Maryann Held is a children’s illustrator. Fresh out of art school, she didn’t have the budget to go crazy with a custom CMS, but knew that stale, boring, template sites wouldn’t do her vibrant children’s artwork any justice. We worked together to build an easily extendible static website that showcases the world of Maryann Held from the first moment you see it, without silly splash pages, or intrusive Flash.
I saw this project as a great opportunity to build a site that used her work in the same way a prospective client (her ideal user) would. To avoid the tired old slide shows that plague most artist’s websites, we put Maryann to work as the illustrator of her own site, to exhibit her ability to work quickly and adaptively. Employing a flexible design that immerses the user in Maryann’s art, I believe the site brings her illustrations to life, and her talent to the forefront.
3 Smoked Joints was a walking tour of three Manayunk barbecue proprietors. Due to the informal nature of the event, the site’s purpose was largely organizational. I wrote the copy, markup, and styles in an evening, and integrated a Google Map to give participants a preview of where they would be dining, as well as links to each stop along the way.
Cafe Avocado was a bistro-style cafe in the heart of small-town Perkasie, PA. Customers loved the warm, yet modern decor, as a perfect pairing for their New-American menu. The challenge was to capture this richness, and an always changing menu. While I may have never completely done that, I did build the foundation for the skills and techniques that I still use today.
Rather than building a heavy-handed CMS to accomplish the simple task of updating daily specials, we chose a twitter aggregator to update content on the homepage. Rich colors, clean, simple lines, and light textures evoked the cafe’s adored interior décor. Cafe Avocado’s website was always a work in progress, making it the perfect learning ground for future projects.
This defunct site is hosted locally for archival purposes.
Refresh Doylestown is the monthly meetup for web geeks in suburban Philadelphia. As a founding member, I had the distinct honor of completing the visual design for the first incarnation of our site. A simple site with a single goal can sometimes be the greatest challenge, and this was one of those times.
There was no shortage of directions to go with this design, as we had no branding, no established users, and I was my own client. I chose a simple layout to emphasize the clear and direct copy and markup written by co-founder, Chris Cressman. With the assistance of WebLinc’s Graphic Design Lead, Mike Ennis, I created our logo, and then the styling for our site. Despite its simplicity, the Refresh Doylestown site allowed me to expand my skillset, and work co-operatively with professionals whose work I admire.
From time to time, I contemplate, research, and discuss issues relevant to working on the web. Unless stated otherwise, these works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Published: March 04, 2010.
and co-workers… mostly co-workers.
© 2010 Christopher Meyers