WILD DIGITAL   X   NOAH KALINA

Creating an Online Art Gallery

We created a new website and helped sharpen the visual identity of renowned photographer Noah Kalina. The new platform does not compete with his work but instead places his photography as the centrepiece.

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We created a new website and helped sharpen the visual identity of renowned photographer Noah Kalina. The new platform does not compete with his work but instead places his photography as the centrepiece.

Introduction

A website to reflect Noah Kalina’s brand

For more than fifteen years, Noah Kalina has carved out a freelance career that manages to strike a balance between fine art and commercial photography. The New York based photographer jump-started his vocation by taking $20 headshots out of a small Manhattan apartment.

From there, the photographer continued to diversify his skills and portfolio and his “Everyday” video, which showcased a selfie taken every day for twenty years, further elevated his fame and career.

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Introduction

A website to reflect Noah Kalina’s brand

For more than fifteen years, Noah Kalina has carved out a freelance career that manages to strike a balance between fine art and commercial photography. The New York based photographer jump-started his vocation by taking $20 headshots out of a small Manhattan apartment.

From there, the photographer continued to diversify his skills and portfolio and his “Everyday” video, which showcased a selfie taken every day for twenty years, further elevated his fame and career.

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The challenge

Photography as the centrepiece

The artist’s website felt heavy and no longer reflected his story and identity. It obscured the artist’s main selling point: his art. The photographer needed a future-proof website which would be easy to maintain and update.

Thus, our vision was to transform Noah’s platform into an online art gallery, which showcases his photography in a unique and compelling way. The design needed to be timeless and minimalistic to enable his photography to be the centrepiece, much like colours on a blank canvas. At Wild, we helped him achieve just that.

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The challenge

Photography as the centrepiece

The artist’s website felt heavy and no longer reflected his story and identity. It obscured the artist’s main selling point: his art. The photographer needed a future-proof website which would be easy to maintain and update.

Thus, our vision was to transform Noah’s platform into an online art gallery, which showcases his photography in a unique and compelling way. The design needed to be timeless and minimalistic to enable his photography to be the centrepiece, much like colours on a blank canvas. At Wild, we helped him achieve just that.

Style directions

From vision to design guidelines

To tackle this project, we started with a kickoff meeting which enabled us to understand the role that Noah’s website needed to play and the photographer’s vision for his new platform. In preparation, we created multiple mood boards and gathered website inspiration. This helped us further narrow in on how Noah did and did not envision his website to look like. Based on Noah’s feedback, we put together a plan of approach and design guidelines for a new website which would enable his photography to stand out while enticing the interest and curiosity of the viewer.

Website concept

Shining light on Noah’s photography

In terms of design, Noah’s previous site felt bulky and provided little air between elements. Thus, the aim of the new platform was to ensure that content stood out and that the interface did not compete with Noah’s work, but instead complimented it. Leaving the user with a subtle and serene feeling when browsing. 

Additionally, the artist needed the website to be timeless, meaning it would not need to be updated every two years. So we started by analysing the previous website and bundling content together, when possible, to reduce the number of pages. This is what led us to the structure of an overview, projects, commission, info and newsletter archive page.

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Design principles

Minimal and timeless design

Minimalism and timelessness were the name of the game and guided our design choices. We got rid of unused interface elements and crafted a grid system that gave Noah’s work the space it deserved.  Our symmetrical grid layout made the interface simple and subtle giving the new website a modern feel.

The typeface added a stronger edge to our design and adds an element of sophistication, is recognisable while being able to stand the test of time. To bring the website alive, we added subtle animations to create an emerging browsing experience. Engaging and fascinating both fans and potential clients.

Design principles

Minimal and timeless design

Minimalism and timelessness were the name of the game and guided our design choices. We got rid of unused interface elements and crafted a grid system that gave Noah’s work the space it deserved.  Our symmetrical grid layout made the interface simple and subtle giving the new website a modern feel.

The typeface added a stronger edge to our design and adds an element of sophistication, is recognisable while being able to stand the test of time. To bring the website alive, we added subtle animations to create an emerging browsing experience. Engaging and fascinating both fans and potential clients.

Development

Using Netlify and Contentful

One of the reasons why Noah needed a new website was because it was not easy to maintain and edit. He needed a platform that is easy to update so that he could continuously add new projects. Therefore, when redesigning his website, we opted to use a customisable blank slate Netlify CMS which enabled fast and flexible development. We proceeded to combine it with Contentful for media hosting purposes. This enabled us to construct a small-scale coherent self-contained platform. This solution not only empowers Noah to easily manipulate his content but it also enables a high-speed performance of the website. Given that the photographer has hundreds of high-quality images to showcase, page speed is of the essence.

By combining Netlify and Contentful, we created a fast and smooth experience that loads only what the user is viewing while preloading the next element in the background. Thus creating an immersive experience for the user via high-quality images and an extremely short load time.

Outcome

A digital home for Noah’s story

Photography is a form of visual storytelling. The resulting website allows Noah to showcase his story. The straightforward interface guides the user and does not detract from the photography. It enables it to stand out against the white canvas and ensure that the design remains timeless for years to come.

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