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ArtBabble: Behind the Design

Last Tuesday, we launched a brand new website for ArtBabble.  Rita Troyer, Digital Graphic Designer in IMA Lab, discusses the design process:

The Brand

Since its launch in April 2009, ArtBabble has grown into something far greater than the original website it began as. It seemed only fitting to give the site and its visual identity a facelift given the ever growing nature of its content and partner reach.

In early July of this year, fellow IMA Lab designer, Matt Gipson and I set out to create several rebrand directions. After a few brainstorming sessions with take aways like “simpler,” “sleeker,” and “more vibrant,” the rebrand process was underway. We first nailed down our designs to two different directions and shortly thereafter, came up with our final approach.

Old logo on the left; Redesign on the right.

The new ArtBabble mark focuses on two things: streamlining and refining the brand, while maintaining elements of the original. ArtBabble’s purpose is to enable free flowing conversation, about art, for anyone. The new brand retains the play button, uses the eye catching Babble blue, and maintains the rounded typography, but with a matured feel. The color palette incorporates brighter, more vibrant colors, and with ArtBabble having just celebrated its third birthday, we felt that it was time to ditch the “Play Art Loud” tagline.

The Website

From the start of the website redesign process, the main goal was to come up with a design that had room to grow.  We wanted to plan for the site to evolve in the same capacity that it had over the past three years. Another goal was to design partner pages, artist pages, etc. so they could stand-alone. For some institutions, their ArtBabble Channel may be their main hub for video content. Therefore, their Partner Channel needed to work as a page that could be linked to directly as an outlet for their content. You’ll also notice that the redesign brings more of a visual presence to the videos and allows users to either dive into the material they are seeking, or browse casually. The new site structure brings ArtBabble’s amazing content to the forefront of a user’s experience.

Final homepage mockup

Mobile navigation mockup

Not only has the content of the site evolved over time, technology has evolved as well. The new, responsive design provides an optimal viewing experience for users no matter what device they’re on. Take a look here. Videos now play through players that are HTML5 compatible, making the video content accessible on desktops, tablets and mobile devices. The new ArtBabble is all about making content accessible wherever our audiences may be, on whatever device they may be using.

We couldn’t be more pleased with the way ArtBabble has grown since its launch in 2009.  We hope you enjoy the new logo and website redesign! Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Filed under: Design, New Media, Technology

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