Responses by Ryan Brüssow, founder; and Luan van der Westhuizen, designer, Cultish.
Background: The website was inspired by a trip to the Netherlands in February of 2020. We wanted to create not only our new studio website but also pay homage to the art and creative heritage of Dutch architecture and design. Our love for minimalism and typography inspired the editorial look and feel.
Favorite details: Taking the emotional aspects of our experience in the Netherlands and translating that through to the web was our main goal. We wanted users to feel the same energy and be in awe—like we were when visiting historic Dutch art museums.
Challenges: Doing justice to the art through our design was of utmost importance. We wanted the original paintings to be the heroes and add our own creative style over them. Combining a set of technologies that would produce an inclusive experience for all users was the most challenging aspect.
New lessons: All projects have trade offs. When breaking out of the norm to bring a unique experience, one has to delicately piece together the final results in a coherent way to ensure you don’t alienate any users. We ventured outside of our normal tech stack and introduced new technologies to push the boundaries, and that came with a steep learning curve.
Special navigation features: We added Cape Town’s weather and local time. There’s also the ability to switch between light and dark mode.
Technology: The site was built using React with the Gatsby framework. We opted to use standard CSS and SVG transformations where possible, and leveraged GSAP and WebGL for the more heavy-lifting animations. The infrastructure of the site is hosted in AWS with S3, Cloudfront and Codebuild.