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Interactive Annual 15:

Factory Design Labs

Launch Live Site

“This agency successfully captures the essence of what they do by turning their site into a branded client retrospective.” —Amber Bezahler

“I love the use of full-screen video, and it’s nice to see a portfolio site where the work is big and boldly presented. These guys do great work and they have designed the perfect site to showcase it.” —Michelangelo Capraro

Overview: Not intended to act solely as a portfolio for Factory Design Labs, this site goes one step further to define the essence of the studio and the level of work that clients can expect from it. Presented through full-screen video and bold graphics, it’s an expressive, music video-like translation of the culture and vibe that visitors get when they walk into the office. A minimal navigation with a carefully-edited selection of projects rounds out the offering. For a company that describes itself with the words “design, music, culture, technology,” the content on the site is an honest and accurate representation of its business-set to music.

  • • Scheduled to coincide with an office relocation and a new identity and portfolio, the deadline for completing the site was a hard date that aligned with the office move.
  • • Generally the site highlights about ten projects in addition to all the work shown in the video (which took two days to shoot and about a week of editing and music).
  • • There is also an iPhone version of the site.

Comments by Steve Whittier and Matt Kitt

How did this project compare with others you’ve worked on in the past? “For the full-screen video, we elaborated on work we had done for the Audi Iron Man site. Design-wise, we do a lot of Web-based broadcast work, but putting the essence of our agency out there creates a lot more internal debate.”

Did you learn anything new during the process? “We found that full-screen video eats up a lot of memory.”

How did time constraints affect your final solution? “Since it was our own project, we stretched the deadline to make sure we had a product we were proud and confident to deliver.”

Were there any specific demands that made the project easier or harder? “Narrowing down what to show was hard, because there's always something that gets left out that you wanted to put in.”

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “Technically maintaining performance while playing high-quality videos in full screen was a huge challenge, as was IE6. Production-wise, gathering and organizing all the different assets and assigning the how-to animation with each was more time consuming than originally thought because we used so many pieces. From a design and conceptual direction, our goal was to not create a site that worked only as a fancy way of showing our portfolio. In essence, the greatest challenge was this initial direction.”

What would you do differently if you could start the project over? “We would have shot the video with the red camera, which would have allowed us to work with more depth. But now that all is said and done, we’re happy; not 100 percent content, but happy.”


Sean Klassen, art director
Dean Del Calzo, writer
Andrew Price/Steve Whittier, creative directors
Scott Mellin, strategy
Matt Kitt, interactive developer
Adam Espinoza, editor
Kristen Del Calzo/Camie Haverstick/Ryan Policky/Cooper Smith, agency producers
Ryan Blanchard/Stephanie Davy, project directors
Dennis Flippen, director of photography
Jean Pichot, motion graphics
Augie March/Sony BMG, music
Factory Design Labs (Denver, CO), project design and development/ad agency/client