Online Portfolio for Wojtek Makowski
In this project, I was asked to design a simple logo and one-page music portfolio for Wojtek Makowski – Polish jazz guitarist, arranger and composer.
Wojtek has been playing the guitar and other stringed instruments since 1998. He has been producing music for over ten years, working mainly in the Ableton program. He is inspired by many musical genres, experiments with sound, improvises. He is an active musician, gives concerts not only with bands but also alone, he also specialises in the musical setting of the vernissages and other art-related events. As a composer, he has a great passion for film music and sound engineering. He collaborated with artists from various fields from around the world.
The website for Wojtek Makowski has initially been planned to be a big portal with a page for every project. However, after rethinking the subject, Wojtek has decided that he prefers to have a simple one-page portfolio based on WordPress engine. After choosing the essential content, colour palette to use and creating the site structure, I have started to build the website. For the most important files – artist’s music, I decided to use Audioigniter Pro plugin, which suits Wojtek’s needs perfectly.
To unify the artist’s image on the Internet, especially on individual music portals, we decided to create a logo for Wojtek Makowski. The main idea was to make a sign which wouldn’t interfere with any image or music genre (because Wojtek likes to play many different kinds of music). That way, we created a minimalist square sign with Wojtek’s initials in it. You can find Wojtek’s logo not only on the website but also on his official email, Facebook and Soundcloud accounts and in other artist’s profiles.
One-page site is not the easiest kind of website – it has to be well planned, be intuitive in use and, what’s most important, load fast when all the content is put on one page. However, well built, it makes a really nice impression. No wonder why one-page sites started to be so fashionable and common in the music industry and many other types of business.
Audio files are, without a doubt, the most critical media in this portfolio. Divided into albums, they must be easily accessible for site visitors to listen to them and switch between songs. Each recording has a cover assigned, making it easy to distinguish songs from individual discs. The first player in Wojtek’s portfolio is stuck to the bottom of the screen, and others are in the audio area – each has a different playlist assigned. In every player, the visitor can change the volume and songs, and switch to play the playlist infinitely. Thanks to this, it’s comfortable and pleasant to listen to any of Wojtek Makowski’s tracks on his website.
Video is the other essential media in this portfolio. To make it as light as possible (and load fast), I decided to implement YouTube videos into video gallery instead of uploading huge files into the website. That way, the visitor can easily view all of Wojtek’s music videos without waiting for it to upload. It also has one more good side – YouTube videos allow viewers to check the source (e.g. band profile) and related media without the need of leaving the website.
However small, the third most important part of the Wojtek Makowski portfolio is the online store which allows visitors to buy his albums in mp3 to download easily. After purchasing the disc, it enables downloading a zip file with a complete set of mp3s. The shop widget used here is basic WooCommerce. I have chosen this one because I find it quite easy in managing and user-friendly, especially in cases of a low number of products for the website.