Poll for everyone on website image.

A long time ago, I asked you all to weigh in on my author photo (something I should redo at some point ;)), and now I’m asking for your digital opinions again. I did a complete redesign of my website from top to bottom. It’s no longer a multifocused site as the old one was, and though I am planning to redesign it again in the next couple of years, most of those changes will be in the backend.

However, I created the original template using a website development software. I’ve done a fair amount of tinkering, so the resemblance to the generated site is minimal, but it did offer a header image I thought would work with my theme until I could find something better.

Valerie Comer offered a picture she had taken to use as a base and I’ve spent a fair amount of time manipulating it into what I wanted, only to discover that I’ve got a fundamental contradiction. I love the distance view with mountains and clouds and hints of a world behind, but the image itself is too distant for the message in a bottle that was supposed to be there as the original inspiration for my theme.

Anyway, this has left me wondering if I’m clinging to that original theme too much, or if I should just give in.

So, here comes the question:

Which of the below images do you think best represents my theme and looks best. I have put the wrapper around the new one so that you can see how it would look. I have not put a bobbing wine bottle with a scroll of paper inside in the closer one yet, but I probably could. After you’ve commented (if you haven’t already), you might enjoy a peek at my new site. If nothing else, the extent changes should stun you. If curious, you can compare using the link to my old site at the bottom of the left sidebar.

Image 1:

Image 2:

For those of you who don’t know, my website theme originally had its start in my new business cards, the style of which were designed by Val’s talented daughter Hanna Sandvig. Here is an example, though she made them in three colors:

This entry was posted in General and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Poll for everyone on website image.

  1. l_clausewitz says:

    The old one is more evocative of the site, actually. Both of the new ones are nice but I don’t really get the feeling of the tide from them.

  2. First thing I want to say is that I love what you’ve done with your site! It’s a transformation. Well done!

    I prefer Image 1. It speaks to me of distant horizons, new worlds, and adventure.

  3. suelder says:

    I like the second one. I think it’s the composition.

    Have fun 😀

    • marfisk says:

      Thanks. I admit what I really want is to take a road trip down the pacific coast to find the perfect combination of rocks and beach and horizon, but that’s not in the cards, so composition is something to focus on.

  4. i_ddb says:

    If it helps I don’t think the bottle is necessary in the header image to tie it in with the business cards. You leave it up to the viewer to imagine just how many bottles are out there in that endless sea.

    That being said I love the horizon in image one – but I’d have less beach.

    • marfisk says:

      Cool on the bottle not being necessary, because that ups my options.

      Less beach, hmm? I’ll admit this isn’t the eye catching beach part (that was too high up on the beach to get in the image) so I could gain some space that way…

  5. blzbob says:

    I like image1 as the choice — the beach reflects a tide (surf, if you want) while the other is more of a rough sea image. Plus image1 pulls you to the distance — to lands of wonder, etc. G’luck in the choice.

    • marfisk says:

      Thanks. Though I’ve got preferences going both ways, I’m getting a definite validation of the horizon part. I guess the rest doesn’t hold up as much to get unanimous :D. Needs more yellows somehow.

  6. I prefer #2. Slightly more abstract, but the waves have more motion, the colours are richer and sharper and the composition draws your eyes across the picture. Good luck!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hi Margaret,

    You know I do these all day long, so here’s my 2 pence worth.

    Image 1 is more visually appealing because of the horizon. Image 2 looks like you cropped it too close.

    The business card graphic is cute. But the thing with all promotion is consistency.

    I agree that a note in a bottle Photoshopped into your photo image would get lost. It’s too busy for that.

    I won’t offer suggestions on which way you should go between the photo and the drawing, but I do urge you to keep it homogeneous.

    For what it’s worth, the business card idea looks fun and flirty. It makes me think of light summer reading. If that’s the brand you want to portray than stick with the line drawing, perhaps expanding it to include an entire beach in the foreground for your website.

    On the other hand, if your brand is more contemplative and complex, I might go for the photo image.

    So you tell me. What do you want readers to think when they see your webpage and business card?


    • marfisk says:

      Oh, Maria, you make things so complicated :). Actually, though, that’s one of the reasons I want a full image for the website. The card is fun (flirty?) but also simple. It’s a quick mental tie-in between the tag and the image which increases the chance of it being memorable. But when they go to the site, I want to transition to a deeper take on the concept that allows for a broader range.

      However, it’s almost impossible to encompass who and what I am (as this is my author site, not the site for a particular book or genre) in one picture.

      That said, I’ll be trying for a slightly more fantastical image in my next go around after some suggestions I’ve received.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Combine biz card with image 2

    Hi…I met you over in FB VW…I like the image in 1 better, but the colors in 2, because a key principle of design – contrast (in carp – contrast, repetition, alignment and positioning) – through the rock colors and shadows is better in 2, and I think the font pops better in 2 also.

    …and I must agree about not combining pic art with photos for 2 different things, for branding and consistency sake…unless you can somehow overlay the bottle on the waves, with some clear transparency…but I’m not sure how it would look good together, and I’ve been photoshopping for a long time, and even teaching it. Don’t be discouraged…you’r getting there!

    Maybe talk to the commissioned artist of the logo for some visions on incorporating a photo-real background? The perspective would be weird? Maybe like in a situation where the color border is gone, and the logo is on the right, and the photo leads your eye into the logo, becoming a drawing and then fading out in the process, or just a light tone behind the logo? and the photo kind of becomes the border?

    Good luck -Natalia, a/k/a Farmer/Ms.Gard.

    • marfisk says:

      Re: Combine biz card with image 2

      Thanks Natalia. And welcome :D.

      I must admit, until everyone started weighing in, I wasn’t really thinking it through as a design, just going with what looked good to me.

      I very much agree on the contrast. The sand was supposed to provide that, but the bright yellow sand was too high up on the beach.

      Still, what this exercise in gathering opinions has done is solidify the elements I wanted to see, along with helping to point out why I didn’t think I’d gotten there yet.

      I love the transition concept, though I’m not sure how it would work in reality. It reminds me of an old art project I did where I phased a tree through the seasons in segments.

      Anyway, you just gave me a fun idea. Not sure I can execute it (not even using photoshop. I’m using ancient version of Paint Shop (6.0)), but if I could tip the bottle so that the picture spills out of it….hmmm….

  9. Anonymous says:

    They’re both beautiful. The bottom one, the “close up” of the water seems more romantic with its almost foggy finish, but the beach landscape resonates with me, and comes across crisper, and cooler. I love them both.

    Now I need to go find a beach. Too bad I’m landlocked. Aurgh!

Share Your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.