Old MacDonald had a farm, sings every child in North America. However, in this case, Old MacDonald has not just a farm, but a variety of farms and restaurants. This website at http://www.thefarmerandthechef.com/ is a fundraiser for The March of Dimes that is unique in that it both raises money for a cause and showcases local eating in its area.
This is a complicated task to undertake and a difficult brand to represent well in a graphic media such as a website, but in this case the result is perfect. A red board background on the landing page resembles the side of a barn. Images of a farmer and a chef appear to have been drawn or painted on the side of this barn in a simple cartoony style. An “About the Event” area makes sure people can understand what kind of event is being presented here and offers a link to even more details. Fundraising also occupies a prominent part of the landing page, with the logo designs of major sponsors at the bottom and buttons allowing viewers to either become a sponsor or to tell their favorite farmer or chef.
Fundraising websites are different from other types because they must cater to a variety of markets. People who are considering attending the event should find ample information on the event and be offered an opportunity to buy tickets. People who are considering sponsoring or donating to the event should see sponsors displayed prominently and also be given an easy way of donating. Sponsors also will want tax information. Last, all fundraising events need community support, even from people who cannot donate or attend. After all, as they say in the nonprofit world, friend-raising is as important as fundraising. This means that the website must be well branded and appealing to people in the community, representing the event, its patrons, and the people it serves.
While all of this is crucial, it can be difficult to fit into the limited space of the landing page. While much information can be stowed away in its own page and simply linked to from the landing page, there nonetheless needs to be an easy to find link. This often leads to either overly basic (that is, boring) web pages or ones that are too cluttered to be functional.
The Farmer and the Chef definitely trends toward overcrowding, but it fits the different pieces together like a puzzle and makes the chaos somewhat of a theme. There are a lot of elements crowded together on this landing page, but they are logically arranged. The barn theme background and the style of the images make the webpage feel like a community bulletin board of sorts, which is definitely complimentary to the brand. With tabs lining the top of the page, there is no way to not find exactly what you are looking for.
Can controlled chaos work for a web page? In a few cases, the answer is yes. This landing page is a good example of how to control the chaos so that it is organized and attractive, providing a hub for an event and the community that it aims to help.