The Crafts Council works with designers and makers to promote contemporary craft, and the site is used by makers, researchers, curators and people interested in craft events and products.
Ico Design had previously worked with the organisation on its 40:40 project website in 2011, which celebrated the Crafts Council’s 40th anniversary by showcasing 40 objects online.
It was appointed to the main website project in mid-2013 following a pitch against two or three other consultancies, according to Ico Design creative partner Steve Lloyd.
‘The site they had was about seven years old, which is a long time in internet years’, says Lloyd. ‘It wasn’t working well responsively and one of the things we observed was that a lot of people were using it on tablet or mobile devices and it wasn’t easy to update or access the site.’
Ico Design initially held a series of user-centred workshops with makers and the Crafts Council internal staff to find out what they needed from the site, which allows users to add their own listings, as well as hosting information on jobs, exhibitions, residencies and awards.
‘We worked to involve as many people as possible in that stage’, says Lloyd. ‘The Crafts Council has such a broad remit so we needed to balance what the management team needed with what users want.’
The site features editorial content and a large number of images, which the new design aims to better showcase using a stripped-back colour palette of green, grey, black and white. Two typefaces – Calvert and OCR-B – are used throughout.
Lloyd says, ‘[The previous site] had a load of really good content and images but it was buried so deep in the site, so we had to bring that to the fore and let the work speak for itself.’
Ico Design says the current design is the first iteration of the new site, which will be further tweaked according to feedback from users and Crafts Council staff.