Christopher Wharton is a high end jeweller, based in St Albans. They had an established identity expressed in their existing marketing materials, including a sleek brochure site. They now wanted to add an e-commerce site to their portfolio, selling their own products, and a select few other brands.
Wharton's marketing manager Rod knew his brand inside-out, and spends much of his time commissioning high-end design work. He and I worked closely together throughout the project, and had a lot of fun looking through both Wharton's and their competitors' materials, discussing photo shoots and product shots, and working out the details of the design. He was keen that the new e-commerce site should have a look that complemented rather than copied their existing brochure site.
Balancing the look of a brochure site with the functionality of an e-commerce site made this a challenging project, but the sheer quality of the materials we were working with also made the design side of things a joy. Rod presented me with a portable hard-drive packed with gorgeous lifestyle shots, proofs from old brochures, and product shots of the highest quality, and I was like a kid in a candy store playing with them! Wanting to make the most of them, I scattered product shots throughout the site, using close-ups for background images on even the normally-dull pages like Delivery and Terms. Being background-images, they don't slow down the loading of the content on those pages even on slow connections; and they're a real feast for the eyes.