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Though I m not a designer, my boss asked me to make a design for a webshop (selling books). I love to work with GIMP and i wondered if there are any such templates which I could use as a start? Update : as Im not a professional designer i might have not have been totally clear ( sorry about that) : what i meant is that i have to render an impression of what the website might look like (header, different pages, colours schemes, ...) just to convince other people to within the company. There's no real site building necessary, all i need is a rendering of a site in gimp. Hope this is clear?

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Is your boss developing the store from scratch or is the intention to use some e-commerce platform? Usually design can be implemented regardless of the e-commerce app, but if you get a template that has the necessary code or elements ready, it can make the store launch faster — and you probably might not have to do so much sacrifices in the design later on, when you have some grasp on the limitations of the platform. –  koiyu Apr 26 '11 at 21:52
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3 Answers 3

If you really want to design the site, your best bet would be to begin looking at sites for inspiration, then create a design that is appropriate. Once you have the design, you will need someone to help you code the site itself and the e-commerce functionality.

This is an ambitious first project. You may be better identifying a template that is appropriate for your business, modifying the template in GIMP as necessary, then working with someone on the development side.

Regarding inspiration sites, check out Smashing Magazine as a starting point. For ready to go templates check out Theme Forest. This is the point where I say, unless you really have to do it yourself, patronize your local web design professional. It may cost less time and money in the long run.

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If you don't have skills in WebDesign and need to make this in a hurry, go straight into HTML5/CSS3. You can do almost all the marvelous tricks designers do straight into code.

Look at this presentation, it can give you a light about the subject http://www.slideshare.net/zomigi/designing-with-css3-effectively-efficiently

If you decide to go this way, this links can help you a lot :)

http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/css/must-read-css3-tips-tricks-tutorial-sites/ http://stylishwebdesigner.com/70-must-see-css3-tips-tricks-and-tutorials/ http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/08/5-css3-design-enhancements-that-you-can-use-today/ http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/01/50-awesome-css3-techniques-for-better-designs/

But remember, if you wanna go on as a Webdesigner,read some books about the subject. People often think that Webdesign is going straight into photoshop and start to push pixels around like crazy. There's so much more behind the final pixels.

This is just a in-a-hurry workaround. :)

Good luck!

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Although it is nice to have a pretty picture of what your website imaginably will look like, the truth is that whatever you mockup in Photoshop/Gimp will never be exactly realised, and it certainly will never be exactly realised cross browser.

If you design this way then you will have a problem down the line in that you are promising designs to your boss that cannot be realised and may not suit the HTML/templating of your chosen e-commerce solution.

Your best option is to keep Gimp/Photoshop for resizing logos, not putting the whole mock-up together. See Firebug as your design tool, start off with an existing template, change the colours/fonts to suit your company style-guide, put the logo at the top, put some content in, e.g. products + pictures. With that done you are going to be 90% there towards a design that will work, plus you are less likely to go flat 'n' dull. Photoshop-only 'designers' can tend to forget about the mouseovers leading to dreary websites. Also think of your audience - are they really going to be that wowed by a font? Maybe if they are a bit not-in-the-real-world, but most customers are content focused and happy with relatively plain design with quality navigation.

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