Zareen's website

The scenario. Zareen, a Middle-Eastern dancer and dance instructor, needed a website. Dancer websites are expected to have the same basic content (such as a bio, a photo gallery, and a schedule of upcoming performances), so making the site stand out would prove a challenge.

The strategy. We wanted the website to be a natural extension of the dancer's aesthetic. The dancer's slogan was "joyous Middle-Eastern dance", so we knew it should be a little playful. Also, since this particular dancer was known for her long golden hair (the name Zareen means "golden"), we wanted gold to play a part in the final design.

The finished product. We chose a purple night-sky theme: Zareen often wears purple costumes to accentuate her gold hair, and she organizes a local dance event called "Starlight Shimmy". Purple and gold are excellent complimentary colors. We created all the backgrounds, logos, and buttons, and we did all of the photo post-processing.

To give the site a friendly, casual feel, we created a hand-drawn curvy logo with Middle-Eastern overtones for the Home page. The trailing exclamation point echoes the dancer's lively style. A photo of the dancer was chosen in keeping with the mood and color scheme. The overall tone is relaxed: the photo melts into the background, and soft cloudlike edges separate menu from content.

For the Links page, an additional logo was created to combine the themes of starlight, "linking", and ancient tradition: a constellation, depicting the dancer herself in a typical pose. Notice how the current context is indicated subtly but effectively by carrying the lighter sky color to the "Links" menu item.

Because the Starlight Shimmy page is about a venue and not about the dancer herself, a slightly different color scheme was used. Softly-glowing violet predominates, suggesting cool starlight: the glowing dot of the "i" in the title completes the picture. The logo for the café is shown, but it too has been altered to match the theme. No detail has been ignored. As a final flourish, the website has a "favorites" icon distilled from its logo: Z

You can browse the site itself at