Make culture not ads
Translation is an independent agency that mixes its deep roots in the music, sports and fashion industries with a passion for culture, technology and storytelling to offer value to clients beyond traditional advertising. Rejecting the ad industry technique of dividing consumers into segments and highlighting differences, Translation carved out a niche for itself by forging a unique company ethos focused on tapping cultural trends to bring people together. Innovative projects like feature-length films, one of the biggest music festivals in America, network TV shows and its own line of Air Jordans have helped Translation win key accounts like Bud Light and the NBA and led Ad Age to name Translation an “A-List” agency for 2018.
Fresh off a rebranding, the company needed a partner that could convert its cultural fluency and urban-inspired aesthetic into an on-brand and performant digital storytelling platform. Taking its saucy, newly created identity as the starting point, AREA 17 designed and developed a digital experience as unique as the company itself; one that allows it to flaunt its progressive ethos while showcasing its people as keen purveyors of culture.
Post launch, engagement has soared, with the site attracting 48% more users and 47% more sessions per month. The community has responding tremendously with referral traffic growing a whopping 1,433%. Performance has increased sharply with average page load time decreasing by 27%. Translation was named Awwwards’ Site of the Day on December 1, 2018 and was nominated for Developer Site of the Year for 2018.
The site is made with Twill, our open source CMS for Laravel.
The new site needed to demonstrate tangible results to forward-thinking client prospects and strongly resonate with a diverse pool of culturally attuned potential employees. Our approach focused on creating an narrative-driven platform that lets the work and the people take center stage. A simple and straightforward user experience buttressed by the company’s iconic look and voice set the tone while editorial-style case studies show and tell how Translation creates lasting value for its partners.
Using Twill, our open source CMS for Laravel, we created a modular system that allows Translation to contextualize work with blocks describing both challenges and opportunities as well as results and value creation via increased social engagement and robust analytics. Image-focused modules drive the visual narrative, including a block that isolates a key asset in order to demonstrate the campaign concept and others that aggregate and showcase a range of creative, including still images and video, into either feed or slideshow-style modules. A robust directory of people pages for all employees tells the inside story of the company, giving insights into the skills and eclectic interests of the “dope people doing dope sh--.”
To ensure that the new site would be on brand, in the first design presentation we presented three different design concepts in addition to prototypes emphasizing different user experiences. Rooted in Translation’s edgy new print and motion branding, we made extreme negative space, an asymmetric and organic layout and bold typography key hallmarks of the experience. To make the brand feel truly native to the digital medium, we explored different ways of functionally incorporating Translation’s iconic plus sign logo in both the desktop and mobile contexts. In the final build, the plus logo lives as a persistent, centered background image that’s triggered into a bright and pulsating icon as a user transitions from one page to another. Boom. The result is a bold and iconic Website—just like the brand.