About the Client
Artist Chris Makin is a painter who describes himself as an “outsider artist”. Specialising in large, extremely detailed canvases that he works on for long periods of intense focus, Chris has been named one of the best emerging talents in 2018 across the University of Arts London.
Chris works in both monochrome and colour, creating unique pieces of art that capture the attention. He takes a creative approach to his art, blending techniques from the old masters such as Rembrandt with his own interpretations. Depicting colourful abstractions as well as monochromatic interpretations of the machinery of creativity, Chris’ art aims to capture the hidden side of the culture of creativity. He is always in pursuit of authenticity in his art and has an extensive portfolio of work.
During 2017 and 2018, Christ studied for an MA at Central Saint Martin’s. This allowed the development of his skills further and opened up opportunities to get his art in front of a wider artistic world.
Chris contacted Roundhay Web Design wanting a brochure-type website designing to promote his work as a contemporary painter. Creating a gallery site for an artist required putting a focus on pages that would enhance the user experience.
To begin with, our designers created a high-quality logo that would better represent Chris’ brand. Secondly, a key part of this project was a focus on creating a responsive site that has easy navigation. With gallery/brochure websites such as this one, page loading speeds are always an important consideration. A large number of images can impact performance if a site is not optimised to take these into consideration.
Boldly displaying images on the front page as well as on the about page increases engagement. However, the gallery of the website is the pièce de résistance of an artist’s portfolio. With such sites, our designers understand that simple and easy is often the best option. This allows visitors to focus on the art as pages remain otherwise uncluttered.
For the gallery page, thumbnail images are used. These then open up to reveal higher-resolution images that capture all the details of Chris’ art in great quality. Thumbnails on the main gallery page firstly help to improve the page load speeds. An additional bonus is they provide the visitor with an overview of the type of art on offer.
Navigation for a brochure website needs to be straightforward, and this is what we aimed for with this site. An uncluttered 5-option menu means that visitors can find and view the content they’re looking for in a single click. A huge plus of this technique is the reduced bounce rate – always an advantage. As Chris is interested in reaching new clients, each page features a simple and easy contact form, making it easy for visitors to get in touch with Chris.
When we revealed our web design to Chris, he was delighted with the way we had created a site that gave full prominence to his art. We were able to capture the feel of Chris’ work as an artist, and he appreciated the minimalistic design and rapid page loading speeds. For Chris, the most important part of the site is, of course, the gallery, and he was impressed with the way that we used thumbnails to both improve page loading speeds and encourage visitors to click on individual images that caught their eye.
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