The project was simple – the Chelsea Lighting website needed a face lift.

At Clarity, we’ve created branding from scratch.  We’ve created systems for brand governance.  In the grand scheme of website redesign projects, this was the simplest form of what we do.

However, this project brought new challenges to the Clarity design team.  It moved us out of our comfort zone in different ways.  And the result was a fresh, streamlined solution for similar, potential clients going forward.

So why was it so unique?

A Little Background

As a new acquisition of Kinzie Capital Partners, Clarity was engaged by Chelsea Lighting to enhance their digital presence – including their website.  We were tasked with a refresh and a timeline of just two weeks while a lengthier, more complicated redesign effort was being put into place.

The Challenges

New, pre-determined brand guidelines

New brand guidelines were created independently by Chelsea Lighting before Clarity started this project.  We had to work within these parameters while still executing the vision our team had in mind.  Critical side note: the original website and the new branding guidelines were distinctly different.

Outdated, inaccurate imagery

The original site’s photography did not capture Chelsea Lighting’s capabilities.  While they provide large-scale, commercial lighting installations, the result of their capabilities was overlooked.  Lighting creates a mood within a respective space.  And the Clarity team wanted to make sure the site imagery captured that.

Also worth noting…

Additional, underlying challenges included that tight timeline for completion and a platform more unfamiliar to the Clarity team – Wix.  Our first impression with this client was purely visual and we couldn’t rely on the full scope of our web capabilities (such as theming) to “wow” them.

The Approach

Establishing an aesthetic from a fixed set of tools

The look and feel of a company’s website is determined by the company’s brand.  Jeff Bezos, former CEO of Amazon, has a very simple, yet effective way of explaining this: it’s “what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”  This reputation is determined by many elements including a personality and voice, as well as visual elements like a logo, color palette, and typography.

We established early on that layout was an easy improvement that could elevate the site as a whole.  We designed and implemented a new navigation system that is more intuitive and easier to use.

The difference imagery can make

We were able to sell the idea of updated imagery before we even logged into the Wix dashboard.  As the design progressed, we were able to build live pages for review, rather than reviewing static designs.  This was a new approach for Clarity, efficiently reducing the number of deliverables over the course of the project.

A pleasant surprise in the unknown

What we quickly learned about Wix was that it came with a lot of perks, some of which were:

  • The Chelsea website never had to go offline while design changes were taking place. The team encountered no operations interruptions while the site transformed into something completely new.
  • The mobile site could be viewed and edited in real-time, ensuring the mobile version of the site was as good as the desktop.
  • Our design team was able to complete this without an additional developer, cutting project costs significantly.
  • The time and money saved allowed us to also add a separate element to this project – customized icons. The icons are used to increase visual interest on the page, establish hierarchy, and support marketing messaging.

Chelsea’s new customized set of icons

A Fresh Start for Chelsea, A Fresh Approach for Clarity

The Chelsea Lighting website now has a fresh look and feel that better represents their innovative work. From here, further improvements can be made to continually curate the look and feel of the site and how it best represents Chelsea and their brand.
Our approach was in response to a short timeline, but was effective enough to warrant use again in the future for projects of the same type. Cutting down on deliverables allows us to flex our creative muscles, giving the client more than what was expected.