Last year I posted about designing the Greene Ink Press website for my sister-in-law, Kendra, who has graduated from the University of Iowa’s Center for the Book and is now pursuing a career in writing and letterpress. When I first put her site all together, I built it using older standards. Late last year I took a class in designing with CSS, Cascading Style Sheets. I had already dabbled in CSS here and there, but the class helped me to have a more comprehensive understanding of how to build a site using CSS completely.
After the class, I was very enthused with all I learned and decided to put my learning to practice and completely re-haul Kendra’s website. Mostly it looks the same, the benefits being more in the structure of how the site is built. However, we added new sections to her site to show off her magnificent work and I updated the Essays section to look much more graceful and less heavy/clunky…a major improvement.
Here is a before picture of the essays page. Notice how domineering the header of the essay is and how everything feels very tight and heavy. I wanted it to look better than that, but at the time I had no better solution and that was about the best I could do.
After my class, however, I learned how to structure things in a better way, and how with the new technology you can do different things. So, I jumped right in and created a lighter page. Instead of a heavy header for the essay information, I lightened it up with rules that I couldn’t do as accurately or as well using the old technology. I also limited the width of the essay text so that the reader’s eye doesn’t have to cross the length of the entire page, making it easier to read, and gave a little more space on the page as a whole. Overall, I think this redesign greatly improves the design of her site:
This website is the beginning of doing an overhaul on all of the websites that I’ve designed and still manage. It’s exciting to me to be able to use the new technology to update and create new and improved designs for my clients!