Thumbnails (the small square or rectangle preview images you click on, to see larger images) used to be one of the main features of an artist’s website. Somehow they signified the potential of seeing lots of great images, and it was hard to imagine a visual site without them.
Well, all that is now changing. As internet connections become faster, thumbnails are becoming unnecessary. It does not take much more loading time to load a full sized images. As a result, designers are jumping on the ‘look’ of ever larger and larger images. And, equally, thumbnails on websites are becoming out of fashion. Like animated buttons, or blinking underline links, they are a symbol of a period of internet history that is now in the past.
This is also true for top artists’ sites. This site uses purely large images, without even a sidebar. Other artists keep a menu (to enable things like CVs and contact buttons), but go straight for full size images.
Besides the problem that your site will ‘date’ more quickly than others, there are other reasons to avoid thumbnail images on your artist website.
- Being able to update your site quickly is a must for artists. Thumbnails can also be a disincentive for quickly updating your own sites in the future.
- Thumbnails are great for the ego (look at my images small! Now look at them large!), but they also can also cause a negative opinion for your work. Nothing is more of an anticlimax than opening up a large image that you have already seen the majority of as a small image. What’s worse – many people just scan the small images, and never see the work in all its glory.
- Adding thumbnails to a site is also time consuming and expensive. Remove the thumbnail option – and receive a great site – at a $200 discount.
Of course, we still offer thumbnail sites for artists that cannot imagine a site without them. But we are seeing more and more artists choosing full-scale images, and expect this only to continue in the years ahead.