Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Redesigning my Anya's Garden Perfumes Website


Anya's Garden Perfumes website due to relaunch with redesign in a few days.

The photo above was taken by me two years ago on the spur of the moment with the only flower I could find blooming in my garden that day. It's a clereodendron and it's fragrant, and it's just "right." Paul Kiler, the photographer, cleaned up the photo and brightened it, and I am thankful for his help and his skills (see photo below.) The photo will be the "splash" page for the new website. Click on the photos to see them full size.

You know how it is - artists always need to redesign, tweak, reevaluate and just plain fix everything. I was increasingly unhappy with my old website, despite lovely people telling me it was beautiful. It's still up there for now, but over time I have fiddled with the code and just found it blah.

My webguy didn't respond to my request (probably sick of the templates I had sent his way, they were too complicated) and I found I had to do it all myself. Taught myself a lot about coding in the past week, and by accident, hit upon an aesthetic that I love, absolutely love. Would would have thought I'd go towards pastels!? Not me, but pastels it is and I'm totally happy. To those that I've given sneak peeks, the response is as good as the response I got for the recently-redesigned Natural Perfumers Guild website, which I also did, from a template, with the webguy's help.

I guess I stuck to working with my old template because the complicated database and php stuff he put in there scared me - I was afraid if I got a new template I might not transfer it properly.

But....back to aesthetics, which, of course, is what perfume is all about. Whether considering the juice, the packaging, or the website, the aesthetics are Number 1. Packaging is a nightmare for perfumers, and I'm luck to have found my perfect boxes recently. Their discovery came together quickly, just like the new website. When it's right, everything flows, that's for sure.

Photo credit: Paul Kiler

I sent some bottles of perfume and boxes to Paul Kiler in California, and he's turned out a series of gorgeous photos. Amazingly, they fit the aesthetic of the website, even though they were taken before I stumbled upon the new design this weekend. I was going to have a white background - and after I ditched it for the new background - which you'll see when I launch the site - I was afraid Paul's photos wouldn't look right. One test page and I was happily proven wrong. It all came together. It's so beautiful. Sigh.

You'll have to wait to see it. I know you'll love it. I've never seen a website like it before. Simple, beautiful. Pastel. Still giggling over that - I'm such a jeweltone person!

Actually, I'm going to announce a different aesthetic for my upcoming perfumes - scent aesthetic, that is. I guess I'm just full of surprises lately. I'm even surprising myself!

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