House Style & Follow the Leader
I was recently asked "When you design a website, do you have a style or template that you typically follow?"
How we interact with the internet changes daily. Websites and digital media must be functional across screens and platforms, must be easy to navigate and use, and must engage and inform visitors in creative ways while also taking into account advanced metrics, analytics, and optimization strategies.
A large number of websites today look and feel the same—that is they have a large graphic header, an even larger graphic footer, a hero image, big and shiny buttons, a customizable color palette, and an endless scrolling feature that reveals content. Off-the-shelf themes that tout being “responsive-ready,” and that replicate style and basic functionality are sold en masse at bargain prices. This leaves businesses and brands at a competitive disadvantage because it reduces brand recognition, and the very qualities that have helped these businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Our creative approach for designing and building a website is centered around:
- Positioning: Our overall strategy for defining key messages, reinforcing them, and conveying them.
- Special-interest features: Our recommendations on how to use compelling photos and content to illustrate and reinforce distinctions and opportunities.
- Information architecture: Our vision of how a website should be organized and structured.
- Multiple entry points: Taking into account the fact that different people find their information in different ways, and trying to accommodate them.
- Visual Design: Original, intuitive, and visually interesting layouts that make using a site an enjoyable experience for a variety of audiences.
- Brand Voice: A consistent voice that speaks of and for the organization's greater personality.
- Flexible and adaptable technology: Considering that if a website is not easy to use and manage, it may not be frequently updated with current content.
At Counterform, there is no such thing as a “house style.” We believe that the design of any piece of communication should be as unique as the organization itself. While we pay attention to design trends and follow industry best practices, you won’t find us simply playing a game of “follow the leader.” Instead, we stay true to our founding principle—emphasizing creativity and responsiveness to the individual needs of our clients.