I designed this one early on in the project, and intentionally started on the content page first as I knew that the rest of the site (including the landing page) would have to be based around the design concept for the content viewing pane.
However, when it came to working back to the landing page, I could not think of a design solution that sat comfortably within the viewing pane format, so scrapped the right hand side bar for the landing page.
This opened the page up visually, and gave me the opportunity to start thinking of landing graphics & text that will greet the user to the page.
Using the fantastic marketing campaign for Babingtons Tea Rooms in Rome as inspiration (http://2012.effectivedesign.org.uk/corporate_brand/babingtons.php), I created a Vector mascot of a man on a penny farthing. I wanted to inject some of the daft/eccentric imagery used so effectively by Babingtons, and a man on a penny farthing never fails to look ridiculous, while perfecting conveying the Victorian theme at the same time.
For the text, I wanted to achieve an effect often seen in newspaper & magazine advertisements from the 1960’s and 1970’s where a short, direct statement is placed either centrally or in a visually compelling location in relation to the image / page. I had a clear image in my head of how these adverts looked, yet found it surprisingly hard to find examples on the internet. In my mind they usually consisted of phrasing that spoke directly to the viewer – like “Because he knows time is an asset.” Or “Go on. Make someone proud today. ”
Having placed the mascot in a visually interesting location (tight in the bottom-right of page), I decided to place the text off-centre and in good balance to the mascot. I have chosen a serif font because I think this gives the text a sense of authority and class, again evocative of the adverts from 60’s and 70’s.
If this were a real life project, I would consider developing this landing page further by hiding away the category navigation boxes into a collapsed header or footer, and have this hero image & slogan text fill the whole page. It would also be interesting to see if I could come up with a number of different slogans that are informative yet slightly ridiculous (in a similar vain to Babington’s Teas). A different slogan would be displayed each time the landing page is opened.
In a real life project, I would also want to add social media feeds as I do believe that this would be a welcome addition to the site.