Huntington, NY – When opportunities arise at Skylar to step out and embark on a totally different project, one that we've never tackled before, it's exciting to see the end result. In all the years we've been developing websites, this is our very first professional photography website.
In late 2006, Catwalk Photo Inc., led by President and Founder, Karen Mahanna, began discussions with Skylar Design about her challenges with increasing her company exposure and how best to market her photography services. Although she has used several marketing strategies to increase awareness about her company, she knew there was one essential piece missing - her very own website.
One of the frustrations Karen expressed was that her collaterial materials had her web address on them, but she didn't have a website for people to visit. Furthermore, whenever she was at an event such as a wedding, bar mitzvah, or a school photo shoot and someone asked for her business card, she always had to explain that her website was in development. Unfortunately, the status of her website had been in development for quite some time. Finally, Karen decided that the time had come to start this critical project and see that it was completed.
- Design a new logo for Catwalk Photo.
- Create a place where potential clients could find Catwalk, especially in the Long Island/NY area.
- Build a distinct online photo gallery so potential customers could see the quality of Catwalk's work.
One of the very first things we had to address was the logo. Although her former logo clearly used Catwalk Photo Inc., there was one very important element missing and that was the person behind the company: Karen Mahanna. She is essentially the Catwalk brand and we felt she needed to be incorporated into the new logo. Several ideas and logo designs were exchanged, and the end result achieved this integration. The new logo clearly demarcates that Catwalk Photo is the corporation and that Ms. Mahanna is the driving force behind the company.
Early in the process of creating Catwalk's user interface designs, we chose black as our background color. Many colors were applied within the initial drafts, but black really made Catwalk's photos leap off the page. In addition, we felt a minimalist approach would make the overall design appeal even more to the user. Too many details could actually hurt the layout and possibly draw attention away from the photographs. This was something we didn't want to happen. As a way of drawing the user's eyes to Catwalk's work, every page uses one of Catwalk's exclusive photos and is padded with plenty of white space.
With the online gallery, we decided that the layout would have to be even more simplified if it was to be a success. There would be no copy on the page. The only content would be the logo, a smaller nav system, and the images for each specific gallery. We also carried over the colors used within the main layout to communicate to the user that they were still on the Catwalk website. All in all, we wanted every user to focus solely on each image. And we didn't want anything to detract from achieving this goal.
We're glad to say that the new site is live and we trust that the completion of this project will help improve public awareness of Catwalk's professional photography services. We want to especially thank Karen for allowing us to partner with her on such a personal project.