Client: Laceworks Jewelry makes handcrafted filigree in silver and gold using techniques that are more than 5000 years old.
Project Description: Update the old design to be more visually striking and better organized.
“Beneath a crescent moon, a horse gallops through a forest lush with leaves in this stunning handmade filigree ring by Laceworks Jewelry.
Across the elegant Sterling Silver band, leaves reach up toward a crescent moon, even as the horse’s sumptuous mane flows out the other side for a perfectly balanced asymmetry. A touch of 18k Yellow Gold lends a subtle glow to the moon, while the tapered band adds comfort to beauty.”
The Inside Scoop
Full Disclosure: I’ve been working as the Executive Director for Laceworks Jewelry since late 2013. With the unique skill set I provide, I have built the Laceworks brand from the ground up, both in print and on the web.
This page documents a major update and overhaul to my previous site and business card design for Laceworks Jewelry.
The big challenge here was that we were moving overseas to Japan, and needed a website that would allow us to stay in touch with our Stateside clients, while also serving as an internationally capable online store for our products.
For the copywriting, I continued with the elegant and sophisticated voice I had established for the Laceworks brand. However I also added richer detail to the jewelry descriptions, focusing on the symbolism and story behind each piece.
I deployed this subtle marketing shift in anticipation of our 2016 line of jewelry, which will feature designs inspired by stories and legends from various areas in Japan.
The old website design was overall good. It was elegant, programmatically lean, and looked nice.
Unfortunately, it was also built traditionally (i.e. coded by yours truly from scratch), and thus a pain to update. Additionally, it had no shopping cart system to speak of, and no blog.
In other words—it was “just a website.”
While that may have been perfect for our needs at the time of its construction, the old Laceworks site had gotten to be like a suit jacket that was two sizes too small.
The time had come to upgrade the whole shebang!
I set us up with a cloud server running an independent installation of WordPress, adding rich functionality for a blog and shopping cart. The blog features social sharing functionality, and integrates intuitively between our Mailchimp account for easy newsletter deployment and optimum SEO potential.
The shopping cart is nothing short of a monster. At Laceworks, we have “one of a kind” designs as well as customizable “made to order” designs that we recreate in various iterations. This meant that the site needed to have a clear differentiation between these design types in a way that would make sense to our clientele.
Additionally, we wanted to show one of a kind pieces that had been sold so that clients could place custom orders based on prior designs. Toward this end, I custom-built a system which adds a dynamic notification window to the product pages of sold out pieces, allowing customers to contact us with an order requests.
For the “made to order” pieces, I added a customization system that allows us accompany each product option with an image.
We really liked the full-page “splash” image on the homepage of the old site, so I maintained that style for the new site as well. However, for sub-pages I setup dynamic banner images that we can randomize—or specify—based on the page being viewed.
Additionally, I added in functionality which will allow us to have the site show up dynamically with English or Japanese content based on the end-user’s web browser language preferences.
Overall, this is the most robust and feature-rich shopping cart system I’ve ever developed.
Business Card Redux
The new business cards needed to be bilingual (Japanese and English), so I developed a style that would allow us to provide information in both languages without obstructing the images of Hisako’s beautiful filigree.
All the product photography on the site and business cards is my work as well. However due to time restrictions, the alternate metal photos for the “made to order” pieces offered in 18k yellow gold and 14k rose gold I simply colorized in Photoshop.
My Favorite Part
Getting to use vertical Japanese type on the business card. It just looks so good.
See the results: