I was contacted by the owner of the hugely successful news and media website Donegal Daily to create a brand new sister website designed just for women.
I was delighted to receive this project as it was the first time I had been given a project where there was literally no brand already in place. This meant I had the opportunity to conceptualise the entire brand myself; from the logo design to brand colours and also the look and feel of the brand. This was an exciting project to work on. The only requirement the client had was that they wanted to use the wordpress engine to create articles for the site. This was a new challenge for me as I usually stay away from wordpress websites due to the fact that most of them look the same and do not have the same high quality design that I strive to achieve. However I enjoyed this new challenge and created a custom template that had a unique look and feel.
Designing a website and a brand that is specifically aimed at women was certainly difficult in the early stages of the design process. I had to convey that the brand was designed primarily for women but without bombarding it with pink everywhere as is often the case. I chose a more subtle variation of the colour pink and decided to use this sparingly. I wanted other colours to dominate the website and for this to give it a clean and modern look and feel. I had some inspiration from various sources and decided that white would be a clean cut choice for the sites main colour. I could design everything around this.
I usually choose no more than 3 or 4 colours before going on with the design process as I believe less is more in this regard. I chose a light shade of grey along with solid black as the other two colours that would be used quite sparingly and consistently. I used the light grey for the article and sidebar text. The black was used for the headings and paging control borders. The intention is to only use these colours for these areas and it is vital that this is consistent throughout the site which helps the colours compliment each other when a user navigates the site.
Designing the logo took quite a long time and I ran through several prototypes. I wanted to incorporate black and pink and this was something I decided from the off. This would give it a timeless look and would keep the subtle tone of the brand. Nothing is overpowering but at the same time the pink colour is strong enough to give the brand a strong recognisable identity. With this in mind I came up with the lipstick icon which was used for the main logos. I chosen the lipstick icon to stand tall next to the logo text and feel that this gives the whole brand a strong identity. People will instantly recognise the brand when they become familiar with the icon and colours. To compliment this I also designed a large lip SVG using Adobe Illustrator. I used this in the background of the website footer as I felt this gave a nice 'sign-off' effect. I also created a mobile version of the logo which would display on smaller screens. See the final logo's below.
Other than the design there was quite a lot of PHP coding involved within the project. I found myself getting to know how the wordpress engine worked and made extensive use of the Wordpress developer API in order to create custom functionality using PHP.