Responses by Hamish Smyth, partner, Order
Background: My partner Jesse Reed and I founded Order in 2017 after leaving Pentagram New York, where we’d worked since about 2010. Like any new studio, our focus in the beginning was on getting new work and building a portfolio. We put up a single page website with our contact details and logo, and it remained that way until this version of the site launched in January 2019. The purpose is a showcase of our design work and information about our company to prospective clients. After two years, it feels great to have a place to show people what we’ve been working on.
Highlights: All along, we aimed to have something that clearly displayed our work, and felt clean and in order. Our original website was on a black background, so we carried that over—technically, it’s very dark gray so that photos with a black background can stand out on it. One other thing we wanted to do was only use one typeface and one size—the exception is the about page, where we have one sentence in a bigger size.
We used Pitch Sans from Klim Type Foundry, of which we are big fans. We also come from a background designing a lot of books—some at Pentagram, and some at our sister company Standards Manual—and we wanted the site to have somewhat of a bookish feel with generous margins and the ability to space out content and “pace” the website a little bit.
Challenges: The content. We needed to photograph and record over fifteen projects at once, and it was a lot to manage on top of our regular client work. On our team, Nicholas Stover did a fantastic job managing the project, with help from Fionn Breen, Garrett Corcoran and Bonnie Birmingham. QA was also a major amount of work. Jesse and I are annoyingly nit-picky!
Favorite details: One idea we had was that at the bottom of each project page, the user would just scroll right back into the homepage, rather than having to scroll up, or press “previous/next” type links. I’m sure this has been done before, but we are happy with how it turned out and how it keeps the flow of the site going.
Technical features: The site was developed in a brand new CMS called Twill for Laravel, developed open-source by Area 17. The team at Area 17 was kind enough to give us beta access to Twill, so we are one of the first sites using the open-source iteration. Thank you to the Area 17 team for their support and all of our questions.