Responses by ToyFight.
Background: Responding to the global COVID-19 pandemic that shut concert halls worldwide, the Los Angeles Philharmonic launched an online collection of concert films, essays and artwork called SOUND/STAGE. The series speaks to our current moment, exploring timely themes of social justice, the many meanings of love during COVID-19 and the essence of solitude that so many of us have felt in an era of social distancing.
All concert films were released free of charge on a dedicated site that builds upon these ideas in episodic format. The platform offers audiences bonus performances, interviews with artists, essays written by authors like writer Pico Iyer and filmmaker Rian Johnson, and music-inspired artwork by animator Lilli Carré.
Design core: We designed the site to feel bold, editorial and striking. Large, impactful typography, combined with a monochromatic palette, enabled us to imbue a cinematic feeling to the site, with the only colors coming through performance videos and other content.
Creative process: Each episode featured a variety of supporting content from essays to photo galleries to interviews to playlists. We made use of a modular design approach, enabling a variety of content across the nine episodes. Each episode feels slightly different while the design and the overall feeling of the experience remains consistent.
Navigation structure: The episodes were released weekly from September to November 2020, so we needed to design the site in a way that enabled us to launch episodes one by one, hinting at the full program and what was coming up next.
Technology: We decided to use Contentful as the CMS for the project, as it provided the flexibility we required to build our modular system and make each episode unique, as well as the use of some handy features like scheduling content publishing and draft content previews.
For the front end, we used Gatsby. We wanted to prioritize site speed and security, so going for a static site was an easy choice. We knew that content would generally only be updating once per week, so build times were never going to become an issue. Also, we were aware throughout the planning of the project that scalability needed to be considered, which was another benefit of using both Contentful and Gatsby.