As I stated in my first Richmond Design Roundup, Workshop Digital exists in a hotbed of creativity. Richmond thrives on the arts. Every other block is home to a street art masterpiece and every night of the week plays host to amazing local, national, and international live music. This is what first attracted me to our awesome city and what is keeping me here 8 years later.
In this edition of the Richmond Design Roundup I’m going to focus specifically on websites. These are websites I enjoy visiting for their interesting aesthetic choices or their unique interaction designs, not because of their SEO best practices or data-based design decisions (sorry SEO team). My personal taste in no way reflects how Workshop Digital would tell you your site should be designed and built. However if that’s what you’re interested in, here’s a conveniently placed conversion opportunity for you to contact us for a free opportunity analysis.
KNOWN, based in Richmond’s lovely Fan District, is a “full-service web development and design agency specializing in unique web-based solutions that illuminate new possibilities for our clients.” A small but mighty team, KNOWN creates elegant, simple, usable websites for their clients. Their own website is a prime example of this work. The site features bold, beautiful typography, set in black on a white background. All the features nestled neatly into a grid system that feels unique, yet not unusual. The combination of a minimalist design with well placed scroll-based interactions and animations is what makes this site so striking and dynamic.
Baskervill has been in operation for 120 years as of 2017, making them one of the nation’s oldest architectural firms. Baskervill offers architectural and interior design solutions for a wide range of clients, “from hospitality to workspace, healthcare, manufacturing, banking and cultural institutions.” Their site, built by our friends at Co+Lab, feels exactly how a 120 year old architecture firm’s site should feel–classy, but not stuffy; contemporary, but also timeless. The use huge, bright photography throughout the homepage and work samples showcases the variety of work Baskervill has done. The beautiful full page navigation menu draws a curtain on the work while the users takes a pause to decide where to navigate next, rather than covering up and distracting from the work itself. This site feels good to navigate and explore, really drawing you in for a nice long visit.
The VCUarts website got a big redesign since I graduated from their Kinetic Imaging department in 2013, and I love the new site. The site uses a lot of video backgrounds, boxed items with a thick stroke around them, and a sort of goofy 3D object that houses the navigation menu. The site does a great job of setting the School of the Arts apart from the rest of VCU’s web presence, and showcasing students’ work and the unique personality of VCUarts as a whole. Their RVA All Day section also does a great job showing potential students why Richmond rules for those who might not have any first hand experience here.
Hue and Cry
Hue and Cry is an animation company that partners with the Martin Agency for commercials for companies like Tic Tac, Oreo, and Chips Ahoy. Their site is super simple but so well balanced, designed to have their work front and center. Something I really love about the site is the controlled use of color–grey background, white text, yellow accents. The interspersed hand written type, referencing the brand’s logo, creates a personal feel while also calling attention to important phrases. As I said before, their animations take the spotlight on this site, some of my favorites are the Tic Tac Little Adventures Campaign and the Creativity Top 5 Intro Sequence (be sure to watch the behind the scenes on that one as well).