Cambridge, Massachusetts — November 13, 2014
With the launch of its new website the Harvard Art Museums chart a new course in arts education.
The Harvard Art Museums have been undergoing a unique transformation over the past six years — in their philosophy, physical form, and digital space. As the Harvard Art Museums director Thomas Lentz explains in his “Director’s Message,” “We have spent years working with architects at the Renzo Piano Building Workshop and at Payette to renovate and expand our historic facility—to make it more transparent and accessible, so visitors can experience the full range of what we have to offer in all three of our museums.” This same thinking was the driving force behind the just launched, fully responsive AREA 17-designed Harvardartmuseum.org.
Working closely with Harvard’s internal technology team, AREA 17 set out to design a site that would take the museum’s mission to heart and truly put “art first.” Accordingly the visual design system is clean and elegant, simple and approachable, allowing the artwork to be front and center.
AREA 17 also aimed to draw connections between the new museum, opening on the 16th of November, and the new site. Subtle hints like the ever present museum hours and location remind the user of the museums’ physical presence while features like the interactive floor plan make more direct connections.
Additionally, the development of a digital tour builder allows credentialed users (administration, teachers, and faculty) to surface and contextualize objects in the vast collection (224,119 objects) for classes and other research purposes. These tours can be made public as well, allowing all visitors to gain from the expertise Harvard is so well known for in every area of study.
With the launch of the site and the impending opening of the new museum, the Harvard Art Museums’ strategic transformation is nearly complete, paving the way for a brave new world in arts education.
New York, New York — October 20, 2014
StumbleUpon Redesigns Native Advertising Platform in Collaboration with AREA 17
StumbleUpon — “the easiest way to discover new and interesting stuff on the Web” — has just relaunched its native advertising platform, StumbleUpon Ads. Designed and developed in close collaboration with AREA 17, the site is fully responsive and includes a reinvigorated brand, immersive animated and illustrated storytelling backed by a content strategy focused on clearly communicating the product’s value propositions.
“The core focus at StumbleUpon this year is innovation. And to mirror our forthcoming product upgrades, we entrusted AREA 17 to leverage their design expertise and help us tell a part of our story,” explains Teal Newland, Vice President of Global Revenue and Marketing for StumbleUpon.
“We’ve used StumbleUpon Ads for the marketing of our own companies,” AREA 17 Founder and Partner, George Eid, explains “and it is an awesome product.” Eid continues, “In partnering with StumbleUpon, we want to help communicate to publishers and advertisers that StumbleUpon is a must have solution for all their campaign plans.”
Tasked with on-boarding new customers, AREA 17 focused on storytelling to cement StumbleUpon’s position as a leader in native advertising. The immersive design highlights StumbleUpon’s unique ability to engage users with brand and publisher’s content. The design uses full-page animations, vibrant colors, bold icons, strong imagery, and succinct messaging to make the product both stronger and easier to digest. A persistent and expected call to action allows customers to start a new campaign from anywhere on the site.
Art Director, Violenn Simon, adds "We mostly took inspiration from data visualization. We looked at StumbleUpon as a gigantic galaxy of content and huge amounts of data all filtered by categories. We kept some of the existing branding principles intact but modernized them with more contemporary, brighter colors, with more contrast and saturation. The project was really about finding a subtle balance between the existing brand and what StumbleUpon could be in the future.”
AREA 17 was also responsible for the communication strategy and all the copywriting, pushing further into a rapidly developing area of expertise for the agency — content creation. “We architected a global communication platform with a unique voice that was the foundation for the copywriting,” Eid says. “This thinking is being laced into everything StumbleUpon does, from sales decks to mission statements.”
As StumbleUpon Ads takes off, the two companies are teaming up for more launches to come in the new year. “We came to this partnership with eyes wide open,” Eid says. “And we found the future for StumbleUpon to be very bright. We’re excited to be able to be a part of it.”
