Phil Lowles

TitanCon website

Website for TitanCon, a science-fiction and fantasy literature and media fan convention that takes place in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I have organised and run this convention for the past five years including all work on the website. Features Paypal e-commerce integration, custom built backend database tracking with personalised email generation functionality.

The majority of the pages on the website are standard information pages about the convention. I have received compliements from attendees about the detailed information I provide.

TitanCon website

Colour scheme and theme

We change up the theme and colour scheme of the TitanCon website each year to keep things fresh. This has allowed me to be creative with things like the button designs. I particularly like the programming buttons for TitanCon 2014 (replicated below) that featured animated flames on rollover. These are animated GIFs that I edited to fit the shape of the rounded button design.

Logo design

TitanCon 2011
TitanCon 2014
TitanCon 2015

The colour scheme and theme is also reflected in the logo design. The top logo shown here is the original one I created for TitanCon 2011 using Fireworks. The text was created in the font BarbadorMT and then converted into a path. I then applied a gradient to create the silvery effect and a white border for accentuation. There is also a slight grey drop shadow to improve visibility of the darker areas.

For the TitanCon 2014 logo I used a set of firey letter images. Some of the letter images were edited so that they could sit closer together to form the words better.

To match the ice theme for 2015 I bought an ice cube tray set that makes letter and number ice cubes and photographed them saying TitanCon 2015. My original plan was to make the entire logo in ice cubes but I found it did not look quite right, so in the end I kept just the year and edited the original TitanCon logo design to look like cracked ice. This is actually a sand texture that creates the cracks and the darker regions towards the bottom really make it work.


The TitanCon website navigation follows the theme and colour scheme, often using the same graphic effect used on the logo to create the button rollovers. The button borders are created using gradients to create the lighter parts on the sides of the button and these turn red on rollover.

Within the code of the navigation is PHP that checks the $page variable set at the top of each page to determine the current page and then if true sets a class that marks the currently viewed page for the user.

TitanCon ticket payments

Paypal integration

One of the main purposes of the TitanCon website is to sell tickets to attendees. For ease of use I have implemented a Paypal e-commerce solution. The image shown here displays the design of the ticket sales box. The "add to cart" button takes the user to the Paypal website where they can sign in and complete their transaction. The code is generated by Paypal but I have adapted this to display more the way I want it.

PHP Includes

Nearly all of my websites make some use of PHP Includes (the header, footer and navigation) but on the TitanCon website I also use some Includes for main page content, specifically the guestlist and programming boxes which are reused in several places. This cuts down on duplication and helps avoids mistakes and forgetting to update multiple instances.

Coach Tour

TitanCon includes a Coach Tour that takes place on the Sunday and visits filming locations around Northern Ireland that were used by Game of Thrones. The Coach Tour page of the website shows the itinerary of the tour with an image that appears beside the itinerary list. I have used JavaScript to change the photograph displayed when the user positions the mouse over each item on the itinerary list. This is a simple, elegant and space conserving way to display the photographs of everywhere we are going to visit on the coach tour.

More details

For more information about TitanCon please read the Convention Planning page on this website or the About and History pages on the TitanCon website.

TitanCon database TitanCon database
A custom built XML database that utilises a functionality in the Firefox web browser to use XSLT to query the XML database. This results in a very fast operating results window that I have customised to display information on attendees, produce sales reports, and output personalised email confirmations.
TitanCon name badges TitanCon 2014 name badge
I put a lot of effort into creating beautifully printed name badges for every TitanCon. These are designed at 300dpi print quality and printed onto 10x15 Kodak photo paper.
TitanCon programmes TitanCon 2013 programme cover
Including a 24 page programme for TitanCon 2012 and a 28 page programme for TitanCon 2013. Both are A5 sized full colour layouts throughout. The TitanCon 2013 programme book featured paid adverts, three of them designed and typeset myself following guidelines set out by the client.
TitanCon flyers TitanCon flyers
Flyers for TitanCon, a science-fiction and fantasy literature and media fan convention held in Belfast, Northern Ireland. These full colour flyers were designed to be double sided and included 3mm bleed as specified by the print company.
TitanCon Schedules TitanCon 2015 schedule
The schedule sheet is an essential hand out for every attendee at TitanCon. This is how everyone finds out what's on, where it's on and which guests are on each panel. I pride myself on creating clear and clean looking schedule sheets that are easy to read and easy on the eye.