Wikicake.info – A Project log admin July 2, 2011 Web ++++++++Project beginning 01-06-2011++++++++ Wikicake.info An introduction. I’ve been given a brand new project to work on, it’s going to be a tutorial site for cake decorating and sugarcraft, Sugarcraft is both a hobby and a business for some people, and just a hobby for others. The “craft” in itself has many different elements to it, all of which require a certain level of skill to complete different tasks. For the “older” generation, these skills were usually learned from other people, whether they be family members, or friends, they would generally be in a club, or learn from books. then things like Videos were produced, and sold via mail-order, or in larger retail stores. In more recent times the younger generation (and the older generation) are becoming much more tech savvy, and turn to the internet when they want to learn how to do something. Nowadays, clubs and the like are far less commonplace, not just in sugarcraft, but in all aspects of life, and the remaining ones have far less younger members than in times gone by. This is where places like youtube come in. Youtube has “replaced” the clubs where learning is concerned, people don’t need to attend a meeting in a cramped church hall once a week and pay 50p “subs” to learn their craft, they can simply google what they want to learn, and more often than not, there’s a youtube video on how to do it. (whether that video is any good is a whole different debate!) This project is aimed at those people, the people who want to learn about cake decorating, learn all the skills required to make fantastic cakes, but maybe don’t have access to, or just don’t want to join a club. Those people will now have wikicake.info to guide them, (or at least they will when its finished), Hopefully it will develop into a one-stop-shop for all things sugarcraft and cake decorating, giving people high quality text based and video tutorials on how to develop their skills. I must point out that I’ve never decorated a cake in my life. I’ll be relying on other peoples skills for the content of these tutorials, I’ll just be bringing them together, and making the site and editing the tutorials, so they look great, and people can get to them. So, enough of the pointless waffle, and onto the waffle that has a point… +++++++++Update 15-06-2011+++++++++ The concept & the name. The first hurdle was to think of a name, which in the digital age, can sometimes come before the rest of the project, in times gone by a business (this isn’t a business in itself, but the concept is the same), could trade in whole or in part even before it has a name, or, names were meaningless. There is a lot that can be said about the naming of a “project” whether it be a business or otherwise, I know a man called Pete, he runs his own business, called “PTP plumbing”, the name sounds quite professional, until you ask him what it means, and it literally means “Pete The Plumber”, it works, but the name was an afterthought, he’s a plumber, he knows his trade, and he only needed a business name to put on the top of invoices, and that’s fair enough! it works for him! There are also those people who used to (and still do) call themselves things like “Aardvark *whatever*”, as phone books work alphabetically, people usually don’t want to sift through endless pages to find a business, meaning, purely on the name, Aardvark plasterers would be more likely to get more business than Zebra plasterers. Now it can be a little different, as in the digital age, many businesses have websites or facebook fan pages, and with it being so easy for people to view websites these days, they don’t need to rely on word of mouth (now its more like recommend a page), or telephone directories to gain business (as much), these tools are still very very important, but the days of thinking “i’ll ask my mates in the pub tonight if they can recommend a good carpet fitter” are dwindling, its more likely that they’ll get out their smartphone and hit up yell.com‘s app and type in carpet fitter. That’s not to say that there is less trust in the world, people DEFINITELY still get lots of business through word of mouth, but with information being so readily available to almost everyone, it’s far more likely that a trip round to your mate’s house to ask him who fitted his kitchen, will be replaced by simply typing “kitchen fitters” into google. that being said, the name of a project, and therefore its domain name has become increasingly more important. Domain names should be meaningful, firstly, this helps your search engine rankings, and, it helps people remember who you are long enough to get home and type your name into a browser. Telling someone you just met “oh, you need a driving instructor? check out my website www.ihaveawebaddressthatstotallymeaningless.com” is far less likely to be remembered than say “oh, you need a driving instructor? my names, Joe, and my web address is www.joesdrivingschool.com”. Easy to remember, meaningful = more likely to get used. just like the meerkat says, simples. So, We wanted a tutorial site for cake decorating, and after much deliberation, it was decided upon that “www.wikicake.info” would be it’s name! “Wiki” being that term at the moment thats popular with searching for info, we thought it was both fitting and catchy, and, .info being rather memorable, the whole thing just seems to tell people that its about learning, and about cakes! So here is the first little graphic I knocked up, a holding page for the wikicake.info site, which will be there until we get ready for launch, or, until we change our mind about its design. holding page +++++++++Update 01-07-2011+++++++++ The Logo. So, with a name, and a domain to match, its time to start thinking about how we want to put it together, the next stage (at least for me anyway) is to give the project an identity, the first stage of this is the Logo. A logo is a graphic that speaks for the project, usually for a business or organisation, its