Design Work

Branding and Responsive Website Design for Roeder Studios, Inc

A mixture of branding, website design and intensive WordPress templating on the blog today, with a fresh new online prospectus for Laura Roeder’s “Creating Fame” course…

Laura Roeder has a compelling story to tell, becoming a highly respected advocate of using social media as a business opportunity in few short years, and along the way setting up Creating Fame – an online course that shares her approach with a wider audience. The time was right to update the website and visual identity, and create a much more extensive prospectus for the course packed with details, questions, course summaries and lots more.

One of main criteria of the brief was to create some unique and visually striking long-form article pages. These carry a lot of information, so it was important to present this to visitors in an engaging way that encouraged reading. A second criteria was that the website should be fully responsive, adapting the page layout to fit the dimensions of a wide range of different sized devices. The combination of these two requirements provided a technological challenge, with extensive CSS-wrangling required behind the scenes. But the end result is something that looks good on to all visitors, regardless of the device they’re viewing the site on.

The project was rounded off with a family of logo-marks for Creating Fame and related Roeder Studios brands, designed to be simple, welcoming and confident in tone. Take a look at how everything hangs together in the finished article below…



Client: Creating Fame

Design: Swash and Fold

Platform: WordPress self-hosted blog with custom-developed Genesis child theme

Fonts: Hand Gothic (JC Fonts), Halis Rounded (Ahmet Altun), Source Sans Pro (Paul D. Hunt / Adobe)

Design Work · Helpful Things

Client Work: Utterly Wow Logo & Website Design

Setting up your own company can be quite a handful, with lots to organise and plenty of decisions that need to be made before you introduce yourself to your future customers.

It would take either a particularly organised or totally bonkers mind to try and do that at the same time as arranging something as involved as a wedding, right? Particularly one packed with as many carefully crafted personal details as this. Fortunately Sama Hemsley is in the former camp (I think). Doubly fortunately the business she was working on was Utterly Wow, a boutique wedding planning & design company, so amazing organisational skills are sort of essential!

Sama had already found a voice for her brand with her popular blog, so had a clear idea of her audience and how she wanted the business to look and feel. After a few Pinterest sessions and some design reviews we came up with a clean, modern logo and a fresh, peachy colour palette. Following a brief interlude while wedding plans stepped up a notch, we got to work on the website.

The website itself is a bespoke WordPress theme, with custom post types for Sama’s featured couples and lots of feed-packed widgets and slideshows to keep the homepage interesting and fresh. Webfonts are used in key areas to give a bit of typographic interest, while the summery tones are complemented by the whitewashed wooden page background, preventing the palette from overwhelming the colourful photos to be found in the Show + Tell section.

Take a look at some details from the project below, or swing by the Utterly Wow website yourself to see things first hand!


Website: Design and WordPress custom theme development
Fonts: Lato (Ɓukasz Dziedzic / Google Webfonts), Amarelinha (PintassilgoPrints), Cocobella, Brandon Grotesque

Design Work

Client Work: Ebury Home & Garden Website and Store

Online store Ebury Home & Garden is the brainchild of product and fashion stylist Hannah Gooch, who I’d recently worked with on Gooch & Gawler

The site was set up in 2011 with the intention offering a carefully curated collection of high quality homewares, with a refined colour palette and a range of handmade, recycled and recyclable pieces. Hannah approached me with a view to rebuilding the site alongside her branding update, making things a lot more manageable behind the scenes and improving the overall user experience.

As with Gooch & Gawler, Hannah had a clear idea on how things should look, and after discussion about the key areas the site should feature she provided initial designs for each section. Since the product images were so visually striking (again thanks to Sarah Gawler’s superb photography) simplicity was key, so the website implementation needed to be clean, efficient and unobtrusive.

An installation of the flexible Jigoshop ecommerce plugin was combined with a custom WordPress theme. Jigoshop is a powerful system capable of handling orders from start to finish, keeping track of stock levels and transactions along the way. The basic store was then further tweaked and enhanced with additional templates and custom development to meet requirements.

The final Ebury Home & Garden online shop is free from any unnecessary clutter, extremely easy to browse, and packed with lots of large photos that really show off the products to the max. Hannah’s blog runs alongside the store, and the site is rounded off with information pages and a portfolio gallery.

Take a look at some screenshots from the finished product, or alternatively have a nose around the live site here!


Website: WordPress ecommerce and custom theme development.
Original Design: Ebury Home & Garden
Fonts: Helvetica Neue Pro® (Linotype)

Design Work

Client Work: Gooch & Gawler

Sometimes a client gets in touch with a fully-formed design, all Photoshopped up and raring to go… they just need someone to turn it into a real-life website!

Hannah from Gooch & Gawler was one such client, with a very clear idea on the design and aesthetic she and collaborator Sarah Gawler wanted for their joint venture.

With a business specialising in styling wedding shoots, post-production and photography, the final images are everything. Hannah kept the design clean and simple to let Sarah’s stunning photography breathe.

Turning Hannah’s designs into a working site involved a custom WordPress template, stripping it back to the barest of bones and only adding in the bits needed to fulfill the requirements. This kept the code free of much of the clutter WordPress tends to load the page with behind the scenes, and made realizing the design in HTML a lot easier. Detailing was kept subtle to match the overall tone of the design and photography, with barely-there hover effects on links, discrete social links in the menu and on the blog, and a minimal but elegant photo gallery for the portfolio page using the excellent NextGEN plugin for image management. This was rounded off with the webfont version of ITC’s American Typewriter, to tie everything together.

Take a look at some screenshots from the finished product, or have a nose around the live site here!


Website: WordPress custom theme development
Original Design: Gooch & Gawler
Fonts: ITC American Typewriter (ITC)

Design Work · Helpful Things

Client Work: Elizabeth Lois Photography, Swashed and Folded

Sometimes designs for a site can be hard to get right. Sometimes you can find yourself going in circles trying to pick the right fonts, the right colours and the right tone…

… Sometimes however a client comes along, drops a gorgeous watercolour logo in your inbox, says “can you do anything with this?” and everything else falls neatly into place, which is exactly what happened with Lizzy and Rhoddy from Essex-based wedding and portrait photography business Elizabeth Lois Photography.

Lizzy had been trying to get a brand that matched the direction she wanted to take the company and enlisted the help of the immensely talented Chelsea Petaja from Oh My Deer Handmades, who produced a stunning watercolour logo with delicate floral details. With a logo as strong and striking as this, it didn’t seem right to try to detract with too many other dominant details on the page. Instead the design had to be complementary to the hand-painted watercolour aesthetic, which meant hand-made paper textures, paintbrush strokes, sketched details and discrete trimmings.

Azalea Rough and Voluta Script Pro were used for the menu and page headings respectively, both hand-drawn fonts that matched well with Chelsea’s logo brushwork.

Additional headings used Jessica Hische’s Brioche which provided a more structured contrast to the other text. Scanned torn-paper edging was used to give a little depth and texture to image frames and key areas, and to keep the general paint-and-paper vibe going.

Finally, for the blog we decided to go for a photo-grid approach. The guys are prolific bloggers, so it felt right to keep text to a minimum on the listing page, maximise the number of posts displayed at a time, and to let Lizzy’s wedding, portrait and boudoir photography do the talking!

Thanks to Lizzie and Rhoddy for being great clients with lots of ideas. If you’d like to see more of their work, take a look at their site at


Website: WordPress custom theme development
Fonts: Futura PT, Brioche Roman, Azalea Rough, Voluta Script Pro
Logo Design: Oh My Deer