Knox Kronenberg is an amazingly talented photographer that came to us in need of a website to showcase, and ultimately sell, his work. He wasn’t looking for your ordinary website. He wanted the experience to feel unique and expensive—just like his photography.
Exploration + Architecture
After conducting a thorough exploration to get a clear idea of Knox’s preferences, both visually and functionally, we began mapping out the site’s architecture. The design and development of the site would be highly complex, but he wanted the architecture to be kept simple, with a primary focus on showcasing his artwork and directing users to inquire.
Knox had no existing web presence, and knowing the design and build of his site was going to take quite a bit of time, we got to work creating a splash page. A ‘splash page’, is what we call a single page website that is typically very simple, incorporating only the basic information a client wants their audience to know. When a client wants something up right away, a splash page is often our solution to at give them an online presence while the full site is in the works.
But, this wasn’t a typical splash page. We wanted to give users a taste of what they would be getting with the full site experience. Our development team brought to life a vertical infinity scroll to display Knox’s work, along with a short paragraph of text that introduced who he was and what his work was about. Check it out ⬇️
On to the full web design. All of Knox’s photographs are black and white, and he wanted the site to match that. By keeping the color minimal and fonts simple, we were able to keep the main focus on the photography. Knox wanted the site to be an immersive experience unlike most have seen on the web before, so we set out to bring his request to life.
During our exploration at the beginning of a project, we often ask the client to share inspiration examples of websites they like. We’ve found that seeing working examples of what a client is drawn to is a great way to demonstrate the type of site they’re looking for, rather than them trying to put it into words. This project was no different.
Have you ever heard of the agency Barlow? Well, they have a pretty sick infinity scroll experience on their home page that caught Knox’s eye and was exactly what he wanted—Challenge #1. We hadn’t previously built anything like this, so our development team got to work researching and learning the best way to build this experience so it would would work seamlessly across browsers and devices.
We’re not gonna lie, it took some significant digging, trial and error, and a lot of brain power to get this look for Knox. Part of what made this so difficult, was that because each thumbnail is a piece of artwork Knox is selling, we needed to make sure the aspect ratio and orientation of each piece was accurately depicted. Whereas every image on the Barlow site was cropped to a square, which made things a little more streamlined. But, we love a good challenge and we’re happy to say that after a few attempts, and reaching out to Barlow themselves, we achieved the (what we thought was) impossible.
How do we make the rest of the site just as interesting as the home page? Animation. We wanted to keep the site relatively clean to showcase Knox’s work but brainstormed ways to incorporate subtle animations for some added thrill—spinning text circles, background color transitions, image tilts on hover, shutter animation for loading pages and buttons, and infinity scrolls—to name a few.
Crafting content is one piece of the website puzzle that presents the biggest hiccup for many clients, and it’s certainly the heaviest lift for them throughout the process. This is something we can help with, but when it comes to some things, such as explaining art—that is best told by the creator.
As you can imagine, writing down your thought process for multiple pieces of artwork can be time consuming, especially when you are a world-traveling photographer. This is not a knock at Knox, because we fully understand the time and care that goes into describing and explaining your work, while also continuing your full-time job as an artist (take it from someone who takes months to write just one article 🙂 ). This site in particular, includes behind-the-scenes videos that demonstrate the making of each photograph, so that’s something that isn’t done overnight.
We’re on a continuous quest to figure out the best way to organize all content so that it makes it easy for every person involved on a project to keep track of. If any of y’all want to share your secrets—we’re all ears.
This has been one of the most fun projects we’ve had the opportunity to work on to-date, and we hope to see more of them in our future. Knox, thanks for giving us the creative freedom to build one of the most “badass” (in your own words) websites we’ve ever created. Stay-tuned for the full site launch coming soon! It’s going to “Knox your socks off 🤪.”