A web redesign keeps it real with a retro feel.
Designer: Ashley Haffner & Michael Ulrich
“We are celldivision, and this is our story …,” writes
the group at celldivision: Brendan, Kelli and Misty.
“For reasons that involve the FBI, we must cut out
the entire middle of this story and skip to the end.
Six months of pulling out hair and two bald spots
later, we still had nothing from the website company
[we hired]: zip, nada, no website, no proofs, no
“It turns out the company we selected was a
fraud. This ordeal made us very leary and very tired.
We slept 14 days straight,” says the group. “After
we awoke, we picked ourselves up, wiped the slobber
from our pillow imprinted faces and found our
deposit was returned in full—courtesy of our local
FBI unit. … So Dynamic Graphics, here we are today
standing before you, our budget blown, our pride
swallowed and our website mediocre.”
After hearing celldivision’s story, designers at DG
wanted to give them a site they’d love (à la “Extreme
Makeover: The Home Edition” and Ty Pennington),
so we brought in not one, but two designers to
work on the redesign. Designer Ashley Haffner laid
the groundwork: “The enter page is unnecessary.
The original home page is interesting, but not very
informative or engaging. It’s hard to tell what they
are selling since it just says shop,” explains Haffner.
“Generally, you don’t want the user to have to make
multiple clicks to get what they want. They need to
make the navigation more direct, and it needs to be
located consistently from page to page.”
For the new site, the designers wanted a retro
look—like something out of a ’70s high school science
book. DG creative director Michael Ulrich
chose a bold, funky orange-and-green palette. He
says, “I rounded the buttons to give the site an
organic feel, yet still reminiscent of science texts.”
Verdana Regular was used for text within the site and
Skeletor Stance was used for celldivision’s logo.
Haffner advises: “Don’t save pages as one big
piece of art. Break them up into a grid with smaller
pieces. It cuts down on load time and will improve
picture quality.” She also recommends watermarking
their designs. While small, the images could still be
stolen, and celldivsion has had enough web grief.