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Working with :: style tiles

Lifestyle Fitness Training website style tile

I was introduced to Style Tiles a few months ago by a colleague. As it says on their website, they’re good when ‘a moodboard is too vague and a comp is too literal’. He was proposing their use as a way to cut down the time it takes to produce full designs, when sometimes in a design we just want to know things like; link colours and behaviour, body font style and colour, heading levels or submit button styling. This introduction coincided with a redesign project for a client and I decided to use a style tile for this project.

Since it was a redesign, my client was happy with this approach and not only because it saved her money. It saved me time because I didn’t mock up every template in her site design. I know I relied on her (quite a lot) to use her imagination and I had to explain how I would use some elements but I would say she didn’t at all struggle with the concept. She supplied the adjectives after I posed the question, if your business were a person how would you describe them? I put them in different fonts just to give them some personality and having them there was a great way to stay focused.

Lifestyle Fitness Training screen shot

This is the final site – Lifestyle Fitness Training - a personal training business here in Canberra.

My Eloise theme style tile

So based on my first experience with style tiles I thought I would employ this method for a new theme design. This is the style tile for my latest theme called Eloise that is for sale on my Etsy store and my Web shop. I think they work really well in this situation because there is no-one else that has to interpret the design. I normally do full page designs before cutting them up (coding) into a working theme, but this allowed me to create the look and feel and key visual elements without getting too entrenched in minor details. I kept the adjectives and imagined Eloise was a friend and these were ways I would describe her. Knowing her personality helped me refine the design. As is normal for me I often start a design with an image and use it to craft a palette and it all just flows from there.

A screen shot of my Eloise WordPress theme

And this is the final theme. I’m a little hooked on the process to be honest. Like many creatives, I have a lot of ideas buzzing around my head and this method just lets me get things out quickly.

Have you every used style tiles before?

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2 Responses to Working with :: style tiles

  1. Brandi January 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    Okay, that’s fascinating!! I’ve never heard of Style Tiles before, but I love that it’s a little more direct than a mood board. I can totally see how a client would benefit from this, as it’s always helpful to see the fonts and sizes and colors. Or, at least, those are the elements I usually respond to first!

  2. Margaret | DestinationHere&Now January 28, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    I knew I knew you for a reason ;) Great lead. Thanks Libby x

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