I’ve been working on a website for London-based story editor, Sara Sarre. Her new editorial services company is called Blue Pencil Agency, and although she has been working with writers for several years, her company needed its first website to act as a hub and advertisement for the business.
We met for a long (3 hour) coffee to scope out what would be needed in the first instance. With a wealth of visual and publishing experience, Sara was able to bring a strong design outlook to the process, but she was less certain about how to structure the site’s pages and layout. We had a very tight time frame because the website needed to be finished to a business meeting deadline, so I worked with her to create a slimline structure which can be expanded in the future as the business grows. I suggested a couple of functions, that this kind of business will really benefit from, could be put aside for a few months whilst we concentrate on the core structure: Her home page with an introduction to the work she does, the impressive authors’ endorsements page, and a story editing faqs page which encompasses the client/editor process and the costs and timings. These pages don’t have a CMS (content management system, which allows the site holder to update content), at this stage, so there was an added advantage of spreading the cost of the website.
Visually, I concentrated on making the site layout fluid, for small mobile to large desktop screens, so that only one version of the site is necessary (no special mobile site is needed; indeed it is ‘mobile first’). This means that the layout doesn’t look exactly the same on all screens, but the colour scheme and motifs are consistent throughout, and image and font sizes scale gracefully between the screen sizes. Sara was able to provide some high quality, professional photography which really helped the design process. The colour scheme, of course, comes from the name of the company – blue! I love to work with flat screen colour and used its complementary colour for the accents.
This Spring I will be working with Blue Pencil Agency to add the above-mentioned functions which will really help to enhance the business: a blog for Sara’s own published writing and news about Blue Pencil Agency’s work, and an email capture contact page, which will help the company to preserve their contacts and create regular email bulletins. Later on in the year we may add the CMS for the existing pages so that she can get on with content maintenance herself.