Image Development Project

By Thomas Eklund

I am looking for contractors for new website development. Currently I am using a temporary site design out of necessity.

In addition to website design and corresponding CSS/JavaScript/HTML solutions I also need images for new website that is work in process. If you are interested in this project, please also read both the Website Design Project subsection and Branding Project subsection content, because both contain information that is closely relevant to this project.

I am looking for a solution that reflects the essence of effective higher education and I am explaining my relevant thinking below. However, I am open to suggestion. If you have good solutions to offer that differ from what I outline below, please let me know about them.

Definitions Can Help Us to Understand Each Other Better

Development and more specifically project development is an integral part of effective higher education attaining and corresponding career building. I mention project development a lot. So, for the sake of clarity, below are couple of definitions that can help to convey my thinking in the relevant areas.

  • By project I mean an activity that requires creative development efforts or planning. Projects can be goal-oriented or self-expressive and exploratory. A project can have a short or a long duration. For example, development of a specific skill is a project. Similarly, an entire education attaining and usage processes in combination can be viewed as a long-term project that contains many smaller projects. The same applies to professional development.
  • Development moves a project toward reaching a satisfactory outcome. Being a developer means handling tasks that focus on moving a project along toward a successful completion.
  • In accordance with effective higher education definition, in effective higher education attaining context being a developer means setting and achieving personalized objectives that help to attain effective higher education.
  • Project structure development is part of the overall project development process. Project structure consists of parts that together form a view of the project. Project structure works like a navigation aid or a map: its purpose is to form a sequence of the main parts or steps that complete the project.

Thus, the concept of development is also related to education. We develop ourselves through education and usage of project development principles can be helpful in this context. For the best results, we want to combine goal-oriented and self-expressive/exploratory project development. Further, just like project development in general, educational development projects contain structures that contain parts. This is something that can be expressed with website design as well – that's what I'm getting at here with these definitions.

For the homepage header design we could use a grid-like solution that contains interchangeable parts which form a thematically consistent solution. Some of these parts could be related to the website objectives and others to self-expressive/exploratory content, like opinions and blog articles, that will be featured on the website.

So, I would like to work out a grid-like structure for the homepage that is both visually appealing and meaningful, and where I can change the grid's content. Preferably I would like to work with a web designer on finding a suitable solution. Similarly, I would like to work with image developers so that we can find and select suitable images for the website.

We could use two or three rows of images, but without creating a completely box-like rectangular look. Differing column widths and/or row heights, in addition to using different type of images and white space to "sculpture" the overall look can help to accomplish this.

I prefer using white background for the pages. logo probably should also fit into the homepage header grid and have a white background.

Planned Image Types and Creating Technique

For the homepage I intend to use different types of images: (1) photos, (2) hand-drawn images and, possibly, also (3) images that combine photos and hand drawing. For examples of the latter, please see:

Sébastien Del Grosso

Ben Heine

The ideal solution would combine different types of images listed above because such combinations can give us more ways to express the website essence and content visually. We could use both sketch-like hand-drawn images, and more finalized and polished hand-drawn images. With this we can portray development.

Further, for homepage header we can use images that are next to each other and are thematically related. For example, the images could start with a sketch-like image in the left-hand side, and progress toward more finalized image and photo in the right-hand side.

Further, one or more images could have a frame, so that the a person portrayed on the image is partially outside of the frame, as if breaking free from the frame that previously was limiting him or her. With this we can portray enabling and empowering.

So, I like the idea of combining different types of images, to portray variety, development and efforts that go into it. Life is messy. Life is not neatly organized so, that every step of the way everything is highly meaningful. We have to make life meaningful and we have to weave different experiences into coherent outcomes.

Further, both in our processional lives and personal lives, for finding optimal solutions, often we have to use combinations of different areas and concepts. This requires interrelated multidisciplinary knowledge and skills. For example, technology usage is part of many areas of life much more prominently than it was in the past.

Combining different types of images and using photo and hand-drawn image combinations can help to emphasize these aspects subtly.

That's how I am thinking about this solution now. However, I am open to suggestions.

For the homepage and the static pages, especially for the Core Concepts static page, I would also like to use combinations of photos and hand-drawn images and, possibly, also images that combine photos and hand drawing.

For the rest of the website, and especially for the blog section, I plan to use regular photos.

