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A site I'm creating is a directory which sorts and displays information for about 300 businesses which are part of a specific business partnership/network.

The site is meant to provide information to consumers, so i want it to seem professional, but I'm foreseeing a lack of pictures to work with and wondering how one could cover up a lack of pictures with other design elements so the page doesnt look bare.

Also, if someone could link me any examples of well styled pages that dont rely on images it would be greatly appreciated!

On a side note, i was thinking of maybe trying to spruce it up with the least arbitrary seeming free stock photos i could find, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea.

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example of well styled page that does not rely on images: stackexchange.com –  KMSTR Mar 22 '13 at 7:03
    
You can easily design websites now a days without images at all. I did it on a project a few years ago(no longer up). You just use a bit more css to make it look nice. Usually designs without images end up being a bit more minimal looking in my experience. I wish I could show you that example, but take this website, GD.SE, for instance; all of the images are just the buttons, the header, and a few icons here and there. The rest of the site is MOSTLY just css and content. One tip is; white space is very important for a design like yours. –  Nils R Mar 23 '13 at 11:41

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I'd probably focus on two things: Typography and Color.

There are lots of sites that only use typography, for example: Sites that Use Typography As The Only Design Element

As you mention, stock images are a great option, but I'd recommend you buy some credits in iStock or similar, though. You will probably need really good quality ones if your site will be based on them, and free images don't usually have the same quality.

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Thanks alot! This has helped my perspective :) –  user1299028 Mar 27 '13 at 0:25

Yisela is correct - but another thing to think about would be iconography

using small graphics that represent areas of the site or just help with the navigation, although be careful as using too many may look unprofessional so take this advice with a pinch of salt.

here are some useful free icon fonts that could be used

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Thank you for your informative answer! :) –  user1299028 Mar 27 '13 at 0:25

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