Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.
If you’d like to submit your website to be featured in a future Design Critique, it just takes a few minutes. We charge $49 for critiquing your design – considerably less than you’d pay for a consultant to take a look at your site! You can find out more here.
About Brush Lovers
“BrushLovers has one of the largest collections of exclusive and high-quality Photoshop brushes on the Web. We feature hundreds of Photoshop brushes that are free for both personal and commercial use. You won’t find this collection anywhere else! We also have a beautiful selection of premium brushes selling from only $3, or you can purchase download brush packs for even less. Our brushes are meticulously crafted with hours of work going into each and every shape. They’re all high-resolution, and perfect for both Web and print design.”
Here is a section of the homepage:
I think BrushLovers is a great looking site, which comes as no surprise as it’s run by a man who owns one of the best web design blogs around. It’s always good to see that someone practices what they preach!
The design is gorgeous, but highly functional. Anyone can see this site and know immediately what it is and how it works, you’d be surprised how difficult that seemingly simple goal is to accomplish.
Let’s jump into the nitty gritty and pick apart some of the finer elements of the site.
I hate critiquing logos as a part of a website simply because many web designers either have no control over the logo they were given or because they just throw up something quick and ugly as an afterthought.
This logo is a refreshing change. It combines a brush stroke, the letter “b” and a heart and in doing so says everything it needs to say!
Interestingly enough though, I can’t help but think of a reversed version of the old Jiffy Lube logo when I look at it.
I love how the navigation sits right on top of the content, unifying the two typically separated sections. The design utilizes a CSS gradient, inverted hover effect and sizable but clean dropdown menu for the categories.
The rounded corners are a nice touch and this is a beautiful example of using the Google Font API to break out of the box with your web fonts. The font here is Cuprum, nothing crazy or overly ornate, just a nice and round compressed uppercase font that fits the theme perfectly.
The background graphic here really finishes off the design nicely. The textured, watercolor abstract painting is absolutely perfect for a site selling brushes. It’s just bold enough to make a strong impact on the page and just subtle enough to not detract too much from the main comment.
The messaging for the site is super simple, and that’s why it’s so strong. The color red is being used expertly here to divert your attention. As soon as you load the page, the bold red in the logo catches your attention, which is then averted to the next big batch of red in the “We love brushes” text.
Notice what the designer has done here. Rather than simply inserting a boring block of text, he first created a very visual headline that pulls you in and then places a brief explanation of the site next to it.
One of the most important aspects of the entire design is of course how the brushes are represented. Most of the homepage is dedicated to a large, filterable gallery of really attractive brush previews.
The corners are rounded, staying consistent with the navigation, you can see some nice subtle borders, and all of the various voting, pricing, etc. information is all placed into one tiny space without looking crowded in the least.
I especially like the hover effect here, which fades out the white border and lets the image bleed to the edge.
Clicking on a brush in the gallery takes you to that brushes dedicated page. The fonts here are once again round and compressed (repetition) and the layout of all of the various pieces here is perfect. There’s a lot of information, links, sharing buttons, etc. but it doesn’t feel like a lot of stuff, which is hard to pull off.
I particularly like that huge “Buy Now” button, which stands out so much that you simply can’t miss it.
Last but not least, even the footer for this site is gorgeous. Like everything else, it’s very well organized and lines of up perfectly with the content above it. I like how it violates the design enough to stand out while still very much sticking with the same visual theme.
I’ve no doubt ranted and raved about this site for long enough. It’s rare that I do one of these critiques without finding anything negative to say, but this design really is that good.
I’ve seen countless design resource sites that take almost the same exact layout but implement it poorly. You can really tell that this designer took the time and care to make everything just right. Everything feels smooth, looks great and functions perfectly. Very well done!
Now that you’ve read my comments, pitch in and help out by giving the designer some further advice. Let us know what you think is great about the design and what you think could be stronger. As always, we ask that you also be respectful of the site’s designer and offer clear constructive advice void of any harsh insults.