Robyn Gallow is a talented illustrator and model, currently based in London, UK. In my view, she walks a thin line between our reality and another. One of unknown, boundless dreamlike oddities. With some surreal nightmarish oddities thrown in for good measure.
A quality which I believe is embodied and reflected across her work:
Consistency on the backend, evolution on the frontend
Robyn was enjoying reasonable attention and leads through her Instagram and Tumblr platforms. Even so, she had grown frustrated with their respective limitations. Frontend aesthetic and structure, specifically.
She wanted a content management system that was as simple and easy to use as these social media platforms. Lest the whole two seconds of patience she’s able to afford such things be quickly exhausted.
The frontend however, needed to incorporate a little more of her personality and distinct tone.
One of Robyn's galleries, powered by Wordpress.
Balancing personable with workable
Incorporating an artist’s personality into their website can be a tricky business. Go too strong and you detract from the actual work. Go too subtle and they might as well sign up to Squarespace.
My approach was to establish a colour palette that was both complimentary to and consistent with her artwork. The lesser spotted ‘left-hand navigation’ also introduced enough room at the top, for me to incorporate an animated verison of one of her portraits.
This satisfied the “Incorporate some of my weirdness” prerequisite of the brief.
If only all projects were as entertaining in their paperwork.
Responding to demand
The vast majority of Robyn’s existing web traffic was on mobile devices. Because of course it was. Content structuring for these screens was done at the same time as larger screens. This is simply because that’s my personal preference. I find that if I design for one device size exclusively before moving onto others, the design becomes unbalanced.
From a development perspective, several optimisation plugins were installed to minimise load times.
As a result, the web has a new, tidy website and the world a very happy artist.