The biggest challenge when designing the Horse Academy WordPress theme was conceiving a way to appeal to horse-lovers. Given the long history of the relationship between horses and humans, I wanted to convey a classic feel but also elicit an emotional response.
The black and white images were chosen because they invoke the enduring and powerful nature of the bond between humans and horses. Psychologically, black and white gives the impression of timelessness and helps emphasize emotion.
For color, I used the color palette Sweet Orchid by Canva. The bright and cheery colors contrast with the formal black and white and give the entire site a lively and somewhat feminine feel.
The Home Page
In the hero section of the front page I used a large black and white image of windblown horses grazing in a field with a dramatic mesa in the background. The horses appear calm and healthy. The image depicts wild horses content in their natural habitat. Because the horses are looking/facing random directions it also instills a sense of wildness and freedom.
Below the hero section, I featured a custom post type (Trainer) and also a single category (Training) from the blog. These two sections could easily be customized for other CPTs or blog posts.
Carousel and Footer
The carousel features four slides with links to page topics on the website. The images are all black and white to stick with the subdued theming. The buttons link to some of the top training topics.
In both the above post and page sections and the following carousel I used call to action buttons to tempt the user to explore the website’s content.
Pages and Custom Post Types
I decided to wrap the featured image as a backstretch across the top of the page. I did not use a sidebar so that the reading experience was clean and not distracting.
A Custom Post (Breed)
Working on the Horse Academy Theme was a good opportunity to design a site meant to inspire action and play on the emotions of the viewer.