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Creating a Business Website Concept

Concept is the design metaphor that holds your business website together. For example, look at how AcomaSkyCity, an historical Indian pueblo and museum, uses the shape of a pot on its entry page to set the stage for this visually rich site. After entering the site, the spiral logo is repeated as a border detail above the navigation, maintaining visual continuity even as photos rotate in Flash below it.

A good designer integrates marketing communication principles, branding considerations, and your target audience into the concept for your website.

Marketing communications integrates marketing and sales principles with graphic design to achieve business objectives. It acknowledges that the presentation of information affects emotional response and thus influences buying decisions. Designers ask about your target audiences to be sure to select or create appropriate design.

While essential for any type of sales collateral or packaging, marketing communications is particularly critical because of the short window for grabbing attention on the web. Experienced web designers intuitively adjust the font style, graphic style, colors, images, and white space to have a positive impact on your marketing process while reinforcing your brand.

For example, without reading any text or looking at the navigation, compare Smarties with Scott B. Owings Construction. Can you work backwards to analyze the marketing communications success of these designs? How would you describe the demographics of the audiences for Smarties versus Scott B. Owings Construction? What about the economic status of the users?

From color to animated cartoon graphics, Smarties is a sweet site for kids and parents with young children. The construction company, with its formal fonts, structured design, fleur-de-lis, and darker color palette, aims at an older, wealthy audience; it breathes respectability and responsibility. Can you identify any similarities between these sites?

Color meaning is culturally dependent. If you sell internationally, research the meaning of colors in your target country. For instance, in many Asian countries, white, not black, signifies death, and red, not green, symbolizes prosperity.

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