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Bettering Your Shop's Website

(August 2007) posted on Mon Aug 06, 2007

How to make a print provider's online home stand out in the crowd.


By Gregory Sharpless

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Joseph Merritt & Co. (www.merrittgraphics.com) has taken its gallery section to the next level by adding audio narratives as well as moving images to text about each project. Each project example comprises an introduction, a description of the challenge the shop faced, how the shop tackled the job, and specific job specs.

And, there's something to be said for being different. When you click on the 'enter site - high bandwidth' button on the home page for USA Image Technologies (www.usaimage.com) in Louisville, KY, a monotone montage of about 24 jobs the shop has done pops up. As you scroll over each job, the image 'colorizes;' click on it and the image becomes full-size. Information on the particular job as well as more general info about how USA Image tackles this particular type of application accompanies the image.

'We wanted to bring our gallery to the forefront of our website,' says Judd Morgan, sales/marketing director of USA Image. 'By placing the gallery on a menu bar, you're only exposing your client to one static or scrollable image at a time-with a limited amount of time on the clients' behalf, they will never see three-fourths of your gallery. This can make it very difficult to convey what grand format printing is. By placing these building, vehicles wraps, banners, billboards, etc., on the home page, however, we can showcase our product line as well as give a background and choice of applications to choose from.'

An Office Tour

Providing images of your shop-interior shots (lobby, sales department, production floor) as well as exterior shots-can be a good way to lend personality to your company’s website. OAI (www.oaicorp.com) in Tampa, FL goes this idea one better. Rather than simply providing static photos of the outside of the building or even on-floor production shots, it has established a virtual office tour of its entire operation.


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