Personal branding is a relatively new field, but it is one that is quickly taking off. In certain fields, having a strong personal brand is essential to reaching the highest levels of success. Consider, for example, the brand of Martha Stewart. While she dabbles in many different endeavors, she has an overarching brand that keeps people coming back whatever her new venture might be. In this case, we see the website of an artist and art critic Valerio Berruti, which is trying to build a similarly strong brand.
Website Reviewed: valerioberruti.com
The home page features a photograph of the artist’s latest work, which is certainly an important part of the brand but not broad enough to represent Berruti’s entire career. However, the black and white color palette and the simple writing and design give you an example of the persona being represented. The news is kept front and center, but if you click on the header it expands into standard categories showcasing Berruti’s career and achievements. You can look into the different categories without ever really leaving the home page, a clever and well-designed detail.
While the website appears at first to be selling Valerio Berruti’s work, you will note that there is actually nothing for sale here. This is because the artist himself is the item being sold. The website gives insight into the artist’s style and inspirations, but it is distinctly noncommercial. It shows the work and gives contact information with the aim of winning fans rather than profits. Luckily for the artist, profits usually follow branding.
Here is what we think about the website:
Creativity: 5 stars. We love the way the pages unfold on top of the home page; it is something rarely seen in web design and happens to work particularly well with the background of the artist’s latest installation. While the black and white palette and the simple writing with serifs may seem unoriginal, they are minimalist in keeping with current artistic trends and avoid taking attention away from the art itself.
Ease of use: 5 stars. The bar at the side allows you to quickly flip through a relatively large amount of information. In general, the website is well designed and highly usable.
Functionality: 3 stars. While there is an iPhone app available for download (which is clever and still somewhat unique), people who want to contact the artist or follow them on social networking sites are out of luck. There is no way to get a hold of Valerio Berruti, which is a shame because the website certainly inspires interest in him.
Content: 4 stars. The content is purely functional and could be easily expanded to bring the website further up in search engine results and further promote the artist’s brand.
Appropriateness: 5 stars. It’s hard to think of a design that would better represent this artist. In all, this website is minimalist and just a little bit clever, which is exactly the impression that they are trying to create.
Overall: 4.4 stars. While certain expansions could be made, the website is a great branding tool with an adequate amount of information.