Responses by ARTILECT.
Background: The purpose of Culturelines is to build a community, to give back to people doing amazing work and interesting things across the world, and create an opportunity for storytelling that links to—but is also adjacent to—its parent, performance apparel brand ARTILECT. In parallel with Culturelines Magazine, the Culturelines site was developed by the ARTILECT creative team as a pure storytelling channel. The website is where we dig into what’s happening into the world around us; showcase aspirational projects, people and places; and initiatives, such as environmental and sustainability trends.
The target audience is anyone passionate about the outdoors and urban culture but also appreciates the world beyond that, from art to music, fascinating new products and innovations, and people who approach things in new and different ways. We publish stories that we as a team find interesting, and we bring in more creatives to the family who also want to write or contribute photography, artwork, music or other projects for Culturelines.
Design core: With a unique layout that features blocks for copy and corresponding images on each side, the site’s style is about representing who we are and what we’re out to achieve with ARTILECT, from the artwork from multidisciplinary artist and designer Evan Hecox to web design from Burt’s Business to branding from Jasmax to the stories and content ideas from ECHOS Communications. The core features are the ability to surface these stories in an interesting and compelling way, and the reflection of a style that stands out and draws in the reader. The next steps for us are building out the community aspect with the hopes of getting more people involved in the project.
Favorite details: We’re really proud of the collaborative effort between the teams—based across the globe—that made this all happen. Founder Trent Bush of ARTILECT and the team at outdoor, country and lifestyle company Bradshaw Taylor brought in the creative support—all of whom played critical roles in the design, content, branding, and overall look and feel of Culturelines. It’s a testament to the potential of tapping global creative talent and setting them free to do what they do best.
Challenges: Finding a way to unite Culturelines’s diverse pieces of content in a user-friendly template proved to be challenging—but also fun. In doing so, we wanted to future-proof ourselves so that we can continue to add content and introduce new themes without having to build from scratch every time. Working collaboratively with the global team to address future plans and aspirations for Culturelines helped us spec it out in a way that can flex to new directions of content further down the line.
Time constraints: We had a tight turnaround to get the site live, a short window after the first issue of the magazine had gone to print. The real time pressure wasn’t so much in the build and feedback process as we worked with art director and designer Harrison Burt of Burt’s Business—who makes dreams come true overnight—but more so in the planning and preliminary work that went into the brief. We had to break down the components of Culturelines as it is now, as it is going to be and as what we want it to grow into so that we could stagger the project and ensure that we weren’t forcing things we weren’t proud of into the site.
Navigation structure: The site’s design draws inspiration from the pillars of the Culturelines Magazine layout: People, Places, Product and Possibilities. Harrison introduced us to the beauty of side-scrolling elements that seamlessly scroll left to right, so that you’re not just scrolling down the page like any other site—you’re encouraged to interact differently than the norm. If you’re looking at the Latest Stories and Featured Stories blocks on our homepage, for instance, we encourage a side swipe to browse. This also gives the sense that everything on the site is curated to flow together and complement each other. When you’re actually reading a story, there’s a natural point at the bottom of the page where you can read the next or previous story to encourage “coffee-time” or commuter reading on the go. It’s just like browsing a physical magazine in your hand.
Technology: The site is built on Webflow with custom jQuery that enables the side scrolling and fills in a few of the other technological gaps. The page speed (due to Amazon Web Services–hosted content), security and ease of use for the content editors are what drew us to Webflow above its alternatives. The site is designed and built to enable a lot of flexibility. This is based on the content uploaded for each story, swapping out sections and adding others where needed. It also dynamically creates additional categories and author pages, populating them with all related content.