Design inspiration for this website
To me, when kicking off creating concepting, it is of the upmost importance to get out of your own discipline for visual inspiration. Meaning, if you are a graphic designer designing a logo, unless you are doing direct competitive research–DO NOT look at other graphic designers logo work. If you are designing a website for a financial service, STOP LOOKING AT other finance sites. Get off the internet, go look at the real, physical world for research and inspiration.
Something I rarely see is designers referencing their sources. It is insane to me that creatives don’t do this more often, like whatever ideas came out of your brain is virgin in nature, pure and untouched by the modern world*.
Designers should stop being so afraid to share the resources they were referencing, it actually backs up your design thought process even more and makes your design decisions seem more like decisions rather than entirely arbitrary thoughts.
If you design something and you can’t back up your creative sources, in my opinion, then you are most likely participating in design plagiarism. It’s how you take those sources and how you personally combine them that make something special and uniquely yours.
*(Thank you Fiji water commercial for that sound bite)
Creating a Mood
I was all over the place when first starting to wrap my head around a creative concept for my website. Getting hung up between–I want to come across as professional, but I also want to show personality–and how to get that balance right. I didn’t want something that felt sterile or generic and boxy but I also did not want to get too abstract conceptual and become a novelty that wears off quickly.
I wanted to convey a sense of adventure and wonder, but one that was grounded. A visual that was otherworldly, while slightly altering our perception of scale and time.
I am a voracious sci-fi reader, and used this as my litmus strip for that otherworldly feeling. I also love being submersed in nature. Somethimes it’s so easy to become numb to conventional depictions of beautiful landscapes, even while you are there witnessing them. I wanted people visiting this site to subtly get the feeling that while other planets are fascinating and incredible to us, it is our own planet which has so much grandeur and beauty which is both accessible to us and worthy of our protection and preservation.
Citing my (inspiration) Sources
For this I referenced long exposure drone lit landscape photography, specifically Reuben Wu and his Lux Noctis series.
Building this on the web.
To translate this to a web design I chose a dark nighttime color palette paired with brighter colors that would lend themselves to nice neon glow effects. I built sections using abstract SVG shapes and used CSS for the glowing border styles.
For the photography, I went through my own landscape photography, I manipulated it with blending modes to give it that drone lit feeling. I also did a lot of editing, I had more animations but decided to let those go, not wanting it to be too much for the viewer to take in.
I had an agonizing time getting to this concept and it’s execution, but I’m glad I went with it. It feels like home as we all should in these wondrous landscapes.