I’ve just had some graphics created for the front of the website so they rotate around on the front page. This is through a local professional graphic designer in Walsall Birmingham I’ve started using for website image jobs like this, and helps add that depth to websites and any marketing materials.

This did get me thinking about the whole are of ‘graphic design’ for websites, as one trend I’ve noticed for a while is that websites are actually becoming simpler – less fuss and general activity, and often just clear plan colours backgrounds, simple text, and a few images. If you look at websites like Google or Facebook, they’re essentially just white backgrounds and coloured boxes and text – it’s the use and interaction that ‘makes’ the websites.

Graphics can make a huge impact, which is why I’ve wanted to simplify my own website and let good old graphics do the trick. Here are a few lessons I’ve learnt to help anyone in the same boat:

1. Get them matching your brand and existing colour and designs – sounds obvious, but show the graphic designer what you already have, any particular colours you need to dove-tail into, and any say fliers or other information you have (if only a hard copy, you can take a photo on your mobile phone and email or text it to them).

2. Show graphic designers some example – they have good ideas and imaginations and judgement, but they can’t mind read. If you’ve seen examples on other websites or on the internet send them a link, even if it’s just that part or colour of an image you like. For mine I actually looked at some popular pub and restaurant website images to pick out a few to send across in an effort to get the restaurant theme right with The Website Waiter.

3. Keep it simple – as above, I reckon simpler the better, maybe just a colour, some text, and a small image, or even a symbol. And if you simply change one of these elements on another images to help bring variety but yet consistency (so on mine, there is a difference in the whole background colours in each one)

4. Use text on images to inform people about something – so as well as the graphics helping to make the front of the website look pretty, I wanted to take the opportunity to communicate The Website Waite principle of serving ‘course’ like being at a restaurant. I thought of a quick video clip, and maybe text, but noticed on other websites that bold images with text in them can do this. The text then needs to be simple and straight to the point with clear statements as people look through them.

5. Use movement to quickly get the message across between different website images - so here I’ve placed them in a rotating slide show that automatically happens when people go on the website, and takes them through the slides in logical order to reinforce the message I want to communicate. Infact I’ve actually made these rotations happen quickly so as people read the simple text on one image within a few seconds they’re straight onto the next one in order to keep people’s attention for the whole sequence.

So as the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words – well worth looking into some fresh website images and graphics and asking a good graphic designer to help add that special something.

By Andrew Duncan