A soundless video of this project.

Fred McDonald Handrolled

Solopreneur Website

Frederick R McDonald
Fort McMurray, Alberta
Visit This Website

The business case.

Frederick R McDonald is a multi-disciplinary creative solopreneur: a painter, a poet and a photographer. He wanted a website that shows his complex career.

The Fix

A primary purpose with this website was to show Fred's artwork - he had an exhibition coming up. This was the first iteration of his site, we knew we were going to eventually move the site onto a platform with a content management system.

Old School Development

Every character of code was written by hand, thousands of lines of it. I started with the code for the smartphone and then used the flexbox and grid frameworks to rearrange the layout for larger screens. For accessibility I used a colour contrast tester and ensured the images and links had alt text; the entire site is written in clean, semantic code.


I designed Fred's site based on secondary research. Most artist's websites show only the art they have for sale or perhaps also include a few photos of recently sold work with no other info about the sale. According to the research, high-end art buyers care a lot about what other collectors have purchased or commissioned an artist's work. So, Fred's site highlights paintings that have been purchased by well-known corporate and public collections. The user experience of the website is primarily designed around having this information as the main support.


Fred provided me with facts and I combined this with information from his LinkedIn profile and his book, Ancestral portraits, to create the website copy. Most of the website is made up of photographs and poetry.


There is no SEO involved in this site - it was something I learned later.

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