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Whyte Books Website Design

I was thrilled to be asked to design a new website for Whyte Books.

The bookshop in my home village of Schull is my favourite shop in West Cork and, to me, epitomises how a bookshop should be. A place to explore, while away a few hours, a place to meet friends and chat over coffee and some delicious cakes too.

The brief for the project was to try and capture some of the atmosphere that is in this rather special bookshop and portray that in an online environment, with the ultimate aim of enticing more visitors.Other challenges included the need for multiple contributors who could add their own book reviews to the website, the gathering of names and email addresses so that newsletters can be delivered, and the ability to sell some local interest books online.

The concept that I proposed would take real elements, scenes and objects from the shop and incorporate them into the overall design to create a unique character. I wanted the site to embrace the quirkiness and warmth of the staff and the shop itself. I set about taking images that I could incorporate, the typewriter would be perfect as an image for the contact form, the hot air balloons from the children’s section added charm, the branded wraps with handwritten book reviews on the shelves would add personality to each book review online, the textures and textiles from the shop would make ideal full-screen backgrounds and the books themselves… they would become the navigation.

There was a point when I thought I’d been a bit too ambitious with the concept, but I persevered. The results? Well, you can judge for yourself.

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