We built the website with a few points in mind — it had to be flashy but usable, sharp and filled with product photography, and had to give the viewer a feeling of quality. The product ForgedCraft sells isn't cheap (wheels like these routinely run past the $5K/set mark), so the design had to be sophisticated. Still, we decided to stick to a few tried-and-true aftermarket automotive tropes, including using dark backgrounds and a “racing-inspired” logotype.
The site was built in Jekyll with Bootstrap 3 and is hosted on Amazon's S3 static website service. The client's needs for this website fit Jekyll's strengths perfectly — speed and latency were more important considerations than offering advanced functionality or a web-based administration panel.
The founder had specific ideas about the logo — after some discussion we realized that branding the company using a crest would be detrimental to the company's image (almost all of ForgedCraft's competitors use a crest or seal as a logo). We went through almost a dozen iterations of different logotypes before settling on the final version — that logotype was then further refined to connect and separate ligatures to make individual letterforms and the overall logotype flow.
I usually start by sketching out concepts, including sitemap components and basic UI wireframes. This is one of the pages I started doodling in preparation for ForgedCraft's website.
Here's a better screenshot of an interior page.
Another look at the homepage and footer. The header compresses itself after the user scrolls past a certain point to save vertical space — it also changes backgrounds from transparent to solid when a user scrolls past the top hero image on every page.