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51 Comments

  1. Rich

    Interesting… don’t quite understand the theme though. Search button seems out of place, not sure if it’s a real necessity. Do like the typography

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  2. dudeydudeydude

    Points for trying something new, but the spacing (white space, padding, et al) needs considerable fixing.

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  3. Brendon Grobler

    Thank you for the feature. @dude care to elaborate on your point about spacing?

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  4. Chris M

    I’ve said this elsewhere before – I think this sort of design is going to become incredibly popular amongst designers – The abillity to seperate content with using clicks of the mouse increases the ability to keep visitors locked in as well as being able to showcase more information/content/photography than usual.

    Well done!

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  5. Jack

    Great looking website.

    Few gripes though, I think it would flow much better if the heading type for each section was similar, also if it followed a kind of light – dark – light pattern as you scroll down the page.

    You threw a curve ball at me with the navigation, I was expecting there to be some soft-scrolling, but it took me to a new page. I liked it.

    The photo for the about portion of the homepage, doesn’t sit right for me. It’s a very clean cut design and the photo seems a bit too gritty.

    One last thing, I keep wanting to click the giant header text to go home.

    That said, It’ a unique template. And I like it. :)

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  6. Carl Rosekilly

    Am I looking at the same website as you guys?

    Sorry to be so damning with my incoming critique but there’s a few points that need to be made.

    Firstly why is so much space given to the header area? For me it’s an unnecessary use of space and the typography over powers the identity that you have given yourself ‘mulletized’. This area feels clumsy and doesn’t have any appealing aesthetics.

    Secondly, why all the type faces it goes against all the rules of typography, where’s the cohesion?? I know rules are there to be broken but for me there’s just too many going on. Are you serif or sans serif?

    I also agree with (Jack) about the image of yourself, it doesn’t fit with the over all style of the site.

    I don’t want to be too critical of this site as I appreciate the fact that you will have spent plenty of time considering this approach and it’s obviously a reflection of you (the designer) but forgive me for saying this but it all just feels a little amateur. Which is surprising because within your portfolio you have some lovely designs and some fantastic photography considering your aspiring to be one.

    Sorry for the negative feedback I just think it needs to be said.

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  7. Brendon Grobler

    Some interesting comments here. Thanks to everyone for their feedback.

    Yes, it is a personal reflection of my design aesthetic, and I realize it might not be to everyone’s taste. There is a mix of styles in typography and overall feel. Some twisting and about turns on design conventions I see too often. It is a deliberate choice.

    Carl, if you don’t think it works then I’m absolutely cool with that. But it is my personal site, so without client input I get to be creative. Which has always been the big draw card for me in this profession.

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  8. Carl Rosekilly

    @brendon much appreciated, as you say it’s a personal reflection and amongst my negative feedback, it’s nice to see your stance as we can’t please everyone in this world and if you’re happy with your site then that’s all that matters, i’m due to start drumming up some ideas for my personal portfolio because as you say it’s nice to create a site for yourself without client input.

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  9. Sue

    As someone who knows you personally, I totally appreciate just how “you” this design is.

    I love the fact that you’ve created 3 separate areas to keep the categories interesting, instead of churning out the same LAF for each – a bold move.

    I think a lot more design blogs will be taking this route in the future.

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  10. Carl Rosekilly

    @sue

    design is very personal and objective, it usually means more to the designer and the design community, unfortunately US designers can be very critical and over judge mental, as we each have our own style and sometimes if what we see doesn’t fit within that, we object.

    Knowing Brendon personally obviously gives you a better insight to the approach than me.

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  11. Sue

    @Carl

    Of course :-)

    It’s highly subjective, especially in this context when it’s purely for personal pleasure.

    But there’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism at all. Ignoring all negative comments about our work would be terribly arrogant methinks.

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  12. Chris M

    @Carl – You refer to his design as a “little amateur” – Please would you elaborate on this term and I think it’s rather offensive and perhaps I’ve misunderstood the context in which you’re using it?

