Some business ideas are so unusual that we are surprised there is actually a market. The Croquis has one of these surprising ideas, proving that in a global market, almost any item is needed by someone. The Croquis, in short, sells personalized fashion illustrations. You know the drawings that you see in fashion magazines? Yes, those. However, with this company you can have your fashion illustration customized for your favorite fashion lover or even your favorite outfit. This is almost creating fashion brands or clothing identities.
Website Reviewed: The Croquis
Website URL: thecroquis.com
The Croquis website is created especially for this interesting niche industry. Stark black and white makes up the main palette, which is de rigeur for the fashion world. Beautiful areas filled with bright watercolors add a splash of color and interest. Because graphite drawings and watercolors are two of the main products being sold, this design is relevant to both the general industry and the particular product.
Three packages are available, and the website’s “Products” page does a great job of explaining the differences to the less fashionably inclined (such as husbands) who may be ordering the product as gifts. The process and pricing are also explained in detail. A few examples are given, although we couldn’t help but wish that there were more. It is difficult to see the range and style of the artists involved with just a handful of rather generic examples. However, there are links to a Facebook account (buried at the bottom of the page) with more examples and more information about the art form.
Another area that we wish was further addressed was the uses for these illustrations. Of course they make interesting gifts, but what about invitations? Can they be copied? Who owns the copyright to the images? As professional designers, we are sensitive to these issues and feel that a “FAQs” page addressing them would be immensely helpful.
This is a great idea—and a good website—but both need a little “filling out” before they will feel complete.
Creativity: 5 stars. We give the business kudos for using a black and white skeleton with watercolor accents, just like the art being sold. It also creates the right balance between seriousness and creativity.
Ease of use: 3 stars. The website has navigation buttons, but they didn’t take us to the information we wanted. For instance, we expected “Explore Our Products” to take us to a portfolio rather than a page describing different packages.
Functionality: 4 stars. Links to social networking are present, but difficult to locate due to small size and obscure placement. In addition, there are not enough examples for people to get a solid idea of what their finished product will look like.
Content: 5 stars. The content is beautifully written and perhaps one of the best parts of this website (besides the art). It explains the process and makes it easy to understand what is entailed.
Appropriateness: 5 stars. The color palette is particularly appropriate for the industry and the brand, although all elements have been well designed.
Overall: 4.4 out of 5 stars.