15 Year Celebration - Splash Graphics History

This blog entry is part of an ongoing series running throughout 2019 that will take a look at all things Soles of Silk in celebration of 15 years online.

From Soles of Silk's inception in 2004 I have always taken great pride in the graphic that adorns the site's splash page. This is the page that mostly everyone will land upon on their first visit to Soles of Silk. It is the spot where I have a chance to entice that person to enter the site and hopefully become a member.

When it comes to the splash page, there are several key components that will help with my goal. First and foremost, imagery! This should go without saying and really needs no explanation. People are coming to Soles of Silk to view content focusing on female feet. Those need to be front and center! The images that I picked have changed quite a bit over the years, and actually used to change quite a bit more than they do now. Let's jump all the way back to the beginning when Soles of Silk first launched.

The Earliest Years
When Soles of Silk debuted I spent quite a bit of time on creating and changing the site's splash page on a semi-regular basis. I treated the splash page like a magazine cover almost. I spent a lot of time showcasing the newest update, or big addition to the site. While a novel idea at the time, it just took a lot of time and was something that most people jumped past in a few seconds anyhow.

Still, it is fun to go back and look at some of the site's original splash page graphics. These all appeared throughout 2005:

I know there were probably more of these splash pages that have either been lost to time, or are in some folder in one of these countless backups that I'm just not seeing. I say this because I managed to find Carmen's right before I published this blog. 

During that same search I also located an old template file that I used to create these designs. I went ahead and opened it to see if I could find anything else in the numerous Photoshop layers. And guess what? I did! 

I found the site's launch design featuring Lisa Tyler wearing her cloudy toe socks. She was who I picked to be featured on the splash graphic upon the site's debut on December 29, 2004. She had a name that many people already recognized and she was amazing to work with. Sadly, however, it looks like I lost a lot of the text items from this design. I'd also like to note that I am not 100 percent sure if the text that is found on the top left was a part of this image or not. I feel like it was there as it seemed to fit when I enabled the layer. It looked like I had used it a lot in the earliest designs too, so I'm thinking that is a safe bet. Maybe I'll manage to locate this very design one day. If so, I'll be sure to make an addition to this blog.

The First Continuous Splash Page
Eventually I decided to come up with a graphic to welcome visitors/members that would be remain on a continuous basis. I didn't really need to advertise a new update, or major addition to the site on that page. It was already being done on the main pages inside the site. The splash page would now serve more like a branding image that people would come to know.

In the site's first ever continuous splash graphic, I wanted to make sure I featured a bunch of models. From all the feedback I was getting on a daily basis, I knew that everyone had different favorites when it came to the models they liked most. The designs I had been doing up to this point focused on a single model, unless the update featured a model duo - like Kimmie's and Kellie's debut, or Madison's and Lauryn's tickling set. What did I come up with? The image below:

As you can see, I feature over 10 different models in this design. Not all are showing there feet front and center, especially in the major graphic element of Kerri Taylor - a well-known fetish model. I guess I was going more for name recognition there? I can't really recall.

In hindsight now, this design probably wasn't as effective as it could have been. This graphic made its way onto the site sometime between the very end of 2005 and early 2006. Eventually, however, I realized that this design was just not ideal and a change was needed.

Feet Up Front
The next splash page design was built to last! It was placed on the site in 2007 and stayed until 2013. Yes, six years worth of views.

I was crazy for Madison's narrow feet. She was so fun to shoot and she spent so much time modeling her size 8.5's for me. We were great friends and she kept racking up photos on the site. I decided that, because of this, she would be the perfect person to represent the site on its next splash graphic. 

As you can plainly see, Madison's soapy feet were catching anyone's eye who happened upon Soles of Silk. Little did I know, however, that the second model I'd pick to showcase on this splash page design, would eventually become the site's most photographed model and the muse of all muses for me. That model is none other than Mindee. I plugged in a photo of her to fill the void on the right side of the image and the combination of Madison and Mindee became the site's first true iconic splash page, in my opinion.

In addition to two key images, I made sure to feature a number of important elements with this design. Wanting to show that Soles of Silk didn't focus on just a couple of models, I placed head shots with a small teaser below about featuring exclusive models, as well as some popular models from around the web. For balance, I also threw in a few foot close ups on the top edge stating that you can find photos and video clips inside. For the first time, I placed a quote from one of the model's interviews - something I have done in every design since. And for the final selling point, and one that meant a lot of me (and still does), I put in the "As featured on Wu's Feet Links" tag next to sample shots from the two original Soles of Silk feature sets. Those sets were massive hits, so I knew it might entice people further into checking out what was inside.

Mindee's Feet Front & Center
In 2014, I found myself thinking about updating the splash page once again. This time, I knew Mindee was going going to be the main focus. I also had just the photo set in mind to pull a graphic from. Not only did it feature Mindee, but her fun-loving cousin, Marcy, as well. Their soccer goal set hadn't yet made it onto the site, but I had plans to debut it later that year. I figured this splash page would make for one hell of a teaser!

As you can see, I kept things a little simpler in this design. I focused on one big image. I made sure that Mindee's feet were front and center. I also made sure to feature a photo that oozed fun and playfulness. Both girls were smiling and I thought it was the perfect representation of my site. 

There was also a slight variation made to this design later in 2014 when it became known that Wu, from Wu's Feet Links had passed away. I added a memorial ribbon to the design to honor a friend. 

More Mindee, But With Kelsey This Time
After featuring the design with Mindee and Marcy for several years, I decided it was once again time for an update. I liked the framing of the design above, so I began thinking of swapping out the image from the soccer set with something newer. That's when my mind became fixed on a set I did with Mindee and Kelsey together.

Both Mindee and Kelsey are two of my best, and long term, female friends. Somehow I went years without getting to shoot them together, but when I did, I came away with a set that I just loved. In 2017 I decided that it was time for a change. Mindee was staying, but Kelsey was arriving! Both of these models/friends deserved the spotlight and I was glad to give it to them.

When I added this splash graphic to the site, I also went onto the site's Twitter (@SolesofSilk) account and former Instagram account (deleted by Instagram) and placed images from this same set across the board. It was a branding tactic and one that really tied everything together nicely.

Mindee & The Ever So Popular, Melani
In 2018, I got the itch to change up the splash page graphic because I had been working on a new logo for the site. My original plan was just to swap out the logos, but I couldn't leave well enough alone. I went ahead and swapped out the image yet again. This time around, I picked one featuring Mindee with site recent newcomer, and mega-hit, Melani. In 2017 these two shot a combined 61 sets, so I had a lot of photos to pick from. I knew moving forward that these two would represent Soles of Silk well.

Like I did with the graphic of Mindee and Kelsey together, I went and inserted photos from this set onto the site's social media accounts. I didn't foresee myself changing this anytime soon, but then I went and shot Mindee and Kaycee together...

That Brings Us to Today
Earlier this year I made something happen that I had been trying to do for years. That was shooting Mindee and Kaycee together. Ever since Kaycee's 2014 debut, we had talked about shooting her with Mindee. When we came up the idea to follow up Mindee's Blue Balls set with a Squishy Blue Balls set of her own, using Mindee's socks no less, I figured it was only a matter of time before we'd all get together. 

Much to my dismay, those plans didn't happen right away, and still actually haven't, technically. In February, though, not too long following my "Dream Duos #7 - Mindee & Kaycee" blog, I did finally get the two of them together. It just wasn't with blue balls. I swear that will eventually happen and hopefully this summer!

What could I say about finally getting these two together other than, "Wow?" I loved the two sets we did and it made me want to plaster the two of them onto the splash page immediately. This time, however, I decided to change the design.

While I liked the template I had been using for the last three continuous designs, it was time to freshen things up in my mind. I had the new logo that was still kind of fresh, so why not? I grabbed a shot of Mindee and Kaycee and went to work.

With two sets to pick from, I found myself struggling. What made my ultimate determination, however, was my love for female feet fresh from sneakers without socks. Artist choice! The other set, the Kiss Our Feet set, actually goes online with this week's update, on May 29, 2019. Talk about timing!

I kept a lot of similar teaser elements with this design, including the model quotes and what people will find inside. I also added in the fact that Soles of Silk has now been online for 15 years above the logo. The fact that the site surpassed 100 models in 2018 was also mentioned.

New Ideas?
Right now I have no intentions of changing the site's splash page. I am quite happy with what is now featured there. I know eventually I will want to update it and change it again. Will Mindee be front and center, as she has since 2006? That, I'm sure, you can count on. She would never let me live it down if I featured someone else. She deserves it anyway. Have you seen her photo count? Approaching 7,000 with a lot more on the way once she joins that 7K Club!

Join Soles of Silk today to see this and over 10 years of foot fetish content!