Make Maryland Great is a citizen’s advocacy group working to solve some of Maryland’s most critical problems, including expanding health insurance, saving the Chesapeake Bay and limiting the use of paramilitary teams for routine police actions. I want to create a web site with a bright, clean design that educates the public about certain issues and entices people to join one of our task forces. The contest is for the design of two pages plus three additional banners to be delivered in PSD format. I will be paying someone to create a WordPress site from the winning design.
Our preliminary web site is at http://www.makemarylandgreat.com. I am asking for two pages to be designed – the home page and the Protect our Liberties page – along with banners for the other three issue sections. The two pages should obviously have a similar look and feel, but will probably be laid out differently and should have different banners.
The home page should showcase our current three different issue areas, perhaps in a three-column format. Each should probably have a nice photo drawing attention to them. The design should be expandable to more than three issues later. There should be a fourth “Propose an issue” section. The left nav bar should have these entries:
Make Maryland Great:
• About us
• Contact us
• Protect our liberties
• Health care reform
• Save the Bay
• Propose an issue
The Protect our Liberties page will be used as a template for all pages dealing with this issue in the site. The navigation bar for this section should have these elements:
• The problem
• Stories (with a pull-down menu listing “Cheye Calvo”, “Mike Hasenei” and several others)
• Our progress
• Get involved
• Stay informed
I would like designers to focus primarily on creating the two page designs. In fact, designers should feel free to limit their first postings to home page designs if they prefer. If you choose to work this way, I’ll ask the designer to show me how they would expand their design to a Protect our Liberties page once I am happy with your home page design. As we get very close to the end, I’ll ask designers of the top designs to create banners for “Health Care Reform”, “Save the Bay” and “Propose an Issue” pages. My assumption is that these banners will relate in some way to the pictures shown on the home page.
Please don’t pay much attention to the current web site design. I put up this WordPress site quickly in advance of some expected publicity and don’t know how to get WordPress to do some things I want. Nor could I eliminate unnecessary elements such as the stuff in the top right corner.
If necessary, feel free to use stock photography as long as it isn’t too expensive; we’ll pay for it if we select your design.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I am very excited about this contest and promise to respond regularly and in detail. I will not end this contest early.
- A bright, clean, non-busy design with plenty of open space. I tend to prefer rounded shapes to blocky ones and like curviness.
- The site should look professional.
- The color scheme is your choice. You could use the colors of the Maryland flag (red, yellow, black and white), but I have a hard time visualizing how this would look anything but tacky. You could choose to incorporate the flag in some manner in your home page banner, but this is definitely not necessary.
- I would like every page to be identified with a Make Maryland Great logo and name, probably in the top left corner. The banners for each issue could be very different or they could have one underlying theme with either “Make Maryland Great” or the name of the issue prominently displayed on them.
- Things that will "say Maryland" include the capital building in Annapolis, the Chesapeake Bay (sailboats, the Bay Bridge, blue crabs), the Naval Academy (including the Blue Angels fighter planes), Baltimore's Inner Harbor, the state flag, traffic jams (just kidding :)!)
- A number of designers are finding it challenging to find appropriate SWAT team pictures. Here are some options on iStockPhoto.com: #1700666, #1867529, #1867860, #1737437
- If you'd like to look at other sites developers have created for different businesses I've run to get an idea of my preferences, go here: - http://www.xpresscuisine.com/index.php
- Muddy colors such as olive green
- Tiny, hard-to-read fonts
- A visually-overwhelming site with too much going on