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  13. Jamie C

    I agree with Carl on this one. There isn’t much cohesion among the pages. Additionally, there are plenty of spacing and kerning issues.

    I’m also not feeling the stylized headshot. It feels extremely cheap – as does the typeface used for “Photography.”

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  14. Jack

    @Chris M. I think Carl put accross his reasons for why it could seem a little amateurish. Mainly due to the incoherence of the typography, and the headshot.

    @Brendon. I completely agree that your personal site should reflect your own idea on design and should put your personality accross. However if the website is acting as a portfolio then in my opinion there needs to be a balance between personal idendity and maybe some stricter design principles.

    Is the aim of this website to attract people to your own or an experiment? Ultimately that decides on how successful the design is.

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  15. Brendon Grobler

    @Jack It’s not a portfolio, and I believe that most good design is an experiment. The websites that personally interest and excite me are the ones that take risks, that don’t always adhere to rules.

    If this was a client site with a goal for conversions or whatever, then I could see the need for a stricter format.

    However, this was the creation of a completely personal site – not primarily created to sell myself or my product – merely a playground for me to experiment, to imprint myself on it, to do what I wanted to do – to put my own art in the function.

    The fact that its listed on this gallery means that people that view it tend to put it on the dissection table. Which is perfectly fine and understandable. I appreciate the input, however its easy to go overboard and miss the point.

    This site was a rare opportunity where the normally ever present value of function and conversions could be eased up to create more space for a more personal design aesthetic. It’s a good place to be in and I recommend all designers should embrace it when given the opportunity.

    I couldn’t made the site more uniform, trimmed down the whitespace, etc. It would’ve possibly had broader appeal to the small cross section of people who commented here. But the point is that it then wouldntve appealed to me anymore.

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  16. Rich

    It’s a personal site, there are going to be different points of view about it no matter what.

    Jack does have a point, but then again when you go to his website it’s just a splash page with a free font from dafont.com, so what does he know?

    Overall I agree with the comments about the header text, I keep wanting to click to go home, typography could perform a bit better, overall though I think everyone agrees it’s new layout is what drives it, it’s fresh and we like that. Could do without the photo though, doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the site with the overdone effects, imo =)

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  17. Chris M

    @Jack – That’s the thing, I don’t think those two reasons make it amateurish in any manner. What I worry about here is that these negative comments come from people who live inside the box and conform to standards and the minute someone steps outside the box and goes left-field, then they’re somewhat criticized?

    My aim here is not to start an argument at all, I just think that instead of throwing negative comments at the designer, to rather balance them with positive ones; What bugs me more is that the commentors don’t show their websites – which I guess is fair, but a bit meh.

    At the end of the day, I think the fact that his typography is incoherent leads it to its uniqueness.

    Just my opinion :)

    <3 you all.

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  18. Brendon Grobler

    Thanks Rich. Nice valid and constructive comment. I actually also caught myself clicking the text at the top once :)

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  19. Carl Rosekilly

    @chris

    You seem to be seeking an argument even though you state that “My aim here is not to start an argument at all” this suggests you do.

    I thought my critique was a fair assessment of what came before my eyes and I did balance my argument with positive comments.

    If you see the comments that I made @sue you’ll see that I made the comment about design being ‘subjective’ and everyone has an opinion, especially US designers, on this occasion mine was negative, I’m not here to bash people, just to give my honest assessment, I assume that’s what these comment fields are for and not to just blow smoke up people’s back sides.

    I will gladly post my website once that I have my own!

    I don’t have to justify myself visually, anyway, to warrant if I can comment or not, I have 10 years experience in the design industry and that’s worthy enough of making a comment.

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  20. Chris M

    @Carl – You sound uptight all of a sudden. I do agree, these threads are for constructive critism, I just think you were somewhat unfair :)

    I’ll raise your ten years of experience with my 14 :D

    Reply

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