Responses by Lindsay Mannix, partner, Polygraph.
Background: The site is our online portfolio, showing the range of projects we’ve worked on. While most of our business spreads word of mouth, it’s important to have great representations of our work available to show prospective clients. This is definitely our primary audience, but of course, fellow designers and design students are up there too!
Design core: We wanted a pure aesthetic that fundamentally places emphasis on the projects. At the same time, we created a Craft section that acts like our version of Tumblr, which allows us to show the work and behind-the-scenes exploration that doesn’t fit neatly onto a project page.
Challenges: This undertaking forced us to take stock of who we are and where we want to go, so the biggest challenge was an existential one. There are so many great projects we’ve done over the years that don’t necessarily correlate to the future work we’re looking to do, so archiving those was a bit of an exercise in growth.
New lessons: We’ve always worked with great photographers to help shoot our work, but during the pandemic era, it just wasn’t feasible. So we ordered some lights and equipment, set up a home studio, and started experimenting until we figured out how to create the portfolio shots we wanted. This has been an opportunity to challenge ourselves in so many ways, and we know those experiences will benefit our future work.
Navigation structure: Simple, intuitive functionality was key. The intention is that users can quickly understand our focus and breadth, and gain enough of a sense of who we are as a studio to reach out.
Technology: Although we built our original site from scratch in HTML, we are not a web studio. Updating even small things took a lot of time, and often prevent us from quickly showing new work. We knew we needed a more efficient process, so we decided to go with Semplice, a WordPress-based design system specifically developed for creatives. It gave us all the functionality and ease-of-use we were looking for with WordPress and the creative control to make it our own.