Choosing a theme for your website is like trying to decide on an outfit for an interview- accessories, shoes, hair- they all come into play here. You have a lot of options, but once you start to solidify who you are, or at the very least, the job you want, it becomes easier to narrow your focus. I began with an edgy, slightly aggressive design, before deciding to round the hard edges and pivot the focus more towards food rather than opinionated essays. I did this for two reasons:
- To be operating a website devoted entirely to ethical opinion essays, especially a website that is trying to garner conversation, you need a level of credibility to justify an arrogant tone. Simply put- why would anyone want to read a series of dry sarcastic essays about food? By me? Most culinary experts start lecturing after they’ve become distinguished in the food world, and even then, unless you’re Gordon Ramsay, your audience remains limited.
- Using food to initiate discourse on food ethics makes perfect sense; it would be far more inviting (and effective).
There, everyone wins. Happy?
By doing a food blog spiced with strong convictions, I’ll be able to speak to my audience from a more relatable position- I won’t be talking down or at, I’ll be talking with.
But what does this have to do with design?
An ethical food journal is going to look very different from a food blog. So I needed to do a couple of things here.
- The aggressive tagline had to go.
- The line lengths needed to be shorter, not only for readable, but to avoid looking too wordy.
- I needed to shift the focus from “The Dirt Mouth” back onto food- visually.
- The header needs to disappear when you’re looking at a recipe; I want viewers to be immersed in the post.
- The homepage needs more balance, and larger pictures to flaunt the food.
Long story short, after checking in with my design, it was starting to feel like a half decorated room with poorly placed windows. So I switched things up.
In addition, my “About” page was shortened dramatically, because I had actually written a back story to go with the about page- a common trend in most food blogs. But oh no, not this one, my friends. This is no ordinary food blog, and the reasons behind the creation of this blog (other than classwork) touch the very cornerstone of my being- zero-waste and sustainability. So why, pray tell me, should such towering convictions find themselves sidelined in an “about” page? Yeah, exactly. Not happening.