In the past month, I have the pleasure of working with the well-known Vietnamese painter Dinh Cuong and his sons to create an online presence for him. One of his sons, Chinh Dinh, reached out to me to create the site as a special gift for his dad. How can I turn down a project like that? He found me through this web site and it turned out that they also live in my area.
Since Mr. Dinh Cuong and his sons are artists, working on the site was an intriguing experience. For the first time, my client wants a much simpler layout than what I had expected, which works for me since I also appreciate clean, minimal design. It also makes perfect sense to let the attention focuses on the artwork instead of the site.
One of the challenges for the project is that they want to show the complete painting without having to scroll. The web is a fluid medium. We have no control of the users’ screen size. My initial Lightbox solution didn’t do it because it was too fancy (the opacity, drop shadows and limited room for the painting info). They also prefer to see the painting on the page rather than a pop-up.
Fortunately WordPress has a nice gallery feature out of the box. The image template gives me many options to style up the design. Because the paintings come in various sizes, the vertical ones are too long for the browser window. For my personal preference, I don’t mind scrolling to see more details of the work; however, the client prefers the works to be visible on the page, at least for most desktop users. To solve the problem, I put a constraint on the image height, which means a certain image can’t be taller than a preset size (600px for example) and the width needs to adjust to the height.
The site is responsive and the backend is powered by WordPress for the ease of updates. Without further ado, here is dinhcuong.com.