purpose is to be instantly recognisable. It can be anything, there aren’t any rules for a successful logo, it can be simple or complex, colourful or black and white. graphic, or simply text. Companies like Coca Cola and IBM use fancy text as their logos, which have stayed relatively unchanged for many years, whereas companies like Shell use graphics, which have developed and changed over time. (HERE is an interesting article on the development of the shell logo) So, with no real rules, and only a name to go by, where do you start?! That’s where I get stuck. I spend just as much time staring at a blank piece of paper (I don’t just design on a screen!), as I do actually making the thing. After much staring at blankness, and much swearing at myself, I took a step back (or rather I rolled my chair back a little), and had a think about what this project is all about. So. Its about learning, and cakes. Where do people classically learn? School. I don’t want it to be like a school, but I like the concept of old school crests. Cool. Old school crest, time to hit google. So after googling school crests, I find a few different types, I like the “classic” shield type design, so I explore this a bit more. Damn. Now what to do, I know I want a shield, but what do I want on it?! Should probably be something to do with the concept of the site. whats that again? oh right, cakes. So, cakes. Wedding cake? birthday cake? sugar flower? single tier cake? two tier? three? more? cupcake. everyone loves cupcakes. (all except my dad. he thinks they’re too small.. but anywhoo) So yeah, I decided on a cupcake, the reason for this being, cupcakes are pretty popular at the moment, and it looks like they are here to stay. At least for the time being anyway. Also, the design I came up with is pretty iconic, and recognisable as a cupcake, where the image of a birthday cake is just too much like a birthday cake. and a silhouette of a wedding cake just looks like a load of rectangles. (at least the design I came up with did!) Right, so I have a shield, and a cupcake. What next? Now I need to figure out how they are going to sit on the page. Recently, I’ve been loving the Web 2.0 look. So I thought I would give that a bash, It’s modern, it’s cool, and it looks good. So, Here is what I came up with. Logo_First_attempt this colour scheme came from holding page, which everyone in the office liked. The cupcake graphic was acctually a drawing I did by hand, which was then scanned into the computer and retraced into photoshop. I also had a great deal of trouble getting the shape of the shield right, I went through many many designs, until I finally figured out a shape that I really like. And its at this point that I would like to thank the UPS driver who pulled up outside my window at just the right moment. *ahem* Now its in a logo though, we have a problem. The lads love it, the women don’t. Seen as this hobby is mainly female orientated, I’m thinking I should probably go with the female opinion on this one. So, what colour should I do it then? Pink. I knew they’d say that… *sigh* So, here it is in pink. pink I don’t like it. So i thought.Red? Why not. red Now THIS I like. And luckily, so do the girls! we also though this would be a much better colour than pink as pink kind of restricts itself to a female audience, whereas red is a more unisex colour. but its missing something. So I wrack my brains, and I figure out what it is. chrome. everything needs a little chrome! So I then go for the chrome effect. chrome I’m pretty pleased with this now, but, it’s still missing something, old school logos usually had a banner underneath them, with either the school’s name, or the motto. I’ll go for that next. after adding the banner in, I decided to make a new holding page, here is the holding page. wiki_new_holding_page Where I made all the assets in the upper portion of the logo itself, I found a brush to make the banner, and while I like it, and I like the way it sits underneath the shield, I think because its a brush, I put less effort into refining it, so, I went back to the drawing board on the banner, and came up with this. chrome_new_banner While I liked the idea that the banner was underneath the shield, with the shape of the new one, I thought it looked better over the shield than below it, this one was created by me, and while its quite a complex shape, it was surprisingly easy to make. I Started with the rectangle tool, then added a stroke to it to create the white line, then added a blank layer, selected the blank layer and the rectangle layer, then “merged” them, this flattens any layer styles into the layer, so I could then add another red stroke, and repeat the process. Once this was done, I then used the warp tool, to warp the rectangle to the right shape. After that I then just duplicated it, and played with the duplicated layer, warping it a bit more and selectively deleting some of the content to make the two V shaped ribbons at the back. Two small shapes were made with the pen tool and then filled with white to join the three layers together, and with all of these layers separate shadows and gradient over layers were applied before these layers were finally merged to give the finished banner. I then used http://colorschemedesigner.com/ to help me pick a colour for the background, I came up with this flesh-tone/peachy background, which should now form the background of my web pages. I still really like the dark red to light red noisy background I used in the second holding page, but this will now probably form some of my menus, sticking with the red theme, im thinking it’ll eventually be that red, with more chrome effect. the flesh-tone background will also be easier to implement on pages, and is much more “web safe”. I should be getting a third holding page redesigned soon, by doing this now with a finalised logo, I should be able to start picking what fonts I want to use, and start mocking up some menus. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.