Free digital downloads: Gallery wall edition
I’ve been curating little collections of high resolution open source artwork for the past couple weeks.
Now I’m putting them pieces together to create well-balanced gallery walls with only using completely free printable artwork.
I found all of these images by searching Creative Commons for “Public Domain Artworks”, browse the Met for “Open Access”, the National Gallery of Art, and The Rijks Museum and strongly encourage taking a deep dive in their galleries if you’re an art lover like myself.
The free spirit
This gallery wall arrangement is the loosest out of any I’m sharing. Which also makes it the most challenging to pull off, but with a little bit of planning you’ll be hanging an eclectic gallery wall like a pro! The key in making this arrangement work is maintaining a roughly equal distance between each frame and focusing on the center pieces as the focal point.
The equal grid
This arrangement is relatively simple to pull off with (3) 16×20 frames and (3) 11×14. They are each centered vertically and then hung with equal space from the vertical and horizontal edges. With each piece being matted the colors of the artwork matters a little bit less than other arrangements because the weight of each artwork will be grounded by the photo mat.
Straight down the line
This arrangement is configured from the center line. I like to try to make the center line space the same as any horizontal space and configure the frames so there is a taller piece in the center and smaller frames out on the side. It’s a cascading effect that helps this collection feel well-rounded and intentional.
Free digital downloads: Gallery wall edition
I just moved my simple blog website over from Squarespace to WordPress and I’m giddy about it.
I have about 6 years of experience as a web designer, but am not a developer. Which is exactly why I was initially interested in Squarespace. I loved the user interface and how easy it was to get started, and their templates are clean and easy enough to update to your brand colors and typography. You can truly launch a website within an hour using their templated designs and it’s easy to set up a blog, start a store, and even an email list.
I’ve been happy with Squarespace for the past two years, and really do think it’s a great platform to get started with. As time went on, I found myself wanting to make some little improvements here and there and was finding that these small things were proving to be quite difficult.
My pain points with Squarespace:
I wanted to add pagination to my blog landing page. I have over 100 posts at this point and endlessly tabbing through each page was not a great user experience.
Changing the background color of just one section was tricky. I appreciate that sticking with the colors in your theme keeps everything consistent and is a good general rule for web design, but c’mon. Let me use a tone of my favorite blue without writing up custom code. Same goes for fonts!
The responsive design didn’t have enough flexibility. There were far too many instances on my website where galleries would default to a single column view in mobile and just not look like I had hoped.
And the biggest issue I have with Squarespace is the blog backend. The more you publish, the more challenging it is to navigate.
WordPress is a lot easier than I thought it would be.
One of the biggest advantages of WordPress is that there is a widget for everything. Including a simple front-end design tool that is even easier to use than the Squarespace interface. I learned about Elementor a couple years ago, and have used it a lot with my clients, but hadn’t had the experience of installing it.
I had imagined having to use a bunch of custom code to get it set up, but I was delightfully surprised that if you install a good theme, your site will be set up and ready to go live in almost the same amount of time as a Squarespace site. I opted to work from the Jupiter X theme, which is something I selected because it had so many good reviews on Theme Forest. Installing Jupiter X is just about as easy as uploading a zipped file.
The Jupiter X theme + Elementor resolved every single pain point I had with Squarespace. There’s so much room for customization just within Elementor, and the theme is tremendously helpful if you’re a beginner with putting together an entire website.
The biggest con of WordPress compared to Squarespace is superficial, and that is the difference in backend aesthetic. Squarespace is a bit easier on the eyes, but WordPress is a bit more
I could go on and on about how much I love the easy and flexible interface of Elementor for WordPress, so please let me know if you’re interested in any specific tutorials or blog posts. Feel free to leave a comment or DM me on Instagram!