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Craft Victoria

Crafting a new era for a creative stalwart

4 November 2021

Craft has been the principal promoter of hand-crafted practice for over 50 years, supporting the careers of thousands of makers and nurturing small creative businesses. They connect makers with audiences, examine the boundaries of creative practices and build an ever-evolving, contemporary vision of craft in Australia.

Then 2020 happened. The gallery was forced to close, workshops, talks and other events cancelled, and Craft's audiences moved online. The quick-thinking team at Craft rebuilt parts of the website to support a sudden, online-only delivery model, and not only survived, but flourished. Their efforts marked a new era for Craft, but also revealed a need for an update to the brand and website.

Engaging Liquorice

Craft asked our digital team to help update their entire digital presence, from the development of a comprehensive new digital strategy, to the design and development of a new website, including the application of their beautiful new brand by Studio Round.

The ultimate goal (and deadline!) was to have a refreshed website up and running for the 2021 Craft Contemporary event series which launched in September.

This new site needed to be 3 key things:

  1. A platform for Craft members to sell their crafts and advance their practices
  2. An online retail shop for buyers to purchase hand-crafted goods
  3. An event space and cultural destination for local and interstate visitors

Strategy

We conducted a strategy workshop with the team at Craft, closely examining the brief, asking questions and generating a comprehensive overview of the project goals, objectives, vision, priorities, risks and opportunities.

We created personas to represent Craft's key audiences like makers, educators, retail customers, commercial partners and more, ensuring the needs of each group were not just being met, but anticipated. We worked collaboratively with Craft to develop a new site IA which simplified the navigation and content and aligned to the direct user needs.

Balance was an incredibly important element in this project

We carefully considered how to meet the expectations of highly engaged makers to have an intimate digital space for their work, without alienating more casual audiences. We also reconciled the different needs of novice makers to expert craftspeople, and thought about how we could achieve a cutting-edge website and dynamic content without burdening the small Craft team with a huge maintenance workload.

One thing was evident from day 1: Craft's extensive and exquisite library of visual content was destined to be the main event.

Design

Liquorice is well known for its ability to juggle. Not balls or knives, unfortunately, but disciplines. Our multidisciplinary teams work side-by-side on strategy, UX and UI, brand and digital design and development, a holistic approach that gives our clients a high level of transparency and a superior outcome.

For Craft, our digital designers worked collaboratively with the brand partners, crafting wireframes before they'd even seen the finished brand designs, and incorporating elements as they became available and refining the designs as they went. It was important that the website design supported the beautiful, lush hero imagery (as opposed to competing with it), so we utilised plenty of space and a minimal colour palette.

We were so inspired by the physical gallery space (with its white surfaces and minimalist aesthetic) where the work is always the star of the show. We wanted to create that same feeling for the website.

It’s been a pleasure working with Liquorice on Craft’s new website. At the beginning of this process, we were looking for a partner who would be creative, collaborative, and, importantly, energised by our organisation and what we do! From day one, the team at Liquorice proved to be brilliant collaborators with an eye for detail and the nuances of user experience. They took the time to understand the depth and richness inherent in contemporary craft practice and our organisation and programming, designing thoughtful UX and a clean and beautiful website. We are thrilled to celebrate this next chapter with a new platform that integrates our activities and provides support and opportunities to Australian makers and designers.

Sarah Weston, Business Development and Creative Partnerships Manager

Shopify Redesign

We restyled and restructured the online store, improving navigation between the store and the main website and ensuring the brand was applied seamlessly across it. We also enabled Craft to embed collections of shop items as well as individual shop items for important things like workshops and events - image with price and buy now button - quick entry to the store.

Development

The main goal for the website was to create something that gave control back to the Craft team, to ensure they were able to update and enhance the site independently as needed.

Craft did an incredible job updating the previous site themselves through the pandemic, but the site was unsustainable in its current state. It sprawled across a huge number of pages and page types, and the navigation was complex and opaque.

We created a robust site structure and a set of powerful modular templates which would enable Craft to create a wide variety of pages designs without designing them from scratch every time.

Technology stack: We used Wagtail as a headless CMS to feed an API which was consumed by a VueJS frontend. Using the shopify API to embed products and collections.

Launch

And then it happened. We launched the new Craft Website to much excitement and fanfare, and it was momentous.

If you'd like to talk about a digital strategy or website project with us, get in touch. Until then, enjoy craft.org.au and support our makers.

Services

Digital Strategy

Digital Direction

User Experience Design

User Interface Design

Animation

Front-end Development

Back-end Development

Acknowledgments

Digital Direction: Jim Yencken

UX/UI Design: Will Batrouney, Jayne Halsey

Digital Strategy: Emerald Cowell, Madeleine Baud

Project Management: Emerald Cowell

Technical Direction: Hammy Goonan

Development: Tom Bredin-Grey, Vivian Genato, José Arévalo

Animation: Andrew Fiscalini

We live and work on the lands of the Wurundjeri people.
We acknowledge their ownership of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.