Where to start on this topic, well lets start at the beginning. Design is at the forefront of websites because it’s what people see and can associate with your company. Therefore, it’s in the design that has to be carefully considered and thought out. Most of the time I either start from a blank canvas in Photoshop to get the look and feel for the prospective project. However, these days I do a lot more on the WordPress platform – so occasionally I will find a theme and start conceptualizing around the aspects I want to use and manipulate. If this is the case then 90% I want to look completely different than the original theme; still I generally go back to Photoshop layout my design. When using a theme I generally use it for color schemes, layout positioning, functionality or perhaps even just for font choices. Rarely it’s because I want it to look like exactly like the theme. I take great pride in my creative skills therefore I don’t want my clients or project to reflect poorly on my creativity.
OK so now you’re thinking if you’re using a theme does that really make you a designer? And I’d say YES absolutely! Believe me, I was the first one to judge that back a few years ago…but times have changed for me at least; every website requires customization that not just anyone can throw together it’s still an form of art to get the client’s content to fit within the theme.
So whether you’re using a theme as the framework or designing completely from scratch you have to be aware of the functionality, purpose and overall appearance of the website.