Responses by the Digitas design, experience design and tech teams
Background: The purpose of the site is to represent the MacDowell Colony, a leading contemporary arts organization in Peterborough, New Hampshire that has been creating an inspirational space for artists since 1907. Despite its rich and impressive history, the old site was disjointed and cosmetically lacking.
Highlights: MacDowell’s mission statement now takes center stage, accompanying historical information, as well as specific artist spotlights. We’re also proud of the custom typeface that was designed around basic shapes. In addition, the full color logo was made using the colors cyan, magenta, yellow and black; when these colors overlap, they create a total of seven color values, which represent the seven artistic disciplines MacDowell promotes: architecture, film/video arts, interdisciplinary arts, literature, music composition, theater and visual arts.
Challenges: Incorporating MacDowell’s new branding into the site. We felt a lot of pressure to do the new brand justice while also honoring the heritage of MacDowell. We’re pleased with how we navigated the tension between history and modernity.
Favorite details: The animations and micro-interactions that can be found throughout the site. We spent a lot of time making sure everything moved in a way that felt simultaneously natural and unexpected.
Navigational structure: Our game plan for the entire site was to simplify and modernize. Even though we know it’s not always a popular choice for desktop users, we advocated for putting all the navigation in the hamburger menu to allow the content and the artwork to be viewed without distracting user interface elements. The actual design of the navigation is meant to be editorial yet informational.
Anything new: This entire experience was new for us. We kicked off the pro-bono project as a two-night Hackathon with our team of ten designers in New York. It was an incredible experience that we can’t wait to replicate for future projects.