website design & copy
After researching other author websites, I took inspiration from my favorites. I wanted a look that suited common aesthetics in my work and my "brand." A dry skull that isn't particularly scary except for being a skull and a medical illustration of a heart in black and white were the perfect starting points; the ferns and purple flowers tied in with the design choices and brought pops of color to an otherwise largely monotone palette and header. The Ursa Major constellation over the name was a subtle connection to the bears, while also bringing in a little of the cosmic/witchy vibes common to my writing.
I chose fonts that were a blend of vintage/gothic and more modern, because that also suits my aesthetic overall. The images I chose were subtly creepy, which is also something I try to include in my writing. A man in the fog or a dark silhouette. I chose the neon-lit skeletons because they're lit with the colors of the bi flag, which is my aesthetic in a nutshell.
I wrote all of the copy on this site, including the summaries for the short stories and the novels. I wanted to keep an approachable vibe that gave an idea of the voice readers could expect from my fiction.
independent soap shop
The shop and its owner are very into metal, goth aesthetic, politics, and natural, witchy vibes. The soaps use darker scents like tobacco, herbs, and muskier florals, so I wanted to keep a theme that honored the inspiration behind the soaps themselves. I took design inspiration from other witchy soap and beauty shops, especially ones owned by marginalized people.
I chose images that felt natural, that the client had supplied, or that gave off a feeling of witchcraft, except for the "In Soap We Trust" image on the client's about page; that image was more about showing the political nature of the shop owner and the politics inherent to soap and hygiene, both of which are important to the client as a soap shop owner.
The product descriptions were provided by the client; the rest of the copy was written completely by me. I wanted to keep it playful and approachable without coming off as gimmicky because that reflected the personality and style of approaching business the client has. The products have a playful vibe to them, so I wanted to carry that through the whole branding of the site.
The Pillars of Creation series is full of myth, D&D references, magic, and universe-hopping; I wanted to create a vibe that reflected the magic/witchy vibes inherent in the client's style and influence as a writer. I blended simple white backgrounds with dark images to create a sense of horror and magic without overwhelming the viewer; I especially focused on building collages with elements found in the novels themselves—the eyes of a watchful seraph or an overbearing evil, the inky void, luna moths, and flowers to show life despite the undead nature of the protagonist.
I wanted to focus on the client's deep world building by emphasizing the codex entries for the characters and settings as a way to introduce concepts and unfamiliar locations important to the series.
Including the descriptions for the books, I wrote all the copy.
Bear Essentials Editing
editing site (you're here)
I wanted to keep a simple design that focused on adding color and interest with large photos, especially ones that focused on workspaces, coffee, books, and literature; they all capture the feeling I want to embody as an editor: approachable, comfortable, but professional. I used bold fonts to add visual interest and because they gave off a vibe that reminds me of sci-fi or low fantasy, which are genres I work in primarily. The colors are soft blues and minty greens to fit with the bear icon, to keep from distracting the eye from the photos I chose, and to add softness to the otherwise monotone main palette.
Clients are putting their trust in me to help make their writing better, so I put testimonials and the FAQs upfront on the home page, giving them the tools necessary for settling their doubts.
100% of the copy is written by me, except for the testimonials given by past clients.
Jack DeWitt's books are heavily influenced by the 50s, cars, and noir, so I wanted to show that on the website. "Noir is Dark" is a phrase that DeWitt and Cold Chair Books use, so I incorporated it into the design and the header. I used fonts that felt bold and evocative of the 40s and 50s and kept to a mostly monochrome theme with pops of red (like blood or like passion, or like the pinstripes on a car) that matches the covers of the Varian Pike series.
I used images that evoked classic noir films and the gritty cityscapes they're often set in or knocked down the brightness of photos more related to writing and reading to better suit the overall aesthetic.
I edited the copy provided by the client for the books and the about section, and the rest of the copy I wrote for him, including the non-essay blog posts (which I copyedited).