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I'm a developer having a bash at designing a church site for a relative and was hoping to get some feedback on what i've done so far. I tend to like clean, minimal sites so that's kinda where i'm going with this too. I've taken a basic wordpress theme and added most of my own styles to it. I'm not entirely sure about how I've used the banner image, as it's a good image but I've had to crop it and cut off one of the church spires. I'm also thinking that the widget tabs are pretty plain looking so some work is probably needed there too. The search input isn't quite aligned correctly just yet, so I'm aware of that.

I also designed the logo, so any feedback on any part of it would be great at this stage! It's a bit light on content at the moment, so the site probably looks more sparse than it would with live content.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/860/screenshot1bv.png/

EDIT, following the excellent advice below, I've updated the image and am curious about whether or not the banner is now too prominent to be a constant throughout the rest of the site. Any other feedback on the banner would be great. The rest of the page I still need to update.

http://img109.imageshack.us/i/screenshotgx.png/

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Your request for feedback is a bit vague. See meta.graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/25/… –  ghoppe May 23 '11 at 22:52
    
Hey! I recognize that logo! Good Job. –  Ray Mitchell May 24 '11 at 15:38
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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The question is a wee bit vague, but to pick up the points that are specific:

The 2010 theme as you've modified it works well. The minimalist approach is appropriate to the subject and stays out of the way of the content.

If I were playing Art Director on this project, I'd suggest these changes:

Eyedropper one of the more saturated blues out of the banner image to use as a background for the widget tabs, and see if that doesn't add just enough so they don't look so drab. You could also take the logo (which works well in the context) and add it as a graphic element (not in red, possible a light gray).

The banner image itself should expand so the spire isn't cropped. It looks to me like the top of that spire will be just below and pointing to the site name, which will be a nice touch. The nav can overlay the image if you absolutely position it, maybe even nest the menu div inside the branding div. With a little fine tuning, the spire will fit neatly between the words "life" and "service". One of the less-talked-about tricks of design is to make things look deliberate, so it will appear you intended it that way all along. :-)

The sky in the image is rather drab-looking. I'd remove everything above the buildings on the left half, so that the spire rises into plain white. That will give the spire itself a subtle touch of symbolism that will work well for this project. You will probably need to feather out the sky on the right, to avoid a hard top edge -- it should fade out before it reaches the search field.

(On a personal note, I went to school in Edinburgh. Haven't been back in nearly 30 years, so that skyline is quite nostalgic.)

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Many thanks for the feedback @Alan Gilbertson, much appreciated. The banner image was probably the main thing I was unsure about, so to have a bit of direction with that is ideal, I'll get to work with your suggestions. I like the idea of overlaying the nav with the spire fitting in :) –  nicky77 May 24 '11 at 23:50
    
@nicky77 having used Google Maps to find out more, I've realised that the tall church spire is actually a different church. The domes in the main part of the image are part of the roof of the church in question. The banner image brings focus to the spire church, so it's confusing. –  Dan Hanly Oct 18 '13 at 8:08
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Good job.

It's Nice and clean with lots of whitespace. I think the logo could be smaller and the picture bigger. I've never been to Edinburgh but the photo makes we want to go there.

I'm not entirely sure about how I've used the banner image, as it's a good image but I've had to crop it and cut off one of the church spires.

I really like how you used the image except for the crop. Alan's idea is cool but to give you an alternate suggestion, try re cropping it but bigger. Let it fill up the space all the way to the top then select out everything above the mountain keeping the top of the spire. Move the nav either below the picture or as an overlay in the top right. Do the logo with a transparent background and make it smaller.

Pictures are better than words so here is a very quick and dirty rendition.

enter image description here

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cheers for the advice. I like what you've done with the image in terms of integrating the menu and logo. This is obviously where I was having difficulty and was being a bit too restricted in my thinking. I'll have a go at both you and Alan's suggestions and see where I go from there! Out of interest, what is the font you've used for menu? –  nicky77 May 26 '11 at 12:27
    
@nicky77 I used Pirori that I suggested in this question. Let us know how the final product comes out. –  Chris_O May 26 '11 at 17:11
    
I've only just got back to playing around with this design some more. I've pretty much followed your example in terms of incorporating the logo and nav into the banner, using the full height of the spire. I removed the IHS logo from the top right, which I think helps the clean look of the banner. One thing I'm wondering though, is whether the banner is now too deep to be usable on all pages other than the homepage. I can't really crop it any more without losing the spire. I'm curious as to how you would handle this type of thing! I've edited the original post with the new image –  nicky77 Jun 9 '11 at 22:49
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I don't like the photo treatment at all.

I'm entirely confused by what it is trying to communicate. You're showing domes and hills but talking about a specific church. You should then be showing that church, or at least more of it. It needs to be a good photo but one that people can identify with. Currently, the photo lacks any relevance because the focus is on some random domes directing your eye towards hills (and away from the logo).

In general it would probably serve better to be a photo that includes the point of entry.

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I actually looked on Google Maps... The domes are part of the church's roof. However, I'd suggest that the design brings focus to the tall church in the background, which is not the church in question. –  Dan Hanly Oct 18 '13 at 8:06
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