March 8th, 2015

Designer Andrew Stuart on Creating the New Creative Authors Website

Andrew Stuart is a designer at Cultivate Creative and responsible for designing the new look for the Creative Authors website. Andy works with a small team in the UK and I’m chatting to him today about creating the new site.

Kate Ormand: Hi, Andy! Thanks for stopping by today. First let’s talk about when you started working on the project – did you have a vision of how you’d like it to look straight away, or did it take some experimenting?

Andrew Stuart: As with most websites that are undergoing a redesign, you can look over the content on the existing version and instantly begin to think how it could be better displayed or laid out. My process always begins by mapping out a site (creating a list of all current pages and features) and then putting pencil to paper to work out how what’s already there can be best improved and built upon – which is where the experimenting comes in.

KO: What were some of the most important factors for you when designing the site?

AS: The amount of content (over 130 books and 60 clients) and how this needed to be flexible and accessible across various devices; from large desktops to small mobile screens. Also, the old site had great content but used in quite a limiting way, with small imagery and text-heavy pages. We really wanted to use large, full-width images where we could to show off the amazing illustrations, alongside building more of an online community through the use of author/illustrator profiles and a new blog section.

KO: What did you enjoy most about the project?

AS: I really loved seeing all the illustrations in large format. Occasionally, we work with illustrators on various branding, print and web projects, so it was fantastic to see such a wealth of styles and mediums up close.

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KO: What do you hope viewers come away with after visiting the new site?

AS: Overall, just a pleasant experience. It’s said that good design goes unnoticed because when everything works seamlessy, the user never encounters any problems in finding what they’re after, which is the key sign of a well designed site. If you can marry that functionality with something that also looks great, it’s a winner for me! I’d also hope that viewers interpret the new site as reflecting Creative Authors as a leading, diverse and desirable literary agency.

KO: And to finish, can you give us a selection of your favourite books?

AS: I couldn’t put down Barry Lyga’s I Hunt Killers trilogy, and am now partway through the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay (I loved the T.V. series). I also enjoy delving into A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin and got hooked on the Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner. And of course Dark Days by Creative Authors’ very own Kate Ormand!

KO: Haha! Thank you, Andy! And thanks for stopping by to chat about the new site.

AS: Thanks, Kate! And huge thanks to both teams at Creative Authors and Cultivate for making it happen!

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“Isabel opened the doors that led to my work being published. Throughout, she has offered honest opinions and patient coaching – all without ever losing the courtesy, gentility and decency that makes her a pleasure to know. I owe her deeply!”

Nick Soulsby, Creative Authors Client.