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and taking all the work down and just using client logos on black.
I feel at the moment the poncier your website is the more likely people are to buy into you...
Kind of playing clients at their own game...
Your thoughts are appreciated...
LESS IS MORE, GO FOR IT.
its easy to create a world class brand... the first 200 years are killer tho
you got some better known brands among that logo wall (you know: not all »aunt mildreds flowershop« or so)
you have a stable business running and a good reputation and don’t have to rely on a show off website to acquire new clients
you can also offer a PDF portfolio on request
Sounds a great idea. I think those white on black logos need to be just a little bit bigger though :)
1. What do you love? Rebuild your business around that niche. Any other approach will be fake, contrived, and unfulfilling.
2. Write a vision statement that describes the desired impact your work could have in the world. Make it big, bigger than anything one person could achieve in a lifetime. Make it something that your clients will gladly support.
3. Write a mission statement that provides a clear answer to why your business exists. Again, this expresses what you love, but speaks to how you solve a client's problems.
4. Name the business, or if you keep the existing name make sure it fits with your new mission.
5. Develop a content strategy that is all about your clients and prospects. Write, write, write. Find a way to stay in conversation with the people and brands that matter to you.
6. Then and ONLY then will you be ready to design a new identity system and website for yourself.
This may seem overly complex for a one-person operation, but if potential clients see that you're practicing what you preach, they'll respond.
I believe it works.
I think that having a lot of images from the same project and a paragraph of jargon bullshit about the process and your role is too much.
I agree with utopian, less is more and if you know how to make it happen I'm pretty sure it's going to look good.
I'm in the process of re-doing my portfolio and logo as well. Good luck
The first big design job I had for out of college was working for a small studio in Downtown Detroit. There was little to no information available to them on the internet. Their website was a complete farce (literally a jpeg image with a list of services).
I distinctly remember the CD of the studio saying on more than one occasion "I like that our website is ambiguous it makes us look like Detroit's best kept secret." The owners, who where somewhat pretentious artsy-types shook their heads approvingly, as if this was a sound business tactic.
For the next 2.5 years while I was at the studio I watched them struggle again and again to reel clients in. Virtually every client they worked with commented "So what's up with your website anyway?"
So... after wondering after my job security for those 2.5 years the studio still has it's doors open. They have since launched a website (that I designed and went through a maddening approval process) is literally a glorified slideshow that still explains little-to-nothing about what they do as a studio. Again, I distinctly remember one of the last new clients I worked with there saying "You have some nice pictures on your website but it doesn't tell me anything about you guys... I had no idea you did all the stuff you did until I came to your office."
That being said I suppose if you're confident and feel that your Brand is established enough (like say the way Ideo or Pentagram or or Sagmeister or any well established name) then sure, go for it. But remember that your website is a business tool. It may make the difference in helping a prospective client work with you or not. In the end though I think it boils down to if you feel that your website helps / hinders you in terms of new business.
Unless you're a freelancer who only wants to work with agencies, there's no real value in having a website unless you make it about solving problems for your clients. Sure, you have to put your work out there. But I find that clients care as much about expertise, personality and service as the quality of our work. I think too many designers hide behind their portfolios.
Some interesting advice there, Gramme, although I suspect it probably better fits your groove, one which I know you've been workin on for a few years now.
Not sure that "Write, write, write" is much use to someone who has no interest in writing, or not bothering with a portfolio when someon may well nagega much of their work through there.
Thats very true gramme. Let me ask you this question then. Do you think having a more personal connection with prospective clients (example having a video of yourself like someone on here did it a couple of months back) would be better than just having images on your website?
I do the logo on black thing with assorted renders. work keeps coming but I feel it's a bit boring.
Thanks for the input guys - I really appreciate it.
Essentially it would be a carousel type showcase. The logos in colour but the main body of the site in black.
Maybe a 3 or 4 column grid stating what the company is about, the disciplines we do, the sectors we cover and contact details...
I love our current site but I think a change is as good as any... If they want to know about the nitty gritty of the business - they can go to our FB page as then everyone thinks we are down with the kids...
@ hektor911 & detritus
Yes, I think the personal connection is key. But I didn't mean to downplay the value of a portfolio. Every designer should have their best work proudly displayed on their website. What I'm saying is that if we want to become known as experts with unique strengths, we shouldn't make our work the MAIN event of our websites. The main event should be one's positioning: What makes the company different, and why clients should care. Coming up with a positioning statement that isn't same shit different verse is nearly an impossible task for generalists. Without positioning, we hide behind the work. I used to fall squarely into this category.
But by all means, make the portfolio accessible, beautiful, etc. I'm not saying it should be swept under a rug. I am saying that it should be of secondary prominence on a studio or agency website.
I think writing can be very useful for any designer. If you don't like to write, then hire or barter with a copywriter. We position ourselves for growth and more satisfying projects by sharing our thought leadership. That's the most efficient way to become known as an expert. A strong, evolving portfolio is the natural result of what happens when good designers provide good content for their audiences.
Again, none of this really applies to freelancers.