From the Web Design Trench: If Color is Important to Your Client, Get to Know Them

Hearing from other designers and learning from their experiences is a great way to grow your understanding of the field. Recently I sat down with one of Blue Fountain Media's senior web designers, Liya Osepaishvili, to talk about her latest fashion website design project:, home of Mimi So, a New York celebrity jewelry designer.

Explain a little about the thinking behind the site's design. 
When Mimi first came to us, everyone knew that we wanted to go with a minimal chic aesthetic that could display her products. She has all this great photography of amazing jewelry that she develops in "themes" of five or so pieces each: very expensive, very detailed. Showcasing these themes while displaying the intricate details of an individual piece became the website's primary goal.

MimiSo before website design

BBFM (Before Blue Fountain Media)

Did that have an affect on the site's development?
The level of control over what is displayed on the homepage especially, that we gave to Mimi and her team is unique to this site. There are four unique areas on the featured banner alone that is controllable via the CMS.

What do you think was the most challenging aspect of this project?
It may sound funny, but in all honesty it was the colors. We went through round after round of various color schemes with Mimi, trying to find a combination of colors that matched her existing blue while adding a more neutral color to compliment it. When you are having conversations about whether a color is “taupe-ish gray” or “gray-ish taupe” you know you need to find a better way to translate what the client has in mind into something tangible.

MimiSo Initial Concept

The Initial Concept

Wow. How was the color challenge solved?
Well, I had several meetings with Mimi where she came to the office, bringing wallpaper and fabric samples to show me what exactly she had in mind. But no color I chose on the computer screen was a close enough match. So I broke out the Pantone fan and let her choose the nearest possible color by holding it up side-by-side to the samples she had brought.

MimiSo Finished web design

So what piece of advice would you leave for other designers faced with a similar situation?
Connect with your client directly. Listen to them more than you talk to them. The more layers of communication placed between the client and the designer, the greater the risk of misunderstanding becomes. Face-to-face meetings where the client can share their thoughts directly to the designer are very helpful in quickly resolving potential issues that can bog down the project.

Do you have any advice or suggestions for our readers? Please let us know below. We'd love to hear them.


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Comments on this post

  1. Thanks Andrew, the “Mimi So” site has a beautiful minimalistic design.

  2. Really good conducted interview in a sense. Really good points you have discussed with those professional web designers as all come to know how colour is also important part of any website if the client is giving priority to it. Thanks .

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