For this project, I'd like to get personal. My very first full-time design job was for a small business called Graphic Image, which sold high-end leather products, from datebooks to photo albums to smartphone covers to iPad covers. Back then, I was responsible for email designs and maintaining the homepage graphics for their website. Now that I'm more seasoned, I wanted to explore how I would improve their online presence and brand.
Creative Direction, Art Direction, Copywriting
I'll begin with their current identity and appearance, which were not designed by me, and existed during my time there and continues to exist to this day. Their logo consists of a handdrawn elephant face, which symbolizes remembering, because their very first product they ever made was datebooks.
Also, their homepage has a standard hero callout with a left rail for important callouts. Their product category pages follow the same structure, with a 4-column product grid.
Graphic Image markets their products as high-end, with a demographic of upper class people, mostly in urban settings. Their customer base often shops at other high-end shops such as Reiss, Steven Alan, and Ralph Lauren. Therefore, when taking on this personal exercise, I wanted to give Graphic Image a facelift that better reflected the kind of aesthetic. This is shown below.
I wanted to be true to Graphic Image's history, so I retained the elephant mark, but I redrew it. I gave the entire body of the elepant, and had the elephant's trunk hoisted up, to convey confidence.
I also redesigned the logotype, using a modified version of Futura. The geometric glyphs add a sense of class and history, but still looks modern and fashionable, and is easier to read than the old logo's typeface.
When dealing with high-end identity, it is important that the application is kept simple so as not to overshadow the products. Therefore, collateral for the identity uses plenty of white space, smart placement of logo and copy, and quiet color usage.
This brings us to the redesign of the online presence. The goal was to create a modern fashionable design that still had a classical feel. For the homepage, a full-screen tile is used. Although in my example, I choose to illustrate a banner for promotion, the idea is that the homepage can be used for anything that is promotable or important, such as a call to a new product division or a major announcement.
The Shop section was greatly simplified. In an attempt to convey minimalism that best compliments the identity redesign, I simplified the product grid, removed the hero section, and merged the Shop's subcategories into the left rail for easy access and navigation.
I also greatly simplified the product details page by reducing it to its most important elements. The product images are front and center. The left side contents the product's summary and details. The right side contains the interactive elements where the customer can choose a product color, quantity, and potential engraving. The "Add To Bag" button anchors the elements at the bottom.
The shopping bag operates as a simple right menu. By default it is a summary of all the items in the customer's bag. For the sake of convenience, each item has an edit menu so that the customer can reconfigure their order without leaving the bag sidebar.
Of course, to be a modern web experience, it must be responsive, which the current site design is not. When configuring the mobile interface, the goal was to maintain as much of the simplicity and minimalism as possible to ensure the same experience.