New York, New York — September 3, 2014
Working closely with AREA 17, Style.com, the world’s first, digitally-native, global authority on fashion has just announced the launch of a completely new Style.com.
Using Style.com’s timeless tag-line, “See Fashion First”, as the starting point, the team set out to create a holistic, hyper-engaging, multi-channel, multi-device editorial platform that would broaden the publication’s audience while remaining the essential resource for fashion shows throughout the year. And the timing couldn’t be better — as Style.com’s editor-in-chief, Dirk Standen, notes in a recent New York Times article, “Fashion [has gone] from a cult obsession to a global entertainment phenomenon, like movies and music.”
We designed an experience that elevates the content, clarifies the brand and welcomes a vast and continually growing audience.
With that in mind, AREA 17 partner and creative director, Kemp Attwood, explains “we aimed to create a beautiful, simple site that could satisfy Style’s immediate needs while ensuring the platform can adapt and grow. We designed an experience that elevates the content, clarifies the brand and welcomes a vast and continually growing audience.”
The outcome is a visually striking (responsive) redesign that captures both the grandeur of high fashion and the immediacy of individual style through Style.com’s unique lens. The site’s restructured organization and layout serve to dramatically simplify the content offering and deftly balance Style.com’s three core properties: an editorial platform, a robust fashion show resource and a curated shopping experience.
The revamped homepage ties the three together through a new feed—a dynamic, visual stream of content providing inspiration and up-to-the-minute fashion information from around the globe. From beauty tips to street styles and everything in-between, the new site cements Style.com’s place as the global leader for all things fashion.
New York, New York — August 7, 2014
After redesigning Adage.com, the AREA 17 leadership team provides design insight for all.
In February of 2014, Advertising Age officially launched their redesigned site. We were honored to be their design partner on this extensive project that also encompassed a re-imagined Creativity website. But our partnership didn’t end there. Over the last three months, AREA 17 director of product, Phil Jeffs, and partners George Eid and Kemp Attwood have all contributed articles to the new AdAge.com, outlining some of the core philosophy guiding the agency’s approach to design and the business of design.
Eid led things off on May 12th with a revelatory look at what you, as a client, should look for in an interactive agency like AREA 17. 5 Things Your Interactive Agency Should be Doing for You presents the basics for finding an agency that is just right for you and your business.
Is your interactive agency doing everything in its power to make your projects—and business—successful? How do you know?
On June 12th Jeffs followed this up with Incubating Your Own Products: Insane or Smart? documenting AREA 17’s own trials and tribulations with launching and running our own products such as Krrb Classifieds. Jeffs lays out five things to consider if you are looking to jump into entrepreneurship.
Developing a new product takes time, focus and the ability to go into it with your eyes open. Yet when handled the right way, the payoff can be huge.
And on July 16th, Attwood finished the three part series by publishing Five Ways Good Design Can Help Your Business. The frank look at why design matters to everything you do as a business highlights the successes of two giants of design, Google and Apple, as well as the hurdles they’ve had to climb in order to push design to the forefront of their enterprises.
In an increasingly competitive business landscape, design is the new battleground and the success of your business depends on it.
As we continue to work with Advertising Age in a myriad of ways, we’re excitedly hatching plans to continue to contribute to the editorial vision of this stalwart of the publishing world. Watch out!
Montevideo, Uruguay — June 4, 2014
At Ruby Conf 2014 in Uruguay, Technology Director, Luis Lavena, got quite a surprise…
We are lucky at AREA 17 to have the opportunity to say thank you to Technology Director, Luis Lavena, on a daily — if not hourly — basis. We’ve also been known to frequently ask WWLD (What Would Luis Do?) Or, in Developer, Mike Byrne’s parlance, IWIKWLWD. That is, “I Wish I Knew What Luis Would Do.” Or even, as Product Director, Phil Jeffs, bluntly puts it, IHIDHTALTFTFDBAITTTT — “I Hope I Don’t Have to Ask Luis to Fix This f*&#$^@ Diverged Branch Again. It’s the Third Time Today.”
