It is a long way from the thought ‘I need a website for my business’ to its realisation. Most of us don’t know what we want, don’t have any idea of what is involved, or don’t know what we are really trying to achieve. Sadly, the situation is made worse by a large assembly of charlatans out there who exploit that ignorance, charge a fortune and deliver almost bugger all, based on ‘ready-made’ unimaginative templates.
Then there is the question of cost. How much should it cost? Inevitably the answer will be as little as possible.
If we are being really mean and feeling clever, we have a go at DIY and usually the results look just like that. I did it my way… and some of the very worst are photographer’s websites.
I believe effective web design works best if there is a symbiosis between the person wanting the site and the web designer. With Miles Cruickshank symbiosis is his stock in trade.
I first met Miles some years ago, when he created the innovative branding for my start up game-bird rearing business. The business was undercapitalised and folded 3 years later and I well remember endlessly traipsing around potential new financiers only to be repeatedly told “No money, but we think your art work is fantastic.” I even had one outfit that wanted to buy the copyright to it!
Time moved on and Miles and his intuitive creativity moved with it. Several years ago, I wanted a website for my photography business. I spoke with Miles, but I thought I knew best and went for an alternative solution, which turned out to be devoid of design creativity and purpose, as most of the input was mine. My web designer was in fact not a designer, but an assembler. There was no continuity of brand, because there was no brand.
It took a while to realise this and then I wound my way back to Miles. We talked for long time until I understood that he knew more about what I needed than I did. After a short while he created a theme of brand identities that were intertwined, but it was quite revealing to see where he was leading me. I tested it on friends and fellow photographers and there was almost an instant ‘WOW’ from everyone. Like all ‘good’ design it is understated and yet very clearly unique.
Before the website went ‘live’ I planned an exhibition of my work, for which I needed banners and other artwork. When we first talked Miles had spoken of the total design being of ‘a box of parts’ and I had not really understood what he meant, now however, I suddenly did. The branding was seamlessly and quickly transformed into my new requirements, all of which tied together, which is what he had considered in his original branding design.
As photographers, we talk about images that stand out and are stunningly different, as images that ‘pop.’ If you want your website to ‘pop’ you need look no further than Miles. He is brilliant and you will not be disappointed!