If your work is whimsical and adorable, but you want potential customers to know that you mean business, it’s important to organize your personal site in a sophisticated manner. Take, for instance, a plush toy designer and illustrator who wants her work to be enjoyed for how sweet it is, but also wants to illustrate her interest in taking on exciting new projects. This week’s #WebsiteWednesday features a personal website that is as savvy as it is sweet: LindaDesign.xyz
LindaDesign.xyz is the online portfolio of Linda Raymond. Linda’s from San Gabriel, California, and studied toy design at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She graduated in 2017 and began working at MJ Holding Company, the largest North American distributor of trading cards, trading card supplies, collectibles, toys, and hot trend items. There, Linda worked on the toy design team with a focus on plush and novelty toys, a couple of her passions (in addition to cats). Currently a product designer with Good Smile Connect, Linda is able to explore another of her biggest interests. As you’ll read on her homepage in a succinct blurb, Linda has a passion for Japanese culture. Good Smile Connect (GSC) is a Japanese manufacturer of hobby products such as the Nendoroid and Figma product line. In other words, it’s a great match.
While a student at Otis College of Art and Design, Linda and her classmates were encouraged to make websites for their online portfolio. Linda took inspiration from her friends in the same college class. The exact domain she wanted was available from .xyz. “I then just tried to make a site that had a color scheme that complimented my mascot character, the wolfbee, and tried to make things organized and neat.”
The first things you’ll notice on LindaDesign.xyz are a title bar featuring Wolfbee, the aforementioned mascot, and Linda’s name with the titles “Toy Designer” and “Illustrator” just underneath. Then you’ll notice her menu offerings and a precious caricature of Linda in her own style. Next, a small blurb telling viewers of Linda’s love for plush, toy development, Japanese culture, and her interest in new project ideas. The colors she has chosen perfectly compliment her mascot. The menu bar features three succinct main tabs, perfectly organizing her site without any unnecessary links that might distract an end user and cause them to trail off towards another website.
The first tab, Portfolio, allows you to choose from her portfolio offerings in a convenient pulldown menu, or you can click to visit the portfolio landing page. Here is where users can get a true feel for the variety of skill and professionalism in Linda’s repertoire. Her projects range from plush and novelty toy designs for MJ Holding Studios and Wicked Cool Toys, a collection of her Inktober artwork, and the full design components of a game that encourages children to practice tidiness entitled Stuffy Squirrel, complete with a plush cast of characters. In a category of miscellaneous types of work titled “Non-projects and others,” viewers get a glimpse of even more of Linda’s range, including an array of extremely impressive sketch work and professional packaging projects as well as delightful craft projects, including plush versions of My Little Pony.
Selecting About takes you to a page featuring a full size image of Wolfbee, as well as the introductory blurb also featured on her homepage. Below that are links to download .pdf versions of her resume and portfolio. At the very bottom of this and every page on the website is a smaller version of Wolfbee with a welcome to “Contact Me!” accompanied by Linda’s phone number and email address.
This invitation to reach out is reiterated on her Contact page, which has that same information but also includes an HTML form to send Linda an email directly from her website. This design technique saves the user the added step of leaving the website in order to make contact, risking distraction and a possible missed opportunity.
Linda’s seamless navigation, proper organization of her ample portfolio, and easy methods of contact paint a clear picture of a true professional. She looks forward to updating her website to include more of her recent work, and is excited to display more of her experience creating 3D models using Blender, a 3D computer graphics software toolset. If you’d like to reach out to Linda, you can email her directly from LindaDesign.xyz and you can also find her on Instagram.