China Shenhua : Painting a picture
An evocation of poster art refreshes a home page.
China Shenhua, one of the world’s largest coal suppliers, brings a fresh look to home page imagery.
China Shenhua focuses its home page round a full-width picture carousel that runs in sequence through images related to the company’s major activities and objectives. The sequence runs automatically, with forward/back controls allowing visitor-controlled browsing.
The sequence opens on page launch on an image captioned ‘Confidence responsibility’ of a mountaineer dangling from a rocky outcrop. Although clearly based on a photograph, the image has been treated to give the impression of a painting or graphic print. In addition, an acceptably discreet degree of animation causes birds to fly across the sky and the sun’s rays to reflect as if on a camera lens. The following image, ‘Strategy changes’, adopts the same special effects, while the rest of the sequence uses conventional photography.
China Shenhua’s decision to follow the fashion for sequentially loading images on its home page to attract interest in its activities is easily justifiable given its diverse portfolio – its operations cover ports, railways and power generation in addition to coal mining. It has also found a way to stand out from the crowd, however, and catch the jaded eye in its posterisation of photographic images to create the effect of a painting or, as the term suggests, a poster. The limited degree of animation reinforces the enhanced effect and the selective application to non-operational topics suggests an interesting refinement of the strategy.
This photo-centric style of home page encourages the use of editorially strong high-quality imagery to give it impact and posterisation would work not nearly so well as a differentiator if it were used as a way to pimp up mediocre or stock photography. China Shenhua has avoided that with a couple of bold images that evoke the heyday of Shell’s poster campaigns or those of post-revolutionary China.http://www.csec.com/htmlen/index.html
First published on 25 January, 2011