Stuck for inspiration

  ade.h 18:40 19 Aug 2006

Where do you look first when you need some stylistic inspiration?

I'm looking for a touchpaper to light my creative brain cells, if you will! I have a new project in mind where contemporary style and good presentation are paramount, but I'm suffering from blank-page syndrome at the moment and the daily browse tends to produce a mixed bag; only occasionally do I see a site that has wow factor, without being a slave to its appearance while forsaking function.

  kestrel10 19:23 19 Aug 2006

I am in the same boat at present. I have been updating my website, but am not totally happy with it's appearance. I seem to be stuck in a bit of a rutt & the site is still looking similar to my present design. Any thoughts would be useful.

  STREETWORK 19:43 19 Aug 2006

Keep it simple, navigatable and limit colours to pleasing shades. Pictures paint a thousand words, but not big ones.

On the left or across the top to navigate.
On the right for adverts, links and news items.
In the centre for the content.
Change the pictures on the home page regularly to keep it fresh each time someone visits.
Use tables to layout the page as this keeps it neat.
Style sheets are good to use for instantly changing colours, fonts and pictures.
Use your theme to drive the look, so if its about cars, use car graphics as link buttons, etc.

Be origional...

  slightlymad 19:59 19 Aug 2006

I'm glad you posted this, ade.h - I'll read the responses with interest.

I haven't created a website for a 'real' client yet - I'm still learning, and experimenting with page designs.

For me, it's usually an image that sets me off. I love trawling through the images click here, and the rest seems to follow. Or there may be a concept that I want to master - opacity, or hover effects, for instance.

I'm (hesistatingly, and very shyly) posting a link to the stuff I've done over the past year. On the left are templates that I hope will come in useful, on the right coursework from the online course that taught me CSS.

As you'll see, most of them are built around a specific image. Do bear in mind that they're the work of a beginner with much to learn, but if any of them give you some ideas, then I'll be delighted.

  slightlymad 20:00 19 Aug 2006

URL: click here

  ade.h 20:09 19 Aug 2006

Thanks for the post, but most of those are basic principles that we should all be doing. I always use 100% tables and my design app provides CSS support for text boxes.

  ade.h 20:13 19 Aug 2006

Hi Marie, I hoped you might be interested by this topic.

Stock Exchange is a good site; I can't remember who suggested it to me - it might have been you.

Some nice designs that you have there; you display a natural eye for a clean, attractive style. Appropriately, I was just about to search the web for information on keeping the background image fixed in relation ot the browser window; did you do that with CSS?

  slightlymad 20:29 19 Aug 2006

Oh ade, I'm so relieved. I've been sitting here cringing with embarrassment, regretting posting the URL. There are two pages there that I'm proud of, but the rest are very mediocre. Point was, they're all image-orientated.

Each page is valid CSS (oh, except for opacity stuff - W3C doesn't like that). I used to use Dreamweaver, until I discovered TopStyle, which is closer to hand-coding but makes it SO much easier.

To fix the background image:

body {
background: url(images/smoke.jpg) #FFF;

And you can position it precisely, like this:

body {
background: url(images/smoke.jpg) #FFFFFF 20px 40px;

That would make it 20px from the top of the page, and 40px from the left. You can also use negative values , e.g. -100px 0, if you wanted to "clip" the image.


P.S. I'm glowing at your nice comments - thank you!

  slightlymad 20:31 19 Aug 2006

I missed out the vital bit!

body {
background: url(images/smoke.jpg) #FFF fixed;

It's the FIXED attribute that causes the image not to scroll (which is the default). Easy, huh?

  kestrel10 20:54 19 Aug 2006

Slightlymad, I had a look at your links & it all looks good to me.
It has given me some ideas. If you look at my present site you will see that it doesn't look very good at all & hasn't really been updated that much for a couple of years.
click here
I am looking at a total re-think, but haven't really got a great amount of time to devote to this. Any pointers from anyone would be appreciated. I know it needs far more content & probably a new look.

  ade.h 21:04 19 Aug 2006

Thanks Marie. Nice one!

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