Phil Price is a very successful New Zealand sculptor based in Melbourne and Christchurch who has achieved international renown for his mesmerising wind-activated kinetic works. A successful web design makeover outcome demanded a strong, clear, consistent focus so that all elements ’speak’ in a single voice that engages Phil’s audience.
For me, graphic design, at its best, tells a visual story with the same excitement, pacing and dynamics of a great movie, play, or musical composition, it evokes strong emotion.
Like producing a movie, this design project was not a solitary act, but a collaboration. Phil approached me to design a dynamic brand identity and catalogue website to his exacting creative brief. The branding brief was for a Personal or individual brand, built around Phil personally, as a fine artist and sculptor. To that end his primary url was renamed from philprice.co.nz to philpricescultpure.com. It was also mandated that all forms of commercial branding that had been developed in the past would be absent from the redesigned catalogue website and career biography project.
A custom WordPress template made to fit an exacting artist’s brief
The branding brief was for a Personal or individual brand, built around Phil personally, as a fine artist and sculptor. To that end his primary url was renamed from philprice.co.nz to philpricescultpure.com. It was also mandated that all forms of commercial branding that had been developed in the past would be absent from the redesigned catalogue website and career biography project. The project kicked off with the design and build of a fully custom WordPress template.
The enigma: Great branding does not make a great artist
As a fine artist Phil must walk a tightrope in the manner he portrays and markets himself via the media because the business side of the art world, loyal patrons, art galleries, dealers and the like must be inscrutable, mysterious.
So it is arguable whether this is a form of brand because while it aims to add value to Phil’s oeuvre it lacks a business model to commercialise the strategy.
Yet it makes perfect sense in context because the fine art world holds it to be a truism that great branding does not make a great artist. So while there are some great artists with great branding, the enigma of a catalogue website of Phil’s work in its opacity is a statement and an expression of confidence. The website is a work of art for arts sake.
As the rebranding and repositioning project was web based, as per the site name and the sculptural work’s provenance, upholding the perceptions and reputations of Phil Price the artist and his works is the great accomplishment of the site. An attractive and useful showcase for his kinetic oeuvre was the goal.
As part of the UX development I created a set of small custom symbols to give clarity to the different categories of information attached to each sculptural work. Much care and attention was devoted to optimising the site’s presentation on mobile devices. If you think a responsive website redesign might be a good strategy for your firm contact me here.
Bespoke WordPress template project management/Desktop publishing: MagentaDot Brands
WordPress template customisation: Webbymonks
Back-end support: nuweb designs