Website design brief
SKJ Ancient Beadart collects and trades ancient beads, Roman-period glass and finished jewelry. Items are generally sourced from established trading partners throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East; rare or one-off pieces are bought at private collection sales, international gem and jewelry shows, and from bead traders passing through Bangkok.
The client wanted a dark, quasi-classic presentation that would showcase product photography to the best effect.
Most items would be displayed using a conventional three-column layout, while rarer, more exclusive items would be presented with a scrolling, gallery-style design.
These contrasting styles work well and give the website an interesting look and feel seldom found on comparable sites.
For an example of this point, see how the design used for the Private Collections section differs from that for New Arrivals.
In January 2016 the website was re-coded to ensure compatibility with mobiles and tablets, and an improved content management system was added. The new CMS supports on-page editing, multiple photo uploads (with drag & drop functionality), and an expanded suite of CRM options.
Photography was managed by the client using a digital SLR fitted with a macro lens and a specially constructed lightbox. Most items are accompanied by at least 3 or 4 additional photos; the quality is generally very good. An interesting consideration was whether to shoot items against dark or light backgrounds. In the end dark backdrops were chosen, though many of the more recent additions have been shot against a variety of predominantly lighter and perhaps more interesting backgrounds.