January 25, 2024
Just like anything good, brands take time to develop. Where you’re at right now isn’t where you or your business will be in one, five, or ten years. And really, that’s the way it should be. If you want to get to the good stuff, there is no substitute for the slow but refining process of time.
Long time friend and client, Shay Cochrane, founder of Élevae Visuals, is one of the best examples of this in our opinion.
It all started back in 2013 when Nicole met Shay through Southern Weddings, the magazine where Nicole worked as head designer. Shay was hired to shoot the magazine’s new product line, and let’s just put it this way: she is the BEST! She is an expert at producing gorgeous, branded stock and product images for small businesses.
Over the next couple of years Shay took her talent in a whole new direction. Departing from client-based brand photography she launched SC Stockshop and Social Squares, a styled stock imagery site for female entrepreneurs. Social Squares took off, became a leading resource for online businesses, and around that time, The Design Lab came in to work with them on retainer in 2019.
Now here’s the fun bit. In the midst of her company succeeding, Shay kept a growth mindset. Over the years she kept honing in on her business strategy and clientele. Things shifted and changed. Her imagery became more elevated and curated.
She needed a new brand that would reflect her company’s market presence, and a new user interface that would make it easier for the growing numbers of business owners and users to find what they needed fast.
She needed design to do some communication heavy-lifting.
Élevae Visuals was born! (Thanks to the gorgeous brand design of b.Clements Creative Studio.) Nicole got to work with creative director and image curator Katie Brooks of b.Clements Creative Studio to redesign the new Élevae Visuals homepage, user dashboard, and gallery.
Because Élevae is an image based website, one of our biggest challenges was to ensure that the design of the site would not compete with its purpose – displaying the images! So we worked hard to pare everything back: simplicity was the name of the game.
The goal for the homepage was to refrain from overly complicated design and instead simplify in order to focus on the visuals and show the breadth of photos and videos available to users (over 6000!). Simple fonts, lots of white space, and a neutral background palette focus the eye back on the imagery.
Over on the member dashboard, we wanted to direct users to download imagery they would actually use. This meant organizing by images curated from the user’s brand settings. Imagery was also curated by seasonal themes, trending searches, and trending categories. The idea here was to create an intuitive and easy user experience that brought them coming back for more.
Last up, inside the actual image gallery, the goal was to make the images the star of the show and make it super easy to search for or filter what you want (and then get directed to related images). Design simplicity makes every click and decision fast and friction-free when scrolling through the hundreds of offerings.