Lookingiswrong.com is the portfolio site of Philadelphia-based graphic designer, Michael Almquist. The site is a reflection of his work in its layout, color scheme and mood. However, it is not perfect and as it is a portfolio site, it is always a work in progress.
The layout of the site is clean and organized. Almquist utilizes a left-hand navigation bar. The navigation bar itself is white, with the background of the site being a gray and white diagonal almost pinstripe pattern. At the top is the site’s title, a gray stylized “Looking is Wrong,” header. Beneath this is Almquist’s contact information including phone and email, in a box the same pattern as the site background. Beneath this box there are links to “About,” “Blog,” and “Resume.” Then there are headers with titled links to “Work” and “Older Work.” Then there is another gray box with copyright information; beneath that there are icons to social networking sites. On the right side of the screen there is a Twitter widget.
The site’s color scheme is gray, white, and salmon. Though these colors are not always used directly in Almquist’s designs, they fall into the same color schemes as many of them. Because of this the site seems more cohesive and professional as it becomes apparent that as an artist Almquist is aware of what colors work well together. The colors are also clean and bright, but not glaringly so. This draws the reader’s attention as well as making the site seem fun and almost whimsical. It is apparent that Almquist strived to make his site a reflection of his work.
The site’s homepage is Almquist’s blog titled, “Wrong Blog: Observation, Illustration, Process and Design.” It seems redundant to have a link to the blog in the navigation bar, as it is also the homepage. This makes the site slightly less intuitive as there is no “Home” link and if one wanted to return to the home page, they would have to click on “Blog.” Having the blog as the homepage also detracts from the otherwise professional appearance of the site. A potential client most likely cares about the artist’s portfolio, which should be the focus of the site, not the artist’s blog.
Despite the lack of a “Home” button, for the most part the links on LookingIsWrong.com are rather intuitive and make sense. For example, “About” leads to a short biography of how Almquist got into design. However, the link for “Resumé” leads to a page that reads “Coming Soon…” as a graphic designer it seems that it would be important to have a resume on the site for potential clients to have access to. Still, the site does of course provide examples of Almquist’s work.
The actual portfolio section of LookingIsWrong.com is divided into “Work” and “Older Work.” There is no immediate indication of when the work was done or a reason for why the work is separated into two time periods. When clicking on the links to the works, which are the titles of pieces, the design comes up in the center of the page and the information about the project appears on a bar to the right. Through this the reader can learn that the work is ordered chronologically. This consistency allows the reader or potential client to see how Almquist’s work has progressed as well as allowing them to see twenty of his designs.
Overall, Almquist’s portfolio site, LookingIsWrong.com, maintains a fairly professional appearance. It is clean, yet has a certain whimsical attitude that reflects Almquist’s designs and emphasizes his ability as an artist and designer to put together something that looks good. If he can reflect his own work in his site, he can reflect clients in his designs.
Almquist, M. (2010). Looking is wrong. Retrieved from http://www.lookingiswrong.com/