Responses by Kevin Dart, creative director, Chromosphere Studio
Background: Our old studio website was a fairly basic portfolio site. What’s unique about our studio is how much we get involved in the exploration and development of visual ideas, rather than just executing on a pre-existing concept. We wanted a website that could demonstrate that process and celebrate the versatile creative artists we work with. If we look at each of our projects like a building, I wanted the website to show the entire framework, wiring and plumbing that went into making them. We worked with the guys at Squatch Creative to design, build and implement the site.
Highlights: The whole site is based on a rigid four-column design grid, which was inspired by the tickets and schedules from the 1972 Munich Olympics. The left column holds the Chromosphere logo and project titles, while the other three columns hold content. We also looked to the bright colors of the 1970s as inspiration for the site’s color palette. I designed little icons for our four main types of projects—2-D, 3-D, Hybrid and Interactive Animation—inspired by the sports icons at the Olympics.
Challenges: Assembling and editing all of the content for the site. I didn’t realize how much work it would be to dig through our project archives—to collect images and videos; then edit, rearrange and lay them all out in a way that best told the story of each project. I also interviewed many of the involved artists about their specific contributions, and then edited the interviews into the final case study pages. It took me about four months to finally put it all together.
Favorite details: The detail in which each project is dissected on the case study pages. They capture the effort and the diversity of talent that goes into bringing each project to life. I’m especially proud of the sections that show off our technical achievements, which are illustrated with embedded videos that show the wizardry behind the scenes. Also, the Workshop page. I wanted a special little spot for all of the random experiments and lost clips that we created during the course of our work. Many of these disconnected ideas and fragments can later turn into the seeds of much bigger ideas, so I see it as a fun, but vital part of our process.
Navigational structure: We wanted to keep the navigation clean and simple, so everything lives inside the main menu in three sections—Studio, Case Studies and Workshop. The Case Studies portion of the menu expands to show the individual projects and then closes to keep the menu looking as clean as possible. There is a cool scroll functionality on the case study pages, which subtly snaps the view to the start of the main article, and then to the credits at the end. I also love the way the project title follows users as they scroll down the page, framing the article in the top left.