Paint retailer's website goes for the natural look

Nature Paint's website has a relaxed, sophisticated feel that reflects its non-toxic approach. We find out how it was put together.

Non-toxic paint brand NaturePaint has a laid-back, sophisticated looking site

You might expect a site selling paint to be dominated by loud, bright colours, but Nature Paint has taken an altogether different approach.

A site for selling cleaner, more natural paints made with non-toxic ingredients, it obviously needs to brand itself differently from more mainstream paint retailers.

And so the designers have opted for a design based on a classic grid structure, clean lines, generous use of white space and upscale photography to create the kind of relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere that will appeal to the thoughtful, environmentally-concious paint buyer.

Complex navigation elements are kept out of sight until revealed by a dropdown menu

Only when you click on one of the main nav elements does an image appear - along with a large dropdown menu containing the subnavigation. It's a bold visual way to symbolise the possibilities of paint and how you can use it to make your mark on a blank canvas.

Interestingly, if you choose the 'Why Naturepaint' option, the carousel scrolls the main image up the page - and you'll see a flock of hand-drawn birds fly past the window; it's a nice little animated flourish.

Use of ExpressionEngine

The website is a collaborative effort by designer Ed Thomas and developer Cole Henley, who decided to use the content delivery platform ExpressionEngine to build it.

The site was built using the ExpressionEngine CMS

“We wanted a robust solution that allowed us to deliver content and ecommerce through a single platform," explains Henley. "ExpressionEngine, with the Store add-on, enabled us to offer the client one control panel for managing their content, inventory and sales as well as giving us total control in the frontend.”

Creative freedom

"This is the tenth or so EE site I’ve built," he continues. "As a CMS, it’s not without its limitations, but it offers a great degree of freedom in how to organise, structure and display content.

"Also the fact that EE and many of its add-ons are licensed offers me reassurance of dedicated support both during the development and once the site is live."

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