Responses by Dave Snyder, executive creative director, Firstborn
Background: The purpose of the site is to talk about Firstborn through a lens that potential clients will care about. We get a lot of work through referrals, so we wanted the focus to be on our values, our team and our project approaches—basically what makes us “us.” At the end of the day, it’s who you are in the room that matters.
Highlights: The big type. I believe type is beautiful and can be extremely impactful, if treated correctly. Another big thing users will notice is that we launched the new site without our twenty-year archive of work; instead, we showcased our work in its actual stages—from the initial stage the product may be in to the press coverage our marketing-centric work leads to. We wanted to steer clear of overloading on “embellished” agency case studies.
Challenges: It looks simple, but it wasn’t—especially from a technical standpoint. Compromises had to be made on how to manage the grid and type sizes across a billion viewports. And managing a fluid grid with a horizontal scroll while maintaining maximum usability was no easy task.
Visual influences: The first site that moved me as an interactive designer was Firstborn’s kinetic typography-based site from fifteen years ago. In my opinion, it is one of the best examples of digital design ever made. It was a list. It was simple and direct and changed my connection with typography. I love that simplicity, clarity and beauty of big type set in a grid. It’s timeless.
Approach: The most interesting part about the process wasn’t the process of changing the site itself, but the process that led to the change. Another big part of it was to convey that we’ve become more business-minded in our ‘older’ age. Our old site was too big and a ton has happened within the past 20 years. Also, the site was too focused on the flashier marketing side and less focused on the service, product and platform work that we do so much of now—the stuff that delivers real business value. And that’s what we wanted to showcase.