Working Regional Themes Into Web Design
Whenever you launch a webpage that’s attached to a city, state or region, it’s important that it reflects the character of its target market. Working this out with a web designer can be something of a challenge, but most of it is a creative challenge. Finding a designer who can put together a page like this doesn’t necessarily require that you look only in your own region, but does require that you spend some time considering the elements you use.
If you’re local to the area, your designer should reflect that in the page they put together for you. Use elements on your pages that locals will instantly recognize. Most cities have a landmark that makes them instantly recognizable. The Plaza, in Santa Fe, NM and the Capitol, in Washington DC are good examples of these types of landmarks. These can be included in the design, but be sure that you show that you have more knowledge of the area than what tourists will recognize. Include photos of local favorites including restaurants, nightspots and so forth. This is a great way to make it apparent that your site is actually connected to the area featured and not just a generic national site trying to look local.
Color schemes and well known symbols should also be incorporated into the page. If you were making a page for Austin, Texas, for instance, you might want to include the Texas flag and musical notes somewhere in the graphics, as these two things together almost instantly make people think of Austin. The most important thing is that you emphasize images and places in your design that the city is proud of, not just the things that every tourist has on their itinerary when they visit.
Make sure you know the local food, as well. One of the easiest ways to invoke a local feel is to reference something about the area’s food. If you were writing a site about Santa Fe and wanted to use this technique, you could reference green chilies or Frito pies, things locals and tourists both love about the city.
A designer directory can help you to find designers who have some knowledge bout the local area. While a designer doesn’t necessarily have to be located in that area, it sometimes helps if they are. If you’re a local business, a directory can usually help you find local web designers, as well.