layout on the product, services and gallery page. Very easy to find what your looking for. I don't like that I have to click your logo to get back to the home page. It also leaves a box around it (the logo) that takes away from the clean look of the page. I agree with isign. The photos at the bottom would look better at the top. I understand it would mess with the flow you have going. They just seem to draw my eye right to the bottom off the page. Overall I like the look though.
     
  4. 32bantum

    32bantum Member

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    Isign, hold that little board they give ya a little higher in your avatar.That looks like a mug shot!!
     
  5. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

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    I think it needs a bit more beef at the top. It's very plain now.... it reminds me of a magazine page. I don't think it's a good idea to send people to another website to see your work. I think you should keep your gallerys on your own site.
     
  6. luggnut

    luggnut Very Active Member

    i agree with isign... the top in just blk and wht looks stark and a little amatureish. the kind of work you do from the pics in the gallery is not well represented by the almost playful and casual logo. if i only saw the logo and top portion i would assume this is one man in his basement.

    i know that is harsh sounding, but i envy the kind of work you have in your gallery and examples and i think the logo and look should reflect that type of quality.
     
  7. cgsigns_jamie

    cgsigns_jamie Very Active Member

    Hi all... thanks for the suggestions.

    I think I'm going to work another photo "montage" behind the "Custom Signs Since 1987" to add a little color at the top of the page.

    Isign... I replaced the photo with another photo that showed a different frame on the LED. What do you think of that one?
    Also, I'd like to feature our sign on the front page, but we don't have one. We are in an industrial park and can't do much in the way of signage. We do have an awning with our logo on it, but that's it. Hopefully a new building is in our future and then I can feature our nice pylon sign on the front page.

    Farmboy... Thank you, I'm working on the descriptions for each of those products and services now. I tried to make it as clean and simple as possible (maybe too clean). I've never cared for websites that were so cluttered it was difficult to find relevant information.

    Signmeup... I hear ya on the gallery. The Picasa Gallery is only temporary until I find a nice flash gallery for our photos.
    Picasa is nice because anyone in the office can publish a photo with one click. I need to find something that easy in a flash gallery. I know that if it's not easy to add new photos I probably won't update it as often as I should.

    Lugnut... You had to mention the logo.. I'm with you, I hate the darn thing and I don't think it represents our company at all. It used to when all we did was Custom Graphics, but that was back in the late '80s. Unfortunately the thing is so recognizable we can't change it too much. We did "freshen" it up a bit last January and what you see now is the result of that.
     
  8. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    agrees with Isign about pictures being up higher but the worst I see is that fish sign hope ya didn't design that fish looks good though

    did like the copy but easier to read to me is better

    overall it looks ok to me though
     
  9. cgsigns_jamie

    cgsigns_jamie Very Active Member

    Hi Craig...

    Not to get off track but, yes I designed the Whitey's sign. My original design didn't include the fish at the top. As you can see it looks like an afterthought just stuck on the top cabinet, because it kinda is.

    This pylon was replacement for an old sign that had been there for a LONG time and the owners insisted we have a fish on the top of the sign. So I sent them to iStock and this is the fish they picked.

    Here is a Before and After shot of the sign.
     

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  10. Wes Phifer

    Wes Phifer Member

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    I checked out your Facebook page. Do you think you get much good out of it? I haven't found a way to target businesses with Facebook. Any enlightenment would be great.
     
  11. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

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    Have a look at Coffee Cups gallery program. It's a free trial down load. I also really like Xara's pop-up photo but I don't know if you can get the code into a non Xara website. Check out my website if you want to see the pop-up photo thing.
     
  12. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

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    Basically isign covered my sentiments. The photo's look nice! The B/W logo is just... blah.
     
  13. cgsigns_jamie

    cgsigns_jamie Very Active Member

    I'm not sure it's brought in any new business. Then again I haven't signed up for the paid ad's that Facebook offers.

    It's more of a quick and easy way to update my existing customers about our current events and projects.

    Really though I think it's just a great excuse to have Facebook up throughout the day :wink:
     
  14. cgsigns_jamie

    cgsigns_jamie Very Active Member

    That Coffee Cup gallery looks like just the thing for me... unfortunately they don't have a Mac version so I won't be able to "play" with it until I get into the office.

    Once again guys thanks for the feedback. I'll post when I've made a few more changes.
     
  15. zmatalucci

    zmatalucci Very Active Member

    there are far better displays of your capabilities in your portfolio than that whiteys fishing sign. Please lose it, at least on your front page. Also, not to sound redundant, but liven up your b/w logo on your web pages.
     
  16. cgsigns_jamie

    cgsigns_jamie Very Active Member

    Thanks Zeth. The reason I chose the Whitey's sign is because it's one of the most popular places here in Orange Park and everyone knows that sign.

    I'm working on taking better photos of our past projects to isolate them on a white background. Than I'd like for a different sign show up each time the page is loaded.

    If you don't mind me asking, which of our signs would you choose for the front page?
     
  17. daveb

    daveb General Know-it-all

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    Just a thought, I'm a sign guy... when we needed a web page I thought about it a lot... Joe Diaz (no, he's not paying me for this) did a great job for us. Good sign design does not necessarily translate into good web design, two different medias, two different approaches. I'm busy (and old), I don't have a lot of time to try to do both well (yes Joe, I do expect a commission on this come to think of it).

    Just a thought
    Dave
     
  18. CentralSigns

    CentralSigns Very Active Member

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    I had a good discussion with Dan Striker about web sites just last week. He is very informative and give me some ideas I hadn't thought about. Might be worthwhile for you too. Helped me lots.
     
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