How to make a print provider's online home stand out in the crowd.
We like what Phoenix, AZ-based bluemedia (www.bluemedia.com) has done with theirs. A large dominant window allows examples of the shop's work to rotate through it automatically, while directly below that window is a clear and concise description of the company and what it does.
The home page features a dual navigation bar: the top (darker blue) bar is application-oriented: vehicle graphics, environmental graphics, and signs. And just in case you're not sure what these applications are, scrolling over each tab pops up a representative image. The bottom (light blue) bar offers the standard 'about us,' 'news,' 'clients,' and 'featured project' pages, all with drop-down menus.
'This is version 3.0 of bluemedia.com-each one getting a little better than the time before,' says bluemedia's Darren Wilson. 'Some of the features we build into the home page and site include: a dedication to simplicity; it's very user friendly and easy to navigate; it showcases our work; and we've made it easy to contact us if needed.' The company also recently launched blueline, its own blog (www.bluemedia.com/blueline).
In the case of Fusion Imaging (www.fusion-imaging.com), Kaysville, UT, a large red graphic visually representing 'fusion' dominates the page, while small images migrate below representing the various applications the shop offers. Notice how key words describing good business partners-'accountability,' 'reliable,' 'expertise'-flow from the right-hand part of the graphic into the main graphic on the left, reinforcing the company's message to prospective customers.
Showcasing Your Best Work
Some shops still fail to post images of their recent jobs. Typically slugged as a gallery, portfolio, or 'our work' section, this area of a site enables a shop to show off a company's best work and to indicate the breadth of that work. Some shops routinely post images of every job they do, while others are more selective, only posting some of their hottest projects.
For its 'Gallery' page, Kubin-Nicholson (www.kubin.com), headquartered in Milwaukee, has divided the examples into three sections: outdoor, P-O-P, and environmental graphics. Click on any of these three categories and up pop five to eight samples of each, complete with image and basic information about the job. For example, for a L'Oreal project, the caption reads, 'L'Oreal Building Walls, NYC, McCann-Erickson, NY. 50 x 21- and 50 x 16-ft. Printed digitally at 150 dpi, 8-oz. mesh.'