The Academy Art Museum is Maryland’s premier art museum offering high-quality exhibitions and a full range of art classes. Their mission is to promote the knowledge, practice, and appreciation of the arts and to enhance the cultural life on Maryland’s Eastern Shore through their ever expanding collection, exhibitions, and their broad spectrum of arts programs.
The Academy Art Museum was looking to establish an online hub for visitors to learn about their collection, exhibitions, classes, and events as well as the museum itself. The new website needed to be a well organized, user-friendly online resource while conveying their modern, minimal aesthetic and focus on engaging imagery.
To hit the mark on this project, we needed to design a modern, minimal website that highlighted visual content while incorporating the Academy Art Museum brand. To achieve this, we treated this project like a canvas, carefully layering each element to enhance the overall picture. We carefully designed every element from fonts and colors to whitespace and hierarchy all with a focus on showcasing their amazing imagery and establishing a smooth, user-friendly experience. The result is a website that is as enjoyable to peruse as the museum itself.
Website Style Guide
We started this project by creating a detailed website style guide detailing all the elements needed to create the branded, modern, aesthetic the client was looking for. Here we defined brand colors, fonts, hierarchy, layout grids, and interface elements such as buttons and form fields. Laying this groundwork up front helped us create a more cohesive design and establish some visual themes that would appear throughout the website.
We knew the Academy Art Museum was looking for a modern, minimal aesthetic with a strong emphasis on their striking imagery. To achieve this, we noted the common traits of each style and prioritized them based on how they impacted our goals. White space was used to create a more modern, minimal layout while providing the spacing required for photos to stand out. High contrast color palettes were implemented to let the striking colors of the imagery shine through. And finally, fonts and colors were used strategically to stand out where needed but also be subtle where not, allowing imagery to take center stage where appropriate.
Exhibitions & Events
Two key focus areas of this site were exhibitions and events, which both needed to be easily added, updated, and managed by the Academy Art Museum staff. To meet these goals, we created custom content sections in WordPress for exhibitions, events, collections, and more. Each section is fully customized and tailored to the client’s specific needs to make content management as user friendly as possible.
Bonus: 404 Error Page
If you’ve ever typed in the wrong url or visited a page that’s been removed, you’ve likely run into a 404 “Page Not Found” message. Nobody likes running into a 404 page so we like to design these pages to be a bit more fun when possible. The result is a page that feels a bit more like a secret easter egg for visitors and less like a dead end.