Photo Essay: Landing Pages

For my photo essay, I decided to look at five different school district landing pages:

1. Montgomery County, Maryland, https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/

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I was pleasantly surprised to realize how much I liked this landing page. The website features scrolling images with text for more description as well as a plethora of other resources. I think I was most surprised by this website because it features many best practices including a site map and easily usable navigation links so the user always knows where he or she is on the site. Furthermore, the web page is not photo heavy, but the photos used do have a cohesive purpose.


2. Prince George’s County Public Schools, Maryland http://www1.pgcps.org/

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There are several things I like about this landing page:

1. The website is extremely accessible.
In the upper left hand corner, users have the option to both change language and text size. I think that’s really forward thinking for a school district to have those options, so I appreciate the initiative.

2. The option to donate to the school system.
I think the website developer was extremely smart to set up the donation section the way he/she did. The “DONATE NOW” button is not intrusive and is incorporated in such a way with social media buttons that it makes donating seem more social than anything else.

3. Calendar on homepage.
The landing page is structured so the calendar appears above the fold of the webpage. I think that’s a really smart move on PG County’s part because it helps parents have easy access to events.

3. Carroll County, Maryland, http://www.carrollk12.org/

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Carroll County’s website is very student focused. The website has a set of about five scrolling images and the majority of the images/blurbs are highlight students and student successes. Furthermore, any user who goes onto the site is easily able to find news about the county because it is featured front and center on the homepage. The design is a bit simple, but I think it’s effective for the user demographic.

4. Baltimore County, Maryland, http://www.bcps.org/

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I think the layout of this website is extremely interesting. The grid style coupled with an image heavy webpage is a unique way to portray information but I think works well. A few things to also note:

1. This website also has the change language feature
2. The county tries to engage users via social media (as depicted in the image above)
3. The website is extremely colorful. I find it interesting that there’s so much color on a public school site with adult users, especially in comparison with the other MD county websites. However, I think the color scheme works well and makes the county seem like a very happy and inviting environment.

5. Frederick County, Maryland, http://www.fcps.org/site/default.aspx?PageID=1

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Out of the five sites, this is my least favorite, however I do think there are some key take aways from this landing page:

1. There’s a sign in link easily accessible to users. My assumption is this sign in feature is probably for staff, but I think it’s smart that they have it right on the homepage and easily accessible.

2. The slider images are not cluttered. Each image speaks for itself and users have the ability to scroll at their leisure through the images using the arrows.

3. The colored boxes help to differentiate topical information. Often times websites chunk all information together haphazardly. I like how this county puts like information in designated areas on the homepage.

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Inspiration #12

This past weekend I was walking around U Street in DC and took notice to a lot of the artwork that’s abundant in the changing area. After some quick Googling, I came across Murals DC, a joint project in DC to help minimize illegal graffiti with legal graffiti.

Here’s the description of the project:

Murals DC is a partnership between the District’s Department of Public Works, the DC Commission on the Arts and the Humanities, and Words Beats & Life Inc. Initiated in 2007 by Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, the project has resulted in the creation of over thirty murals that reflect the character, culture, and history of neighborhoods in the District, particularly in areas with high incidents of illegal graffiti.

Murals DC aims to help replace illegal graffiti with artistic works, to revitalize sites within the community, and to teach young people the art of aerosol painting. The goal of this initiative is to positively impact the District’s youth by providing them with the resources they need to engage in this project. By offering them instruction in proper technique, the supplies that they need, and spaces to legally practice and perform their developing skills, the Murals DC project promotes respect for public and private property as well as community awareness for the young people we work with. (http://www.muralsdcproject.com/about/)

I think this is a really cool project and I love that DC is taking the time to both honor its neighborhoods and the artists that live in the neighborhoods.

To learn more about the project, you can visit http://www.muralsdcproject.com/.

 

Inspiration #11

This past week I came across an interesting blog on graphic design, “Freelance Graphic Designer: The Kit” on Autostraddle.com. The blog itself is about a woman finding her place both in the entrepreneurial world as well as in the graphic design field. What I found most inspiring about her piece was the information she included about different resources including blogs, websites, and books. Furthermore, the resources she mentions in her blog are ones that are applicable to anyone at any level of skill, which I appreciate as a beginner.

The full article is online at http://www.autostraddle.com/freelance-graphic-designer-the-kit-137089.

Inspiration #9

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been discussing logos and in particular, we’ve talked about updating and new branding. We’ve often used the example of Starbucks, going from a full on image with their name to just an image with a distinctive green color.

For my inspiration this week, I found an article focusing on how logos have changed within a decade, including Wallmart and BP. Many of the logos has become much brighter and much more focused on brand recognition.

The article is online at http://www.mediaite.com/online/the-decade-in-logos/.

Photo Essay: Identity Systems

For my photo essay, I decided to look at different beauty products.

Chapstick

Website use of the logo:

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Brand use of the logo:

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Overall, I like the way that the logo is used as a logo, it’s very clean cut and to the point on the website and on the chap-sticks themselves. However, I really dislike the use of the branding on the green chap stick. I think because it’s for a different audience it works in some elements, but overall, I don’t like it.

Clinque Happy Perfume:

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This is my favorite use of an identity system. I think the way clinique makes everything very simple and uses the color as the accent is extremely smart and allows for brand recognition. The design is very simple, sleek, and consistent.

 Pantene Pro-V: 

Pantene-Pro-V

Pantene Natural

Green Pantene

 

For my third identity system, I decided to use Pantene Pro-V shampoo. For the most part, I think their shampoo/hair products are pretty well branded but as you can see image two is not as well branded. From above, image one is their logo and images two and three are some of their products. For the most part, their bottles reflect the third image but because of the discrepancy in identity, this is another system I do not like.

 

Maybelline Mascara:

Maybelline-logo

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This is one of my favorite identity system schemes. The first image is Maybelline’s logo and the two following images are two different products. Although both products have completely different branding, they all feature the logo. I think the fact that Maybelline has different branding but keeps their logo consistent is both smart from a branding perspective and for appealing to several different types of customers. For example, older people may be more attracted to the tradition mascara, while younger purchasers are attracted to the brighter packaging.

 

Johnson & Johnson:

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Like Maybelline, Johnson and Johnson has several products, but does a great job making sure that each of their products feature their logo. For example, their shampoos feature the logo in the same location across the board. Furthermore, the company has found creative ways to incorporate their logo into non-traditional products, as seen in the third image.

Inspiration #8

There are two articles that I found for inspiration this past week:

  1. http://www.buzzfeed.com/austinhunt/26-of-the-most-ridiculous-minor-league-baseball-logos-youll
  2. http://www.buzzfeed.com/kasiagalazka/how-cereal-box-mascots-are-designed-to-look-at-kids

 

After our discussion on team jerseys/colors, I thought the mascot article was fitting. Furthermore, BuzzFeed put out a great article on logo branding for children. The article focuses on a study conducted at Cornell University finding that cereal box mascots are featured as looking down to attract children. I think it’s interesting to realize that everything surrounding merchandise is much more planned and plotted than I had originally thought.