Film studio Nørlum.

A refresh of the Academy Award nominated animation studio's visual identity and a brand new website
The Danish animation studio Nørlum is renowned for their Academy Award nomination for Song of the Sea and the well received Long Way North. Their website, though, didn’t reflect their status. I was hired to change this. The final website is here.

The final product.

Example visuals from the extensive project
The design is characterised by its dark filmic setting where projects are featured in masonry grids, incentivising the visitor to scroll further and explore new projects based on the title and the beautiful imagery from the films.

Required skills.

Crafting the design
  • Conceptualisation (research, ideation)
  • Design & Development (All carried out in Webflow, no initial mockups)

Executing team.

Key responsibilities
  • 1 client
  • Myself

I had full creative freedom for the project and a lot of beautiful artwork to work with

Deliverables.

Design hand-offs
  • A responsive website built in Webflow to allow the client to edit it through their CMS after the hand-off.

Overview.

PROBLEM | Create a visual identity for the animation studio Nørlum, represented first in their website but to be able to carry over to business card etc.

CONTEXT | Nørlum’s existing website was a simple WordPress site with a minimalistic white design. Static and not updated for some time, the website came across as stale and didn’t do justice to the quality of the films the studio produce. With the client I agreed to set the films in center and give them the screen space they deserve.

Design patterns.

PROBLEM | Create a visual identity for the animation studio Nørlum, represented first in their website but to be able to carry over to business card etc.

CONTEXT | Nørlum’s existing website was a simple WordPress site with a minimalistic white design. Static and not updated for some time, the website came across as stale and didn’t do justice to the quality of the films the studio produce. With the client I agreed to set the films in center and give them the screen space they deserve.

PROJECT GRID | To create a uniform presentation of the many projects, I decided to work with dark overlays, striking a balance of showing the uniqueness of the film and not getting a chaos of different styles. The design introduces the visitor to a project and motivates them to hover to see more. Clicking leads them to a dedicated page per project.

VIDEO REEL | An animation company needs a, well, animated site. With limited material to work with, though, I decided to go for a short video reel above the fold to show, not tell, the quality of the studio. I edited the video so the projects blend together both in terms of framing and color schemes. The video also favour faces over landscapes in order to engage the visitor right away.

MEGA MENU | As I noted in the context for the project, the website should heavily emphasise “film” and everything that connotes. As a central element, I therefore decided to design a mega menu based on film posters. Instead of a regular menu or color based tabs, I wanted the artwork to feature in this central place of navigation. Reading up on the latest UX studies of mega menus the downsides seemed minimal when the in-and-out animations are kept around 0.1s and are replaced on mobile with hamburger menus.

Learnings and reflections.

DESIGNING AND CODING SIMULTANEOUSLY | For this project I worked with Webflow for the first time. It allows you to code visually. Using Grid and flexbox as the foundation, I was quickly able to flesh out the layout of the landing page. Intently, I wanted to let the design elements arise naturally when working with the layout. The pro is definitely how time saving this is and I felt incentivised by seeing everything coming together at once instead of having a strictly creative phase in ideation and mockup and a strictly producing phase in coding. Here it unifies interestingly. The con is how you may become reluctant to kill your darlings as you not only designed them but also coded them, which makes it harder to kill off. All in all, I am a fan of coding in Webflow with this process.

Yes, It's live in the hand of users.

Take a tour around the website
  • You can see the live website here.