I Wish I Knew What Luis Would Do.
But not everyone is so fortunate to have ready access to Luis, the maintainer of RubyInstaller, for which he won the Ruby Hero award in 2010. So when the Ruby Conf Uruguay rolled around this past May, Luis’ geographically far flung contemporaries jumped at the chance to thank our resident Ruby expert for his years of guidance and support of the Ruby community.
In a video screened live as an unwitting Luis looked on, everyone from Zachary Scott to Santiago Pastorino, Michael Martens, Aaron Patterson and T.J. Schuck took a moment to tell Luis how much he’s meant to their work. “I really was surprised and a bit embarrassed,” Luis explains. “But as the video played, I got a bit more emotional listening to the stories of how I’ve helped. It really was great!”
If you’ve also missed your opportunity to thank Luis for his hefty contributions to the Ruby community, don’t sweat it. You can always tweet him and say hello (or even ask a question!) — we’ll make sure he gets the message!
Austin, Texas — March 5, 2014
Join us as SXSW to discuss the complex and sometimes absurd world of online intellectual property rights
We are convinced that Craigslist is engaging in anticompetitive business practices by using the pretext of breach of contract as a way to divest a copyright holder of his or her exclusive rights of copyright. In blocking users from promoting their own posts on any other website, Craigslist is attempting to weaken their competitors and maintain its dominance.
How can intellectual property law cover such a wide spectrum when so many issues do not even involve copyrightable material? Case in point: who owns the copyright to Ellen DeGeneres famous Oscar 2014 selfie? Sure it was her camera and her Instagram feed … but Bradley Cooper actually snapped the photo. According to Los Angeles-area entertainment lawyer Ethan Kirschner, “Historically, it’s always been the person who pressed the shutter who’s technically the person that owns copyright.” Oy!
If you find yourself at SXSW Interactive 2014, join us for the panel to discuss this hot topic, examining content policies on the web, how copyright law is failing users and ways we can change the course.
- George Eid, Krrb.com, Founder/CEO
- Greg Kidd, 3taps, Founder/CEO
- Keven Burton, Spinn3r, CEO
- Paul Cloutier, JPG Magazine, Cofounder
Come early cause it’s gonna be packed! Ha, we hope. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the only one. But come anyway!
New York, NY — February 3, 2014
Facebook’s users show why connecting online can mean so much.
Can you remember what life was like before Facebook? Sure, you can. But it gets harder and harder with each passing year. 2014 officially marks Facebook’s 10-year anniversary. To celebrate a decade of posting, sharing and liking, AREA 17 was engaged to create Facebook Ten Stories, a special feature on Facebook Stories, Facebook’s original content site. AREA 17 is the agency behind the design of the site as a whole and recently completed a redesign to create a more editorial experience. This Ten Stories feature highlights 10 of the most fascinating stories of Facebook users told through video, photo stories and essays, that live on the new custom landing page. Within this birthday “package” of 10, two dramatic stories are further called out, each with a wholly unique experience unto itself, bringing the reader deeper into the words and feelings of the stories.
“Kimmy and Will” is an inspirational tale of private messages and status updates helping a couple’s love persevere through tragedy. The web experience uses Facebook’s iconic maps and status boxes to unroll the history of Kimmy & Will’s relationship. Pins and hash-lines chart the couple’s globe-trotting travels, while Facebook life events and posted ‘selfies’ paint the history of their time together.
“Twinsters” follows the diverging, then intersecting, paths of Anais & Samantha, two sisters separated at birth and reunited through a single, momentous Facebook post. The story follows a twisting color-coded helix as it glides downward, spotlighting individual profound moments of their shared discovery of being twins.
This collection of stories is an impactful example of how connecting through the web today is not only an incredible advancement in technology, but a powerful and meaningful method of human expression and interaction.
by Michael Evamy
Laurence King Publishing
Contemporary graphic design
by Michael Evamy
Laurence King Publishing