One of my favorite neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon is the North Williams Corridor in inner North Portland.
Since we relocated from Washington, DC in 2004, we’ve watched North Williams transform and grow into a fun eclectic mix of food, coffee shops, bike shops, home accessories, yoga and letterpress!
Lark Press, a letterpress printing studio and retail shop for letterpress stationery, invitation and cards was one of the first businesses to open up shop on North Williams and I’m so thrilled to have worked with owner Jean Sammis on redesigning larkpress.com.
Lovely and Static
My first reaction when visiting her website (before the redesign) was that I really liked the site’s overall feel: vintage, earthy, warm. I loved the colors and I’m a huge nature fan 🙂
LarkPress.com - Home page (before)
But when looking a bit more closely and going over the site with Jean, we decided the navigation needed some work; the labeling was a bit confusing. We also decided that breaking out of the boxy feeling would allow her greater flexibility in adding content and give the website a more current feel.
LarkPree.com - Weddings Gallery (before)
With screen sizes being so much larger these days, we decided to take advantage of the increased real estate.
Fresh and Future-Minded
A big priority for Jean was to be able to update the site on her own so we set her up on a super easy-to-use website creation software called Squarespace.
LarkPress.com Redesign - Home Page
Her website also includes integration with a simple e-commerce software, Big Cartel so she can easily manage her letterpress products for sale.
If at any point Jean decides she would like to blog, it would be easy to add a blog to her new website with some slight adjustments.
LarkPress.com Weddings Gallery Redesin
The previous version of the site was coded using tables to control the layout so for this version we used CSS floats. Using CSS to define the layout separates design from content making larkpress.com easier to update in the future.
Note:Search engine robots can crawl through tables but the direction in which they crawl is very specific — top left to right then row by row — so you have to plan very carefully in order to maximize indexing of your pages and content.
A few other things we added or tweaked:
- Social media sharing buttons to make it easier for visitors to share pages and increased the number of internal page links to help with search engine indexing.
- Non-standard fonts using @font-face. We chose Museo and Museo Sans available through Fontspring.com.
- More interior page links to encourage visitors to move around the site and help with search engines.
- Slightly more content to help visitors take action — buy, contact, visit the shop.