Last month we launched our inaugural SquareStudio Awards. We were thrilled with the positive response we had from fellow Squarespace enthusiasts about the concept. It was a close result but in the end Variable's website designed by Pocketknife took came out on top.
Pocketknife were the designers behind this project and they have given us a fascinating insight into their creative process. Founded in 2014 this Squarespace design company have worked on a number stunning projects in their time. We had a chat with co-creator Jared Gibbons to discuss the award-winning work.
WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES OF DESIGNING THIS WEBSITE?
The biggest challenge was striving to maintain the simplicity and minimalism that both us and Variable love, while working with a large amount of content (text, images, and video). In order to make this happen we had to execute some custom development, but in the end it was 100% worth it, and allowed for us to achieve the look and feel that we were aiming to create. On top of this, we wanted to ensure that users that viewed the website from an iMac to an iPhone had a consistent, enjoyable experience.
HOW DID YOU FIND WORKING WITH VARIABLE?
We have an immense amount of respect for the team at Variable and the quality of work they put out on a consistent basis. They're a company we look up to in terms of their level of creativity, organization, and just overall drive. They helped push us to create not just a good looking website, but one that encompasses every aspect of their brand, message, and vibe. To date it is still one of our favorite projects we've had the privilege to work on.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT DESIGNING WITH SQUARESPACE?
We really love that once we complete a project, our clients can feel comfortable managing their content moving forward. It's important our clients have a great looking website, no doubt. But it's also important they feel comfortable making changes and edits in the future, and Squarespace provides a great platform for this.
DO YOU HAVE ANY EXCITING PROJECTS IN THE PIPELINE?
We do! We've been working hand-in-hand with some of the most talented creatives and production companies around. We'll be releasing some work that we're really excited about in the coming weeks. In the meantime, some favorite Squarespace websites we've launched recently are Twenty Thousand Hertz, Animal Media Group, & Cinematographer John Pope.
AS AN EXPERIENCED SQUARESPACE DESIGNER WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING PART OF THE CIRCLE?
The Circle community is amazing. Each day I go to The Circle forums I learn something new. And I can honestly say that it's made us better designers and developers.
With its beautifully crafted grid gallery and smooth navigation, Variable's site is a great example of how simplicity works when it comes to contemporary design. We caught up with Variable to chat to them about the creative process and their thoughts on the final product.
WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE FEATURE OF THE WEBSITE?
The simplicity. We wanted our work to speak for itself and allow the website to act as a canvas for our audience to easily navigate and explore our portfolio. We are firm believers that less is more when it comes to design.
WHAT WERE THE MAIN THINGS YOU WERE LOOKING TO ACHIEVE WITH YOUR WEBSITE?
A great user experience on all devices. From a 27-inch display down to a mobile device, we worked hard with Pocketknife to ensure the website rendered seamlessly on all platforms.
DID YOU ALWAYS HAVE SQUARESPACE IN MIND?
After using Wordpress for several years, we were frustrated with the platform. We desired a website that was responsive, future-proof and easy to update with lots of videos and photos. Visual language is at the core of everything we create at Variable. Squarespace truly understands what artists need to stay focused on being creative.
HOW DID YOU COME ACROSS POCKETKNIFE AS A DESIGNER? WHAT WERE THEY LIKE TO WORK WITH?
We discovered Pocketknife after a thorough search on the Squarespace Developers Platform. When we started working on the website in early 2015, not many cpmanies knew how to implement complex code for Squarespace. Pocketknife was on the cutting edge of this new technology and they were able to pull off some amazing features on the backend to make things incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. They also added some beautiful custom features on the front end including the team page with responsive hover actions over the name of each Director. We couldn’t be more thrilled with Pocketknife and continue to refer them to everyone we know.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS TO DEVELOP THE WEBSITE IN THE FUTURE?
A website is your first impression to the world. Branding is more important than ever before. Pocketknife is constantly making small tweaks to keep our site clean and relevant for all to enjoy.
It was a pleasure interviewing both of these talented companies and we hope they've enjoyed being part of the SquareStudio Awards experience. The November awards are now live and thirty awesome websites are waiting for your vote. Check them out and submit your own designs for next month!