Proxart is a non-profit, art organization based in Santa Clarita, CA that produces an online magazine and creative articles around art in suburbia. Their website plays a major role in how they communicate with their audience, so an exciting and functional website was a must to take their image to the next level.
Proxart shares similar philosophies and goals as Toi, which made the process that much easier. After sitting down with their team at Peet's Coffee, we quickly understood who their audience was and the unique feel they were trying to achieve. The website needed to impress within seconds by capturing what Proxart is and what they strive for.
THE PROCESS AND END RESULT
Originally hosted on WordPress.com, Proxart was limited in terms of customization and functionality. While still staying within WordPress, we ported all of their articles, categories, pages, and comments over to the self-hosted version of WordPress to have complete control over the code and design.
The design we proposed highlighted three main components of the website:
Content is king, so we designed around the articles they produce on a daily basis. Each article needed the ability to be visually appealing through featured images on the homepage without cluttering the viewer with vast amount of text. Since Proxart's audience mainly goes to the website to read, we relied on an accessible grid to quickly glance at what articles are available to read.
We also opted to use Disqus over the default commenting system that WordPress provides. Through Disqus, there is a more personalized feel to it by having people connect through Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks.
Aside from their online presence, their downloadable magazine plays a big role in promoting the creative individuals they connect to. We made it incredibly easy to find the latest issue of the magazine on the homepage while having another page dedicated to past issues of the magazine.
The Proxart website needed to have a healthy balance of editorial content, artist promotion, and a way for users to connect with one another. We added the functionality to easily add events and meetups that may be happening around town and a twitter feed. But the most pronounced addition were backgrounds. From time to time, Proxart can promote an artist, designer, or photographer by displaying a piece of work on the background of the website. This keeps the website's design fresh while giving a shout out to the lucky artist.
The end result of the Proxart website demonstrates the true passion of its creator. The attention to detail, the subtle pixel perfections, and the carefully placed elements push the ever-growing quality of Toi.