More great image-driven websites

By SignCraft Magazine

Posted on Thursday, May 28th, 2015

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About a week ago I featured the websites of three sign companies, each of which was loaded with photos and kept the copy to a minimum. I heard from quite a few readers who enjoyed seeing these image-driven sites and commented on their effectiveness.

This approach keeps the focus on the work that the company produces and lets the photos do the selling. Ours is a visual business, and this is a very visual approach that shows rather than tells potential customers what you can do. Website visitors tend to look first and read second, so giving them a lot of interesting examples may keep them on the site longer than giving them plenty of descriptive text to read.

Several readers sent links to their own sites, or sites they admired that use this approach. I wanted to pass a few of those along to you to show you more examples of such websites and to let you see some great-looking sign work at the same time.

Paul Vogel of Nutmegger Workshop also shared the website building service that he used to create his image-driven website, www.nutmeggerworkshop.com. It’s based on a Squarespace.com template that he customized and manages himself. You may recall Paul’s work from the May/June 2013 issue of SignCraft.

“My site is a Squarespace template,” Paul says, “and costs me just $165 a year. It doesn’t have e-commerce capability, as I try to do business via email and PayPal, but that option is available if you need it..

“Squarespace is easy to customize with color, multiple pages, slideshow capabilities and blog capabilities. My site is using just 25 percent of the power of my particular template. What attracted me to Squarespace was the clean look of their templates and the ease of editing. Adding images and making copy changes are all done on-the-fly in the real time view.

“The portfolio gallery approach to my template is just what I needed as a platform for my work. Everything on my site was done by me: copywriting, photography, everything, and I don’t know a thing about code or programming. It couldn’t be any easier.”

Barry Branscom of Master’s Touch Designs [www.mtdsigns.com] overhauled his website recently to take a portfolio-based approach. He wanted the site to open with a gallery of photos, then let visitors move on to three additional pages to learn more.

“I wanted to feature design above anything,” says Barry. “I found some really clever templates that were actually designed with presenting the portfolios of photographers in mind. I started with one I really liked and stripped it down to the bare bones, then changed everything but the functionality of the site to reflect our design sensibility and color scheme.

“Too many sign shops clutter their site with too much verbiage and not enough portfolio. In my opinion, most customers want to see what you can do. That’s what I wanted to show them.”

Finally, Airpark Signs [www.airparksigns.com] has a site that is as beautiful as the work they produce. Its clean minimalist design makes sure nothing gets in the way of appreciating the signage. The copy is spare and there are just four main pages to the site. We first saw it just recently and were really impressed by both the work and the website. –Tom McIltrot

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