Web design for artists (Part I)

Artwork by Farida EL Gazzar
Artwork by Farida EL Gazzar

Web design for artists is a lot of fun. In this job you get to meet lots of people who do many different things, from bakers to tour agencies to fat loss pill manufacturers to piano tuners.  This is especially true here in Barcelona, where everyone is doing everything. However, creating a website for an artist is at the same time a humbling and tremendously exciting experience. You realize right away that web design is a craft, not an art, that first moment you enter a studio.

Web Design for ArtistsDesign-wise, you teach yourself to keep yourself out of the way. You don’t want the website viewer to say, “What a great website!” you want the user to say, “What great works of art!” That’s not to say you should just make a white website with no design. Doing that could get you a, “What great works of art, too bad the web site is horrible.”

You need the website design to be as simple as possible yet at the same time accent the work and have a concise UI to make sure the paths the artists wants the user to take, are taken. Here is what I consider the main things to pay extra care about when thinking about web design for artists.


The images must be perfect. Only top quality photos can be used. Unless you are also a photographer, I suggest you hire one. You need to have the lighting and white balance perfect. The framing might actually be easy in many cases but only go for it if you have very tight technical skills and very good equipment.

In addition, you need to consider the photo layout. That is where your personal style comes in. Personally, I prefer large thumbnails to go with a large images. The bigger the better. I put the descriptions right on the large images.


There are certain elements a website for an artist must have, and these are:

BIO: The artist’s story told by someone else. This does not differ from most other personal websites.

ARTIST STATEMENT: This is the artist in his or her own words. This is where the artist can explain the art. A place to explain and support his work. For people in the art world, this is obvious, but for us designers, it is good to know this beforehand.

GALLERY: The reason the website exists, the gallery. What you have to think about is how you will structure the gallery. Will it be done by theme? By type of work (painting, sculpture etc)? Chronologically? All three? There is no right answer, but whatever you choose , pay extra care to have it follow a logical order.

EXHIBITIONS:  Where has the artist’s work been featured? List the galleries, provide as many links as you can. Highlight a special event that is important to the artist.

PRESS: If anything has been written about him, include it here.

CONTACT: A standard contact for is all you really need.

Read the continuation about web design for artists, I will get into how to deal with helping sell the artwork and how to deal with social media (it’s not as straightforward as it sounds).




Also published on Medium.

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