I’ve been pretty busy the last 6 weeks with several high priority tasks and unfortunately, that means my personal blogging is at the end of my task list. I’ve got posts I’ve been working on, one specifically about gamification and how easy it is to test the waters before investing real capital into a gamified system for your business / website. They will have to wait for another day though!
Today’s post is about a redesign I recently did for a client, nay, a long term buddy of mine who I’ve known for well over two decades. To some it may not sound like a lot, but keep in mind I’m only 27. Two decades is pretty much a life time for me still!
Now, for a brief story.
In 2009, my friend Mike, a hobbyist writer, wanted to create a webcomic with one of his friends who was an illustrator. Knowing that I was a talented web designer (tooting my own horn, deal with it!), I was his first contact for the job. He wanted a simple site with the typical bells and whistles you’d expect from a webcomic.
Long story short, the site went up, it didn’t look the greatest it possibly could, but I figured “Hey, it’s a start!” - after all, a webcomic needs content and characters before I can incorporate such elements into the overall look and feel of the website itself.
That comic never did take off. I believe they produced around ~15 comics before throwing in the towel.
In 2011, when my friend said he was going to make a new comic series and that he had another illustrator he was working with, I was a bit skeptical. Obviously I wasn’t going to send my friend off to a web developer who would charge him hundreds, possibly, thousands of dollars to do something that I could do at a friendly discounted price of free.
This time, I was prepared with some terms to the agreement. In order to make the site look somewhat-good, I required artwork from the illustrator before I’d invest any real work into the new webcomic’s design.
Below is what version 1 of the new comic site, Smashing Avatar, looked like:
I’ll admit, it’s not my best work, but it gave them a great beginning platform to try their comic on. I really didn’t expect much to come of the whole webcomic thing, but being a good friend, I wanted to give him something better to work with than the first attempt in 2009. Both him and his illustrator & co-founder were happy enough.
As their comic’s one year was coming up, and their 100th comic had been published, I felt it was time to redesign. I have an issue with websites I build for myself or people close to me. I can’t get enough of redesigning them every year to keep them up to web standards and to show off some of my “leet ninja skills” … yeah!
We launched his redesign yesterday, below is a screenshot of the new site, with lots of custom artwork from Ryan Huertas, the Illustrator for Smashing Avatar.
The new site will allow Mike and Ryan to continue their comic’s growth for years to come. We’re working on developing some new ideas that should propel them beyond the theoretical wall that most webcomics hit. 2012 and 2013 should be very exciting for these Smashing Avatars!
Smashing Avatar Redesign was written by Dan Bochichio, a freelance Internet Specialist with over a decade of experience in web design. Dan specializes in taking new businesses from a web-zero to a web-hero by creating attractive sites which meet today's standards on the Web.