McColl Center for Art + Innovation is a nationally-acclaimed contemporary art center dedicated to connecting art and artists with the community. Located in a historic, neo-Gothic church in uptown Charlotte, McColl Center houses nine artist studios and over 5,000 square feet of gallery space. The public can explore the Center's exhibitions and connect with the resident artists through various programs including open studios, community outreaches, workshops and more.
To properly reflect the organization’s stature and communicate their mission, the organization needed to reinvent its brand, as well as its website. McColl Center partnered with UNION to make their digital objectives and goals a reality.
A Highly Creative Endeavor
Recently, the team at McColl Center reimagined their brand and enhanced their mission — elevating art and the creative process to drive awareness and influence change for many of the greatest social issues our local and global communities face today. To start things off, UNION built a brand style guide that would be used to guide our visual design work and guide marketing materials created by others in order to ensure everything would be designed with a consistent look and feel.
UNION created a concept to leverage the art that is created at McColl Center as a background element in the center’s logo. This design option opened up many exciting design variations that could be used on the new platform and other marketing materials.
“Union is our digital platform partner. Their team designed and developed one of the most innovative websites in the arts sector, and the platform just gets better and better the more content we produce for it. Union is instrumental in the deployment of our digital-first marketing strategy, providing expert direction and design and helping us reach more art, innovation, and creativity enthusiasts.”
The project tasks were clear: design and develop a comprehensive and responsive digital experience that would enable McColl Center to better articulate their vision, innovative programs and organizational support mechanisms.
Our team needed to craft a novel approach to the platform experience itself, which would embody creative and immediately project innovation. The experience needed to be rich media-dense, but also easily managed. To illustrate our UX concepts and strategy, we designed wireframes to present and iterate on with McColl Center.
McColl Center desired a comprehensive digital experience that would more accurately reflect the innovative nature of their work, catalyze McColl Center program engagement and showcase the artists they support.
Our platform design makes wise use of parallax scrolling and allows McColl Center to truly showcase the artwork of its artists-in-residence by leveraging vivid imagery and editorial videos.
The experience was designed to move closer to the viewpoint of the artists themselves, reflecting social consciousness and issue awareness through their voice and collections. It was key to editorialize the entire platform and bring the work, biographic detail and expertise of the artists to the forefront of the user experience.
The platform makes wide use of SVG animations with CSS — using clean, modular CSS while maintaining a novel appearance and user experience from page to page. The entire website is built to be responsive so that it looks great across a wide variety of digital platforms.Artists-In-ResidenceArtist BioSpheres of ImpactIndividual Giving
Using a responsive approach in our designs and development work, the UNION team delivered a platform that adapts to any device, regardless of platform.
Since launch, McColl Center for Art + Innovation's new digital presence has created quite a buzz. Artists, employees and the larger cultural community have rallied behind their efforts and the new platform experience. As the center continues to strengthen its national presence, it elevates awareness of the thought-provoking social consciousness messages that emanate from the artists-in-residence.
The UNION team was thrilled to play a role in this effort. The new platform has achieved traction and has experienced robust traffic — and the earned media garnered to date has worked well to validate our activation strategies and drive brand and program awareness.553% Increase
in Traffic114% Increase in
Mobile Traffic205% Increase in Social