FreeForm is the Swiss Army Knife of template builders for creating either simple or highly elaborate presentations. What separates FreeForm from services that provide pre-made templates is the unique ability to create an appearance that truly showcases what is being sold as opposed to merely adding decoration. Especially for artists, that capability, along with the flexibility to display as many photos as desired in whatever sizes desired, is very beneficial.
Over the years countless sellers have used FreeForm to their advantage. I chose to discuss SisterBeads because their work with FreeForm is typical of how only a minimum amount of design skill and effort can lead to great results. Cherie and Celeste - SistersBeads (opens in new window) have been very successful using FreeForm to create relatively simple item descriptions for eBay auctions along with an attractive yet easy to manage web site SistersBeads.com (opens in new window).
The truth is, bells and whistles don't sell items. Both on and off eBay the ''star of the show'' in the SistersBeads presentations are the photos of their work. On eBay Cherie and Celeste usually work from a black background template and merely vary the text color and borders around the photos to coordinate with the beads being sold. Simple and effective because the impact of the beautiful beads shown in great looking photos is not diminished by distractions - you'll always find lots of bids on their items for sale on eBay.
For their web site they went for a less austere appearance. As of this writing they have not chosen to use the same layout for their auctions as they use for their site but very easily could to coordinate the two together without sacrificing anything.
For the SistersBeads web site the goals were to retain emphasis on the photos while incorporating a color scheme that goes with a page header that was professionally designed for them. In FreeForm the page header was the first thing to go in along with a few of their photos. Including photos while creating a layout in FreeForm is very important because, for many, the photos are the most important ingredient. Not including photos could lead to an otherwise great design that might happen to detract from the appearance of the photos (not good!) or might not provide enough room for the photos to breathe. By breathe I mean providing a measure of blank space around them, lending them importance and usually improving their appearance (with a good color for the background around them).
With the header and photos in place, a color capture tool (I recommend ColorCop - opens in new window), some trial and error experimenting resulted in a color palette that coordinated well with the header and provided a great background color for use around the photos. A tip you can follow: Deep rich colors tend to accentuate photos. Here are the components used in the web site pages: