Making an entrance – first impressions

Having just been to Morocco I’ve been reflecting on the many intricate and beautifully embellished doors and gateways I saw, and how these enticed me to enter with an expectation of grandeur beyond. And yet, I also entered astonishingly beautiful establishments via obscure, plain doors, often in non-descript walls that gave no hint of the architectural treasures inside.

As a graphic designer, I have always placed emphasis on the ‘visual gateway’. In relation to content, this may be the cover of a book, a wine label or the home page of a website. Yes, I know, you should “never judge a book by its cover”, and yet I am intrinsically drawn to a book by its cover, meaning that I have consciously made a selective decision before I read any content.

After my Moroccan experience I still feel that first impressions are really important, but I will try to be more aware of ‘hidden gems’ behind plain facades. I know I already do this with people – rather than make judgments based on exterior personas, I look for the true character within. Maybe I need to be more sympathetic to visually unappealing gateways, but when it comes to content, I know I will always promote the importance of a well designed and visually appealing entry image for a first impression.


Behind this beautifully adorned window is a small, simple room once used by students


Old Medina alleyway, Marrakech


A beautiful doorway in a nondescript lane, Marrakech


Peace and tranquility pervade in the proportions of this courtyard, Marrakech


Courtyards provide quiet spaces filled with light, Casablanca


Entrance to a suburban home in Casablanca


Inner spaces open to the sky


This beautiful Riad couryard with pool is behind a relatively unassuming door in the old Medina of Marrakech


Beautiful entrance, Casablanca