LENS is aimed at photographers or photography agencies mainly, but not restricted to this. It is a very visual theme, so it is aimed at any creative that wants to showcase his/her visual creations. With this in mind, let me walk you through the main ideas that were behind designing LENS.
First, we wanted a style that was both minimal and flat and, at the same time, focused on typography (white space, proportions, grids, and all these). In the image below, you can see the style guide that highlights how these concepts were materialized into LENS:
On top of this typography concept, we’ve overlaid our vision for portraying a visual story in a web context. This led us to the vertical menu/sidebar on the left and the full-width right section that plays with grids, columns, text, and much more.
Starting from these general concepts, let’s go a little deeper into each custom template we’ve designed and brought to the screen.
This is where most of our efforts were concentrated because we really like photography and the stories behind it. We have opted to provide two different ways to showcase your work: Galleries and Projects. While they share similarities in terms of the grid that is used to display their archive pages (these are both WordPress Custom Post Types), this is where the paths diverge.
The Galleries are aimed at an all visual experience: you simply create a new Gallery and add photos (plus some optional small captions), order them, and you are good to go. You can display each gallery in 3 ways:
- in the shape of a grid gallery;
- as a full-width slider (the left sidebar remains visible);
- or for an even more immersive experience, as a full-screen slider (with only the logo and menu being visible – transparent).
On the other hand, the Projects are focused on providing you with the tools to tell a more detailed story of your shots. This is achieved through multiple single project templates that combine text with image galleries (sliders or simple image grids). The archive page for projects is similar to that of the Galleries, with some extra info on hover (title, category, and likes). When it comes to individual projects, you get to choose from 3 templates:
- Full-Width Project – with a full-width image slider at the top showcasing the project’s gallery, and the main content section bellow consisting of content, meta info, categories, like, and share buttons;
- Project With Right Sidebar – use this to display your projects in a more relaxed fashion, with the image gallery in the center, and the content, meta info, like, and share buttons on the right side. This will give you a more balanced visual effect;
- Classic Project – this project template tries to deliver a more old school atmosphere to your site by using a single column with the title and content at the top, followed by the image gallery and the like and share buttons.
On any of these templates, you can opt to show related projects at the bottom using the famous and widely used YARPP WordPress Plugin. A nicely integrated image grid with related projects will appear under the main content areas.
For your thoughts and point-of-views (or anything in between for what matters), we have envisioned the design of the Journal – a more fancy way of naming the blog. It features a light and balanced archive and single posts pages, consistent with the rest of the site.
The archives (main archive, search, category, tags, dates, etc.) feature a carefully balanced masonry posts grid with all the elements needed to engage your visitors. It is all about blending beautiful typography with nice visuals.
The single post pages are quite conservative in layout (main content and right sidebar in addition to the all-present left sidebar), allowing you to focus on composing your well-thought posts with images, quotes, and others. We’ve tried to strip away all that would focus attention elsewhere than on your content, without losing the functionality, of course.
If you are in for Post Formats, we’ve got that covered with Video, Audio, Gallery, and Quote post formats custom designed.
What?! No homepage template?! Yep. We felt that it would be a shame to deliver you a fixed homepage view when you have so many to choose from.
Why not make the Galleries or the Projects archive pages your home page and surprise your viewers with your work. Or would you instead let words speak first? We believe the blog’s main archive would be a suitable candidate with its masonry magic. Still searching? Why not make a custom page using some carefully written text, some exciting visuals, and some shortcode magic (see our PixCodes plugin).
Some Fairy Dust
Because fairies do exist (no, really), we’ve come to sprinkle fast and smooth page transitions here and there, taking advantage of our awesome knowledge of CSS3 and other recent tricks (fairly modestly speaking). Now joking aside, no photographer sees it works static (with very rare exceptions). In his mind, they are all moving.
This is why we’ve decided to add an element of surprise and dynamism to the whole site browsing by using dynamic (AJAX) loading and animated in and outs for pages. Each page template has its own logic of coming and exiting the spotlight, as it should be since each aims at a different facet of the artist.
This pretty much wraps it in terms of why we did what we did. We hope you can relate to our decisions and make LENS work for and with you.