Further, I plan to discuss image creating, including photo and hand-drawn image combination creating, with different artist – if I can find other well qualified people.

Thus, ideally the photo and hand-drawn image combinations would also blend well with photos.

Image Themes

Here are some other possible topics for image creating:

  • As is mentioned above, part of the homepage header grid could be images start with a sketch-like image in the left-hand side, and progress toward more finalized image and photo in the right-hand side. These images could portray learning in a traditional classroom (somebody writing something on a blackboard), educational alternatives (college versus other contemporary alternatives) and technology usage in education. This would portray development as well.
  • Some of the homepage images could portray the three sections of the website: Core Concepts, Projects and Resources. This probably would be the simplest solution that could be quite effective, if the relevant images are well done.
  • I do need images for the individual articles on the website as well. Of course, there will be more articles on the site in the future.
  • Here are some other possible topics.
  • Different educational plus professional skills.
  • Development, project development.
  • Develop the future ( slogan).
  • Education is a vehicle for life. Develop education. Develop the future.
  • We learn for the future - Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Enabling.
  • Empowering.
  • Education that produces value to those who attain it.
  • Proceeding in a goal-oriented manner.
  • Proceeding in self-expressive manner.
  • Proceeding in an exploratory manner.
  • Educational alternatives (symbolically as crossroads, for example, or in some other more specific way).
  • The future of education.
  • What comes to mind when you think about the future of education? In the past, higher education used to be about where you attained it. Images of buildings were often used as symbols of certain well-known higher education institutions.
  • Nowadays, how you attain higher education is becoming increasingly important. For example, whether or not to use online education is something that students consider. Different type of teaching and learning methods are available and new ones will most likely continue to emerge as well.
  • It is likely, that we are moving in the direction where what kind of higher education you attain matters the most. So far higher education has been subject matter and major-focused, instead of being students and employers needs focused. Higher education that helps to achieve professional and personal objectives and provides personalized value will most likely become increasingly available to many. However, we have a long way to go before we get there.
  • Change (is the most abundant intangible resource in the universe).
  • As socio-economic conditions evolve, education must evolve as well.
  • Taking charge (of your own educational development).
  • Taking an active role in the development of skills and knowledge attainment projects.
  • Motivation.
  • Overcome circumstances, constraints and obstacles.
  • Define yourself professionally by setting and achieving objectives.
  • Drive (as a motivational force).
  • Skills and knowledge complete each other.
  • Core principles.
  • Finding balances (in life).

Individual Image Sizes

For different type of content we could use different size images. Combining such content types and images into a thematically related outcome can help to create more variety into the overall look.

Header Image Size

I noticed, that most of the websites that I like do not use images that span 100% horizontally. Instead, they have a limited page width.

Compare the sites listed in the Website Design Project subsection to some of the sites that use images that span 100% horizontally. Don't the 100% wide images create a different feeling?

Between the two options, so far I like the solutions better that do not use 100% wide images – probably because these less than 100% wide options create a feeling of having a more organized information design that also contributes positively to overall site usability. However, I am open to suggestions in this area.

Colors Used

You can use colors for images as you can see fit. If my taste and opinions differ, I will let you know.

Background color should be white. I would like the images to blend in with the background. I do not intend to use any color for website section background.

So, What Do You Think of This Project – Can You Deliver the Needed Results?

If you think that you can create images that are suitable for new website, please let me know about it and we can discuss the relevant details.

Unless you already have done so, please send me URLs that contain your previous work. If the URLs do not have direct reference to you as the author of the work shown, please explain how I can validate that it is indeed your work.

Further, please let me know what your thoughts are on the following:

  • Are you interested in this project and if so, when can you start working on it and when do you expect to have the first results?
  • Above I am identifying different types of images – drawn images, drawn image and photo combinations and photos. What kinds of images are you interested in furnishing?
  • What information can you provide that will help to avoid any potential copyright-related problems?
  • What do you anticipate the total cost of your services per image to be?
  • Do you have any experiences where your client was not able to use your work? How did you handle such instances? The reason, why I ask about it, is that I plan to use the work that I really like. If I cannot use the work done, I am still ready to compensate the agreed on cost, but I expect that cost to be lower than the cost of actually usable end results. In that case the amount I pay is simply a loss for me and I have to try my luck with the next developer.
  • Does this sound reasonable to you and if so, do you have specific suggestions for how we could proceed in this area?