Hosting the Website

My client does not want his website live until around May the 15th as some of the products that are being sold on the website are new, and not ready to be manufactured yet. Therefore I am currently hosting the site on my hosting server, which is:

nensordesign.co.uk/wordpress

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Creating the Website

My next step was to design, and create the website for Pullinger Engineering. I had previously sketched a few ideas out for the layout of the site, so I started building them into Photoshop. I enjoy playing around with designs in Photoshop, and created a few sites which I found effective, I then showed the designs to my client who helped me pick out the best one. My favorite design was different to that of my client, here is a few screen shots of my favorite design:

However designing the website was the easy part, my next step was to actually build it. Unlike previous projects, I was planning to use WordPress as a content management system, a brand new web technique for me. I had decided to go down this route months ago leading up to this project, so had done some reading into how it works, which gave me some confidence in starting. Using tutorials, and my own knowledge of CSS I managed to create a theme, the design being the one my client picked out. I was very pleased with how this went, barely encountering any problems when doing so.

I then focused on the content of the website, I had planned to use widgets and plug-ins as part of site, which was once again a new area for me. Still, using WordPress, I didn’t find it too difficult, and managed to include a contact form, side bars, and navigation bars which all worked perfectly. I also found an effective plug-in which helped me out of a problem I was in; I was unsure how to remove pages I had created (but still wanted) from my navigation bar. So after a quick search on word press I found an effective plug-in which allowed me to choose which pages I wanted to show, and which I didn’t.

I was pleased with how my website was doing, everything was working well, but I still had a big chunk that was missing, e-Commerce. In hindsight, I should have tried to do this first as I knew it would take the most time, but was worried about starting it. However I still had a lot of time to finish it before my deadline, so I was feeling confident I would do it in time. I started by reading about some e-Commerce plug-ins, to find out which ones would be most beneficial to me. I had a few attempts with different plug-ins which were suitable, but I was having problems with styling and payments. After a while I managed to find one which I thought was perfect, I was able to style it well, and got it up and running with very little fuss. All I had to do then was add all the products and their details to the plug-in. However, once I had done this and it was working perfectly, I encountered a problem; the plug-in didn’t have a category option, which I thought was essential for the website. I was thinking I might have to delete the plug-in and try again with another one, but then I came up with a solution. As well as using the products page from the plug-in I installed, I decided to create different pages for each category. I could then insert a picture and write information about each product, and include an “add to cart” button which will take them to the shopping cart. This worked perfectly and I was very pleased that I had got it all working, all I had to do then was add content and I was finished!

Catalogue Design

As part of this project I had to produce a small catalogue which could be sent to customers, once again I aimed to keep this in the style of the rest of my designs. I created a front cover, and 4 product pages showing what Pullinger Engineering sell, and what prices their products are. As it is only a small catalogue, it will be mainly sent to customers through email, this was the request of my client.

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This is the look of the catalogue. I am pleased with the final outcome of it, I believe it does the job its meant to do, and at a professional standard. I enjoy designing things such as this and didn’t come across many problems creating it. The criticism I do have however, is with the front cover, I think it may be a little bit bland and believe I could of added a bit more to it.

Designing Business Cards

Once I had a clear logo and colour scheme I could start designing my business cards. I had previously done research on business cards  and knew I had to come up with a unique and eye-catching design. However I was struggling to come up with designs that were at a high enough standard to what I was hoping to produce. After a lot of designs produced and scrapped I finally came up with one that I thought was suitable for development. I showed the design to my client and he was happy with the style, so I developed it  a bit further to make it as professional as I could, and came up with this:

I am very pleased with the final outcome of this business card design, I managed to stick to my colour scheme and include my logo in an effective way. However the criticism I do have is that there is a lot of blank space, if I were to re-design the business cards, that might be the thing I would address.

Logos/Brand Images

My next objective was to come up with some sort of brand image or logo, which customers would automatically associate with Pullinger Engineering when they see it. My initial thought was to create some form of mascot for Pullinger Engineering, I learnt from my research before hand that mascots are becoming a successful branding opportunity. To go about this I drew a few sketches I thought would be good and edited them in illustrator to make them better. This was a relatively new technique for me so had a few problems working out how to it effectively, but when I got the rang of it I was pleased with my final outcome. This is the favourite mascot I produced:

I enjoyed creating this mascot and have used it in this project, however it does not play an important role in my designs as I wasn’t satisfied with the designs I created to go with the mascot. Therefore I made different design styles which I do not believe this mascot fits into very well.

I then focused on producing new images for logo ideas, trying to come up with something which will work well as part of a theme. I decided on creating an image of a cake; not only does it represent Pullinger Engineering, but I can also decorate it to match my colour scheme. I produced this image in illustrator.

This was my finished design, however I thought there was a bit too much detail to incorporate it as a logo. I therefore removed the ‘P’ shaped candle and the cake stand to make it more simple. This left me with just the cake, which would work well as a logo, and can be used effectively in all my designs.

Critical Reflection – The beginning

To ensure this project was completed to a professional standard, my client and I worked together throughout to ensure my designs where matching his desire. Pullinger Engineering was previously dedicated to selling its products to suppliers, whereas now it hopes to sell to straight to customers. In order to attract this new target market, my client thought it would be a good idea to create a new-look to his company. This would involve me creating a new website, business cards, and a catalogue which can be sent to potential customers.

I believe that creating a colour scheme is very  important for businesses reaching out to new customers as it helps them remember your brand, and differentiate you from competitors. My first step was to research what makes a successful look in the industry; I discovered that similar companies to Pullinger Engineering use a blend of light colours, such as pink, white, and yellow. This research founded a base for me to work on as I created initial designs for logos and brand images. However in order to make the designs stand out, I decided to add brown to the colour scheme as I believe the colours would work well together and also be associated with the cake industry.