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The Social Studio

A new site for a much-loved social enterprise

16 August 2021

A place of welcome

The Social Studio is a grassroots, not-for-profit social enterprise, dedicated to creating long-term and rewarding pathways into fashion education and employment for young people from a refugee or new migrant background.

Their ethical and sustainable business model includes a fashion school, fashion label, ethical clothing manufacturing business, retail store and community space. Not only have they supported over 780 people to access training and work programs in the last decade, but they've become a fundamental part of inner Melbourne's diverse cultural and fashion landscape.

In 2021, The Social Studio engaged Liquorice to design and build a new website to showcase their new brand and improve usability, and Liquorice was delighted!

A fresh digital face

We don't often have the opportunity to do pro-bono work, so we jumped at the chance to help an organisation that creates such meaningful social change by welcoming and empowering marginalised communities.

It was an easy job in many ways. We had a great new brand to work with (designed by Ash Goodall), a copy deck ready to go, and an online store already operational. The missing piece was the website itself. Clunky, outdated and unfit for purpose, it was in desperate need of an update.

The challenge was to showcase their youthful, vibrant brand personality, while also creating space for the work of their incredible local makers and designers to shine. By using large imagery and clear typographic hierarchy, keeping plenty of white space, and strategically applying bright pops of colour, we were able to let the designs speak for themselves and lead users to relevant calls-to-action.

We'd struggled with an old, poorly designed website for a number of years and had been trying to get a relaunch off the ground for 12 months when Hammy and the team at Liquorice offered to help. We couldn't believe our good luck! As a not-for-profit with limited resources, we don't have a web or marketing team to maintain our website so the design needed to be simple enough that staff with limited CMS skills could make adjustments on their own. The Liquorice team understood these narrow parameters straight away and quickly delivered mock-ups which sat perfectly with the rebrand we'd been trying to get off the ground and which packaged the complex story of The Social Studio beautifully. A new site was the last piece in the puzzle of our new ‘look’ and we are absolutely thrilled with what's been achieved by this nimble, generous team. Thank you so much!

Dewi Cooke, CEO

Flexible, friendly, functional

When it came time to turn the beautiful designs into a fully-fledged, functioning website, we took a lean approach. We knew that The Social Studio would be managing the site themselves, so building it in such a way that updating and adding content was a simple and streamlined process was very important. We were able to achieve this by adopting a modular approach to each page, keeping it flexible but restrained.

We were also mindful that a diverse range of users would be engaging with the site, so accessibility was at the forefront of our minds. The result is a site that is simple, flexible and delightfully user friendly. We helped the team at The Social Studio to build the site out with content and then, in late June, we launched!

Visit thesocialstudio.org and see their brilliant work on show.

Services

Digital Strategy

Front-end Development

Back-end Development

User Experience Design

User Interface Design

Acknowledgements

Digital Direction: Jim Yencken

UX/UI Design: Steve Mitchell

Digital Project Management: Emerald Cowell

Technical Direction and Development: Hammy Goonan

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.