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Pala 2

Pala International

Branding & Graphic Design

Design challenges

Research color schemes

Design a new logo

Create a new tagline

Design results

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Design challenges

The design team quickly identified the challenges and the opportunities.  Here the presentation we gave to Pala International.

Click an image to magnify it.

Bottom line:  We needed to create a web design that is Simple, Stylish, and Mobile.


Research color schemes

With the aid of a color stylist, we reviewed a variety of luxury websites to consider how their use of color, typography, and layout might inform our proposed designs. We narrowed our proposed color schemes down to four choices we named:


Italian Grey

Moroccan Blue

Silk Pink

Here are the color schemes applied to an early version of the search interface:

Pala International chose the Titanium color scheme which evolved to a mix of neutral grays and off-whites which nicely draws attention to the gemstones rather than the interface.


We considered a variety of fonts in addition to Pala International's longtime favorite, Vivaldi


We narrowed our proposed fonts down to four choices: 

Pala International chose Cinzel Decorative Regular. 

Palagems logo - Cinzel Decorative BLACK.png

 The same font is used for the Palaminerals logo.

Palaminerals logo

Many months after the new sites were launched, the webmaster modified the logo as a gradient merging from a gold color to black and chose to use the wording "Pala International" on the Palagems site.

Pala International final logo.png

Create a new tagline

Pala International used the tagline Fine Creations From Planet Earth for both Palagems and Palaminerals.  To help distinguish between the two sites we proposed developing a new tagline for Palagems.  Eventually we settled upon Brilliance Discovered which connotes Pala International's wealth of knowledge as well as the value of their gemstones.

Original tagline
New tagline

The new tagline appears on the splash and home pages.


Design results

Through an iterative design process, the original dense user interface was remodeled into a simple, clean design. 

Learning Squarespace's meta design principles for their templates was key to understanding how to effectively customize the Palagems site.  The first step was to convert the Adirondack template's three CSS files into a readable format by adding line breaks and hand editing the results for readability.  The primary CSS file for Squarespace's Adirondack template has over 35,000 lines.

Updating the existing code base required learning HTML, CSS, PHP, and MySQL.  In addition, I had to reverse engineer Squarespace's innovative system of dynamically adaptive, nested web objects powers their responsive web designs.  Particularly demanding was figuring out how their responsive navigation systems relied upon multiple CSS and JavaScript files. 

We inserted over 1,500 lines of site-wide CSS to extensively customize Squarespace's Bedford template.  The Home page, all newsletter pages, and some articles have their own page-specific custom CSS.

Splash Page

Previous splash page showed a random splash image when the page loaded. Clicking the image opened the home page of the site.

New splash page rotates among a set sequence of images. Text links open key pages on the site.


Home Page

Click image to magnify.

Previous home page had complex top, side, and bottom menus with one long scrolling strip in the middle column.

Click HERE to open an archival copy of the previous site. Please note that most links redirect to the new site.

Click image to magnify.

New home page is simple, clear and inviting.  Each item in the top menu opens a new page. 

The main grid of images uses roll-over text to open key articles in the latest newsletter.

Sections below include news and a featured video.

Click HERE to open new site.

Click HERE to see the redesigned Search, Search Results and Search Detail interfaces.


Project Phases

1) Redesign the User Experience

2) Branding & Graphic Design

3) Organize the Content

4) Update the eCommerce System

Click links to read more detail about that phase