Fierceblooms Floristry Blog Design – Part I – Mechanics

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WORDS: Ricky Bache PHOTOS: Ricky Bache
There is very little written about the mechanics and design aesthetics that go into building a floristry blog, so we thought it would be a good idea to talk about the elements we considered in our design for Fierceblooms floristry blog. Isaac Newton alludes to “standing on the shoulders of giants”. We have benefited from the previous design efforts of others in implementing our Fierceblooms floristry blog concept. In this first post of a two part series, I will focus on the technical design aspects of the site. The aesthetic aspects of our floristry blog design will be covered in a later post.

If I’ve seen further, it’s by standing on the shoulders of giants.Isaac Newton

Fierceblooms floristry blog is built using the WordPress X-Theme – specifically the Ethos magazine layout. X is a powerful and configurable site-building tool. It is an ideal platform as we wanted Fierceblooms floristry blog to be a fully responsive website looking great on all devices. We wanted the flexibility to add new features in the future and X delivered this. I must say, I found the X support forum to be second to none in terms of finding out how to achieve what you want to with your site. X also provides a platform to incorporate beautiful typography, integrating with Adobe Typekit web fonts.

Impactful pictures are critical to the Fierceblooms site user experience.

Imagery is a key aspect of any floristry-related site. The best floral design blogs we have reviewed contain many photographs. Impactful pictures, appropriately sized, titled, captioned and key-worded is something we deem critical to the Fierceblooms floristry blog user experience. We have sought to implement a photographic workflow which minimises the effort in doing this.

The Nextgen gallery lightbox is great for detailing individual images -allowing them to be easily shared.

We have used Adobe Lightroom on the Mac for a number of years now as our photographic image management system. In Lightroom, we store both our RAW and JPG files in a series of collections. Lightroom allows us to ‘metatag’ our image files with titles, captions, keywords and copyright information.

Next, we explored gallery management software for the floristry blog itself. A bit of Internet searching quickly convinced us that the Nextgen Gallery plug-in was the way to go to flexibly display and manage the images on our WordPress site. We loved the masonry-style pro layout. This features a great Lightbox for detailing individual images and allowing them to be ‘1-click’ socially shared.

‘WP/LR Sync’ saves tons of time.

Having selected these two two components, the problem then remained of how to get our piccies out of Lightroom and into the Nextgen galleries in non-manual way. Then, as luck would have, we discovered a nifty little set of plug-ins from photographer, Jordy Meow. Jordi’s WP/LR Sync completely automates keeping your Lightroom Collections seamlessly in sync with your WordPress NextGen galleries – and saving tons of time in the process!

Most of the pictures on the site have been taken with the dinky Fuji XT10. This wonderful little mirrorless camera is being adopted by increasing numbers of photographers who are abandoning their weighty Canon and Nikon DSLRs in favour of it. The Fuji-X system has great lenses and, notably for floral work, renders luscious colours. We are particularly fond of the in-camera ‘Classic Chrome‘ emulation. This is Fuji’s take on mirroring the subtle nuances of the iconic Kodachrome analog film of yesteryear.

‘Kodachrome-style’ images fit perfectly with Fierceblooms’ design ethos.

‘Kodachrome’ images fit perfectly with Fierceblooms ‘old-yet-new’ floristry blog design ethos. When we do want to post process our RAW camera images, we usually turn to the VSCO presets in Lightroom.

Next month we will cover colour harmony, typography and layout design aspects in a companion post to this one.

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