Responses by Charles Blouin, creative director and cofounder, Beauvoir.
Background: DuChanvre’s website redesign is actually the final piece of a complete renaming and rebranding project we have been working on this past year with the company’s cofounders, Anthony Néron and Émilie Bergeron. A pioneer in hempcrete insulation and lime plaster finishes in both construction and design, Quebec-based DuChanvre’s mission is to reinvent the industry through modern and responsible alternatives.
Focused mostly on collaborating with architects and interior designers, this company needed a fresh brand, an identity platform and a complete digital platform. All these components needed to reflect the minimalist elegance and exceptional attention to detail: evidence pointing to the quality of its portfolio.
Design core: Subtle elements elevate the animations and interactions, while the sleekness of the design provides a seamless, enjoyable experience for the user. The main idea was to let DuChanvre’s projects speak for themselves without undermining the content’s importance, as we chose each and every word with care.
Challenges: For many different reasons (but mainly for the deadline’s sake) we had to create the website’s design before its content. So obviously, we thought about a structure and layout that would be very flexible in terms of the contents it could accommodate. This happened to be both a blessing and a curse; we had thought things through but still needed to adapt some parts of the site afterward to make the content fit. We have confirmed that even though we might save some time starting with design, it is always much easier to go content first.
Navigation structure: The website’s navigation does not feature any special “tricks”; the beauty is in its simplicity. We wanted to keep it as pure as possible in order to make it easier for users to find their way to the content they seek.
Technology: We built the website with WordPress using our in-house custom framework, which draws its inspiration from the Bedrock boilerplate and the Gutenberg block editor. The online shop was built using WooCommerce with custom-built functions and the PayPal API.