Responses by Media.Monks.
Background: The purpose of The Pleasure Pursuit is to celebrate the collection between fashion house Coach and the Tom Wesselmann Foundation. The experience offers users the opportunity to see things through the eyes of artist Tom Wesselmann and experience his playful perspective on life. The site aims to engage Gen Z and Millennial Coach customers.
Larger picture: To complement the online experience, a social campaign promoted the collection’s launch using content shot by Juergen Teller and educational reels explaining Wesselmann’s legacy and work.
In stores, big screens in shop windows and on store floors displayed elements and visuals from the web experience. Updated retail designs also reflected giant cutouts of Wesselmann. The web experience formed the hub and heart of the campaign, being the primary experience and story.
Design core: The first core feature of the site is to offer a perspective distinctive to Wesselmann. Through a playful design of “decors,” visitors travel through larger-than-life artwork, focusing on the main themes in life that his work revolved around. The second core feature of the site is to offer users the opportunity to explore the story on a deeper level. While exploring the site, visitors can click through hotspots with more information on the artwork they see to learn about the story behind them and Wesselmann himself.
Favorite details: The visually playful way we portrayed the themes. How do we reimagine and share the influence that love, play and wonder had on Wesselmann without telling it in words? After all, we were encapsulating the legacy of a visual artist on the site, so it made sense for us to play with the visual tricks he used himself: scale, cutouts, composition and color. Using these, we set up different scenes focused on these themes with custom decor that complements the art visitors fly through.
Challenges: Figuring out how to populate a full screen while accommodating a fly-through camera path using fragments of original artwork. When cutting up the artwork to create layers, we found that the ‘holes’ it created were not working for the level of immersion we were trying to achieve. We wanted to create the feeling of falling down a rabbit hole into a new world with new ways of looking at things. To solve that, we had to come up with a solution to fill the gaps while maintaining the authenticity of the original artwork. Repetition of cutouts and custom-made 3-D and 2-D scenes that felt complementary to Wesselmann’s style offered the solution.
Navigational features: Since the site tells a story about something where visual design and navigation are central to the experience, it was paramount to ensure our visitors paid attention to the right things at the right time. For this reason, we decided not to implement a scroll experience where the user dictated the pace of the flow but instead opted for a hybrid solution where the site plays out on its own—unless the user hits pause or moves chapters. The navigation bar had to indicate this without confusing the user with a video or audio player.
Special technical features: One detail worth mentioning stemmed from the site’s unique nature and the brief to show original artwork in an all-new perspective: one the user flies through. To ensure the artwork maintained a high enough resolution when visitors got close, we cut up the artwork using geometry. The paintings were projected onto a plane, and each piece was cut out. This allowed us to animate pieces away from the camera as we got closer to the artwork, letting users fly through. Combined with custom 3-D scenes placed in WebGL, this gave us the most visual control over the combination of original artwork and added content, creating one smooth, unified experience without visual compromises.