Somber Violet is a local clothing and corset shop with a strong Gothic aesthetic. Its owner, Sara Bynum, wanted a site to showcase her designs.

In keeping with Somber Violet’s goth brand, the shop’s color palette is entirely grey tones, with no color at all. Moreover, they avoid using black backgrounds, feeling that this is over-used and far too expected of them, opting to use occasional, restrained, entirely over the top Victorian woodcuts and illustrations instead as their touch of Goth class.

So the goal for the web project was to portray a brand of minimalist Victorian style. In short, understated but over the top. This made the use of expansive white space to control the rate at which information was provided more important than ever, as well as the importance and relation that each of those sections holds psychologically for a site visitor.

We begin by greeting visitors with 3 images, that take turns from left to right slowly fading away to reveal new images of costumes. The outer two image groups are black and white, but the center is a color photo, providing a visual focal point.

Just beneath, heavy Victorian scrollwork provides a bookend to a statement about Somber Violet’s own unique style.

Beneath, links to Somber Violet’s Etsy store and to the custom order form are accented by floral illustrations with a special surprise — when these links are interacted with, the illustrations begin to spin. These kind of animations that only start when an element are interacted with provide a great deal of interest, surprise and personality, but do nothing to distract from the surrounding content when a visitor is trying to read something else.

Another such touch is found a the bottom of the homepage, where another floral illustration slides out from behind the blog post teasers, inviting users to read more.

This stylish site also features a blog, a portfolio, and a special on-site order form designed to streamline the process of collecting all the relevant information and contractual agreements that Somber Violet requires to start a custom commission.

And of course, the site transitions seamlessly for tablets and mobile phones.

Overall, the site is chic, unexpectedly gothic, and incredibly practical.

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