Portfolio Of A Talented Designer Created With WordPress


WordPress is the most popular blogging software today. The homepage of wordpress.com itself has a high Google ranking of 9 and an Alexa ranking of 222 as at the time of writing. I must admit that WordPress is fantastic for blogging, but if we try to use it as a portfolio to showcase our work, we may encounter some problems.


nikoladjurovic.com is the website of a talented young designer, Nikola Djurovic. He chose wordpress as a template to showcase some of the work that he had done for his client. While the contents are interesting and the colors are soothing, I feel that he failed his chance to impress his audience because of wordpress.

From his introduction, I think that he wants to impress people with the projects that he had done and possibly, able to attract some high profile clients. The lay out of his wordpress template does not allow alot of room for creativity. Most wordpress will have links with main sections like ‘Pages’, ‘Categories’, ‘Archives’..etc. Personally, I don’t like the term ‘Pages’ because it is does not provide any information on the sub headers. Maybe the subheaders such as ‘Identity’, ‘Print’, ‘Video’ and ‘Web’ should be made the headers so that they are more obvious. Unless the author wants to go through the complicated process of redesigning the template and re-arranging the sections, it is hard to customise the look and feel of wordpress.


The page header looks empty to me and I almost missed the 2 important hyperlinks on top. Perhaps the author might want to add some images or words to let people know what this website is about when they first enter the site. Unless nikola tells Mr. A of the website, it might not be easy for Mr. A to know what is happening by merely looking at the index page. Fig C shows that the title also does not provide enough information on the page. The author might want to work harder on the title because titles are very important in Search Engine Optimisation.

A blogging website can only be effective if the content is interesting. A portfolio website is the exact opposite, you need graphics and detail description of projects that you have done. To me, nikoladjurovic.com should be a portfolio instead of a blogging website. What do you want to achieve at the end of the day? Do you want people to keep returning to your site for new content? If so, then you need to update your blog everyday with interesting topics. If you want to impress your potential client with your design skills, then you need to play around with more design elements in the site.

Fig D is a snapshot of a website done by the author. If I am a client, I would want to know how he goes about designing it, his objectives and design philosophy for that project…etc. Upon clicking the image, It might be a better idea to open a new page with the details of the project instead of just enlarging the image in the new page.


In conclusion, I feel that the author has more to show but is limited by the way wordpress is being templated. WordPress is great, easy to install and update but there is a great price to pay if you want to use it to showcase your web skills. Basically your can’t unless you want to do the dirty work of digging into the code. The author has shown the world that he is a definitely a creative talent. With his graphic and web design skills, I feel that he should create a website of his own using his own design approach and detailing all the work that he has done.





Designing Magazine Features for Advertising

Magazine feature pages contain items that are grouped in the same subject and displayed together. This may include an article, cialis ads and photos on “where to travel in Australia”, to a group of modular ads for the latest art galleries, touted as an “advertising feature”.

Breaking or non-breaking space?

Broken spaces are an editorial style – an image is linked to text (eg, with an arrow pointing at the image) and is placed aesthetically on a page with other elements that may or may not be similar in appearance. The advantage of broken space is that it allows advertising to appear as editorial “hand picked” articles or “snippets”.

Non-breaking space refers to when a whole section is devoted to the feature and is therefore booked as a whole space within the publication. Non-breaking spaces can contain as little as one big ad, or can be made up of “modules” where the advertising is presented similarly for each client.

Modular template design

In order to sell a modular feature to clients, it is customary to design a template or “mockup” so that they can see what their module is going to look like. The amount of modules on the page is usually determined by the publication due to the need to make a certain profit out of each page, while allowing for some space in design and filler modules (in case the last few modules don’t sell).

A good template includes:

* The amount of words the client will be able to have in their ad, including name, address, phone number and other contact details
* The size and client specifications for logos and images
* An attractive design that combines all modules together on the page

This template can be emailed in the form of a PDF flyer to clients to show them an example of what they can do with their module.

Effective modular layouts

There are hundreds of different ways to layout feature pages, but a good layout is one that doesn’t require too much fiddling to fit in what the client wants. This means that the good layouts often include spare space in the module (even just a few lines) to allow for fussy clients who won’t take no for an answer. Good layouts also have square image spaces instead of vertical or horizontal ones – this means all of your client images will fit well.

Additional design tips include:

* The use of Wingdings and Glyphs to add fine detail to the design
* Using quotes or key words in the background to emphasise the feature subject
* An eyecatching heading that states the feature name (eg., High Street, Ballarat)
* Simple use of colour and elements can be much more effective than complicated image montages

The key aspect of designing modular layouts is to make the modules stand out a lot more than the background. Busy backgrounds are not conducive to selling the advertising. The only exception to this is an eyecatching heading or picture bar introducing the feature.

Re-using Feature Layouts

The beauty of good feature layouts is that they can be recycled. It’s possible to have regular, monthly features where the subject is the same and the clients are different (eg., think of a “Galleries” feature), to ones where the subject is different each month, but laid out the same way and promoted generally (eg., think of a “Travel” feature covering a different state each month). Change a few colours and voila! your new feature layout is easily designed.