Sephora’s Look

Visual rhetoric is a form of graphic design that includes the three main elements of pathos, ethos, and logos. Successful websites are able to take these elements and apply them to their brand, in order to create a well functioning, popular website. For example, the makeup company “Sephora” has an extremely prosperous website.

In order to include the element of pathos in a design, it must be eye catching. Sephora definitely does a good job of making their site look attractive to its audience. When you first visit the site, it has a very clean and sleek appearance. It is clear that the designers took contrast into consideration when designing. The colors of sephora are black and white, so the background is a sleek white, and in contrast, the font is black. This simple contrast adds a nice appeal. wfIn addition to that, the makeup displayed on the page adds pops of color and contrast, which are also visually appealing.

The designers of this website also took advantage of their use of white space. With so many different products for sale, the page could be completely filled with items available for purchase. However, the products are spaced out in such a way that each page has a certain amount of products shown, and is surrounded by whitespace. This allows the customers to not feel extremely overwhelmed while shopping. There is also the option to view more or less products at once, allowing customers to add or minimize the whitespace.

Because the website is divided into different categories by product, there is a nice sense of rhythm/repetition. The site allows you to shop by item such as “foundation”Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 9.50.52 PM or “mascara”. When you click on “foundation”, all of the products that fall under that category are presented on the page in a clear way. This page set up is the same for every product offered. This repetition allows the customers to shop easily.

Ethos is all about making the website look professional and competent. If the content or layout of the website does not look professional or reliable no one is going to want to buy products from it. For example, sometimes on Facebook there are ads for clothing websites that are based in China, with clothes that look very expensive but only cost about $9.00. The fact that the clothes are so cheap make people wonder if the site is reliable. If you look closer at their content, you can tell that the photos showing the clothing do not look very professional.

With Sephora on their other hand, all of their photos look like they were professionally taken, and therefore gives customers comfort in trusting the company. Additionally, the website uses classic fonts that optically balance and flow. The type of font displayed on a website can show customers and viewers just how serious and qualified they are.

Sephora does an excellent job when it comes to logos on their website. Logos are all about making sure that everything makes sense and communicates well to the audience. The designers of the website clearly knew what the customers would be looking for, and the best way to go about helping them. Immediately when the website is loaded it is simple to see what is going on. The page is headed with different categories Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 9.52.57 PMsuch as “makeup”, “skincare”, and “fragrance” which allow customers to easily and efficiently find what they are looking for.

Sephora also does a great job with hooking their customers. Right in the middle of the home page, there are large photos of their new products and in large text it reads, “The Latest Line Up”. This is putting their important information in the front, and promptly grabs the attention of the customers and draws them to looking at their new merchandise, which leads them to perhaps making more purchases than they had originally planned.


9 thoughts on “Sephora’s Look

  1. Nina,
    Ahh, a fellow beauty guru! I agree that Sephora’s site has such a clean aesthetic. They do a really good job of this especially because they sell so many different brands it could easily look so cluttered! I really like how you pointed out that they use the makeup to actually make their site have more color since their logo is so simple, I had never thought of that before! I really enjoyed this post from one beauty guru to another!


  2. Nina,

    Buying makeup online is such a challenge but Sephora has been so successful with it. Whenever I’m feeling bored with “my look” I always pop onto Sephora’s website even just to get inspired. The site is so well formatted and easy to use that I never end up feeling overwhelmed. Their black and white color scheme is so important because not only is it a constant reminder of their brand but it keeps everything simple and easy to focus on.


  3. Hey Nina!
    I totally agree with you on the success of Sephora’s site. Shopping for makeup is challenging because there is so much of it and is sometimes complicated to understand. I love that there is so much whitespace on the sites to help me focus on the product. They are taking sometimes not so simple products and giving readers more understanding! After reading your post, I will definitely go on their site more, since the stores can be a bit overwhelming at times.


  4. Nine,
    I’ve never been one to really understand makeup, but has always wished to. Sephora is an excellent website because even people like me can navigate through it. While some of the products may be geared towards very specific types of girls, the website was definitely designed for everyone. Whenever I do get a handle on how to put myself together, I’m sure Sephora will be a great resource.


  5. Hi Nina!
    I love Sephora! Although I’d rather shop in an actual store so that I can test out their products I have purchased a couple of my go-to makeup essentials from their site. I like how they split everything up into categories to make it easier to find what you’re looking for because the options are endless. The pictures and font used on the website are very clean which makes the website less cluttered.


  6. Hi Nina!
    I’m the type of girl that once I find makeup that works for me, I don’t change it, so Sephora’s site really works for me! I can conveniently order my makeup from the site without the adventure of going into the store and getting overwhelmed! I absolutely love how easy it is to use their site, as well as how inviting the colors make it feel.


  7. Nina,

    Thanks for sharing. Going into Sephora is such a daunting task because I get sucked into sales people up charging me, and you have definitely inspired me to go through the site next time. Sometimes when I go into Sephora I feel overwhelmed by brands and mix matchy marketing styles. Its nice to know that you feel differently about the website. I would be interested to hear what your opinion on their instore visual rhetoric and how that compares to their online experience. Thanks for the read am looking forward to checking it out.


  8. Nina, I had never visited Sephora’s site before. Thanks for sharing 🙂 I agree with you, the visual feeling that the white space creates allows us to feel in an exclusive store and not a “bulk” ones. I also like the fonts and pictures they use and how it reflects the feeling of their actual in store experience.

  9. Nina,
    I too love the makeup world. The black and white colors definitely represent a higher class and sophistication. They are regal and demand respect. Sephora is not a makeup store for little girls and I think their design layout does a great job of showing that. I don’t know if you have noticed lately but they use a lot of ethnically diverse models and show off many different skin tones. I love that about them.


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