Square peg. Round hole. Splat!

splat image for web design postHaving a great logo or custom header image can really make a web site. Branding, aesthetics, visual impact — what’s not to like?

Here’s what’s not to like:

Most graphic designers create artwork apart from the ultimate environment. In our example, the artist designs a header/logo image out of context. The graphic goes to the client, who evaluates it out of context as well. Terrific! Then the artwork lands in the lap of the web designer, who does an immediate face plant.

Often as not, the graphic goes on the web site and looks like hell — or at least out of place.

Not because the artwork is bad. Because the graphic artist did not align the design with the end product.

I see this over and over, almost always a waste of clients’ time and money.

Let’s say the new logo is a strong and striking vertical. But the header is horizontal. Look at the logo space at the top of this web site. About 245 pixels by 70 pixels. The only way a vertical image is going in there is at a miniscule size.

Of course the top of the web site could be redone. Tail wags dog.

Like going to an auto parts place and saying you want a¬†windshield wiper. Guy looks in back and says I have a great windshield wiper, see? Then you try to put it on your car and it is worthless because it was not designed to go on your car. But it’s a very nice windshield wiper.

Ideally the web designer and the graphic designer work as a team, everyone knows the specs and the color scheme — but that’s typically not the case.

Here’s the fix:

Ask the designer to send you the first proof ONLY as a screen shot of your home page with the proposed logo/header in place. No other way. Not out of context. That solves that, usually.