Graphic Design Process, Part Three
Company Website Design

BACKGROUND: You have already completed a Company Logo and a Business Card and Letterhead for your small business client. CLICK HERE FOR A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL LOGO ASSIGNMENT WITH BUSINESS DESCRIPTIONS. The client is very pleased with your work. Now, your client has decided to create a website for the company and would like you to design the look of the homepage of the site. You will be creating the look of the website in PHOTOSHOP.

Please note, you will not be building a website with this assignment, you will be DESIGNING the look of a website using PHOTOSHOP.

INSPIRATION: I regularly follow the blog of a great graphic designer named Karly Bartlett, who works for a Graphic Design firm called Creative Images in Eugene, Oregon. In a recent blog entry, Karly discussed a project that she put together for the Hillcrest Winery in Roseburg, Oregon. Her blog entry regarding the project is below:

Published on October 31st, 2009

At HillCrest Vineyard west of Roseburg, Dyson and Susan DeMara share their passion for wine with their tasting room guests. Their vineyard and winery is family owned and operated and steeped in history.

Originally founded by Oregon vinifera pioneer, Richard Sommer, HillCrest is Oregon’s oldest estate winery. Sommer introduced European style grapes to the Umpqua Valley in 1961 and is credited for producing Oregon’s first Pinot Noir. The rustic tasting room serves as the perfect backdrop as the DeMara’s pour their wines and share HillCrest’s history with their guests.

They came to Creative Images last October with a desire to have labels that matched the quality of their small-lot artisan wines.

HillCrest Wine Labels

As you can see they have two lines. Their signature limited production HillCrest wines are available for tasting and purchase in their tasting room, but are not sold in stores. However, Heydon Road which honors wine pioneer, Adam Doerner—who brought grapevine cuttings to the Umpqua Valley in 1888—is handcrafted using old world techniques from Oregon’s oldest vineyards and is sold in select stores and restaurants.

Based on the labels that I designed, my coworker designed HillCrest’s website. (click the thumbnails for larger version)

HillCrest Vineyard Website

I then designed this ad for In the Land of Umpqua magazine.

HillCrest Magazine Ad


YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Much like Karly and her firm, you will be creating the look of a company website based upon the THEME, COLORS and IDEAS presented by the Company Logo and Business Card that you created during the course of the last two assignments. Your completed Website Design will impress visitors with its visual impact and interest, presentation of the company image and promotion of the company's products.

WEBSITE COMPONENTS: When completed, your website MUST include all of the following elements:

  1. Website will be created on a canvas that is 1024 x 768 pixels in size. This is the size of a standard computer screen.
  2. A thoughtful and NON-CLUTTERED layout that presents all necessary information regarding the company (see below).
  3. The company logo (preferably in the upper left corner of the canvas) prominently displayed.
  4. A "banner" at the top of the page that identifies the website to visitors.
  5. A color scheme, including background colors, text colors and secondary colors that match the theme of the company logo and business card and compliment the company products.
  6. Graphic "LINKS" that would lead to at least SIX different webpages on the company website (see special LINKS instructions below)
  7. Two "links" to allow the viewer to LIKE ON FACEBOOK and FOLLOW ON TWITTER, including proper icons for each (every website has these, nowadays!).
  8. An appealing photograph of AT LEAST ONE product that is sold by the company.
  9. A block of text somewhere on the page that gives some information about the company or the product.

WEBSITE LINKS: You do not need to create ACTUAL links, but should graphically represent button links to other pages on the company website. These DO NOT have to be lined up at the left side of the canvas! Do your best to incorporate these links into the design of the webpage in an eyecatching and interesting way.

As each business is different, you will need to select AT LEAST SIX possible links from the list below to incorporate into your webpage:

"HISTORY" Describes the history of the company
"CATALOG" Online shopping catalog for the company's products.
"CONTACT US" Shows how the customer can contact the company.
"EVENTS" Describes upcoming events at the store or at other venues sponsored by the company.
"PROMOTIONS/SALES" Special catalog showing sale items or discussing upcoming promotions and sales gimmicks.
"FUN AND GAMES" Many websites use online Flash video games to bring customers back to their sites.
"VIDEOS" Demonstration videos of products or events relating to product.
"NUTRITION INFO" Required by law that any company selling food provide nutritional information regarding their products.
"GALLERY" Pictures and photographs of the product or of people using the product.
"HOW-TO" Many websites include "How-to" information to bring people to their site (such as an Auto Parts store describing how to change your own oil, etc.)
"MEN-WOMEN-KIDS" Different pages for these groups, often seen at clothing store websites.
"LOCATIONS" Maps or location information to guide customers to stores or restaurants in a number of locations.
"CAREERS" Job and application information for people interested in working for your company.
"COMMERCIALS" Sometimes seen on national brand websites that offer lots of funny commercials (think Bud Light, Doritos or other "Super Bowl" commercials). Lets you view the commercials without a TV.
"DOWNLOADS" Some websites "give away" downloads to bring customers to their site, such as free music, ringtones, desktop wallpaper, etc.

PROJECT ADVICE: Feel free to jump online and do some research into the look of other websites. Find some that you think are attractive and interesting and use those websites as inspiration for the look of your design.


SAVING AND SUBMITTING: When your website is completely finished, JPEG your canvas and turn it in. Proper labelling for your JPEG will be:


GRADING: This project will be graded in two parts:

  • Part One: Proper inclusion of all required elements. Include all the pieces required, get 50 points!
  • Part Two: Graphic Design appeal. This will be completely subjective grading on Mr. B.'s part. How GOOD DOES YOUR SITE LOOK? 100 points for this!