Can you tell us a little about dn&co the agency
dn&co is a branding agency with extensive experience in print, digital, film and exhibition spaces.
What prompted the design of a new site?
The old dn&co site was woefully out of date, both in terms of content and design – not to mention it was produced entirely in Flash. We have also recently moved into the middle of the West End, and our studio has a great sense of momentum which we wanted to reflect.
Our old site made us look a little like a print design agency. The new site’s black and white home page shifts the focus onto the concept and form of our identity work, while clicking through each project shows off our production capability in full colour. The words ‘multi-disciplinary design agency’ have always been banned in our studio, so a critical challenge of the brief was to get across that we do work in all media – hence the animated gifs and embedded clips to show off digital. The old site was a touch cold and impersonal, so the journal and studio sections aim to provide a human element to us. Our studio is a wonderful place to work so it was key to get that across. It also helps that we can add to all sections as new projects and stories are released.
We were however keen to keep an element of enigma from our old site, not saying too much and letting the design speak. We also wanted to retain the ever-present dn&co logo, instead of the more traditionally prized upper-left real estate, as we feel it is bold and provides continuity from the old site. It is definitely controversial – but we like to challenge comfortable norms and create debate.
How as a small agency did you all reach a consensus about the direction of the site? Who was involved and how did you all provide input?
The website was a true team effort. We wanted to create a site to reflect us as a collaborative team and be a unique piece to be proud of. There were key elements set out from the start that we needed to achieve to match our business strategy, but otherwise it kicked off like all our projects – brainstorming ideas based on goals, selling points and our audiences, and then distilling the ideas into structure and finally original design. We printed out design iterations and project content and put it up on the studio walls – covering nearly 10 metres – so that everyone could chip in. Three designers put in the hard effort, but we all touched it.
How would you suggest other agencies approach their own site?
The best tip we can give other companies is to know who you are as a business, and make sure you stand out against the crowd in your special way. Also, someone needs to draw the line somewhere – otherwise you’ll never get it live.