Made by This Page Amsterdam
Maybe I’m biased because I am Dutch, or maybe it’s because we all love to root for the underdog, but a site that celebrates a small tiny painting of a tiny bird in a grand scale really tugged at my heartstrings. I knew the painting, but before diving into this interactive experience I did not know the painting was by Fabritius, who is widely considered to be Rembrandt’s most talented pupil.
As you scroll through the site, beautiful and simple animations reveal contextual and historical content for the user – like how back in the 17th century goldfinches were kept as chained pets in small cages, never allowed to fly. We also discover how the goldfinch appeared in other historical paintings, and what its role was in Christian symbolism.
The musical score sets the right tone and the interactions invite you to dive deeper into a story you never thought you’d be interested in. You come away from the experience feeling like you’ve learned something new and a newfound appreciation for something you may have never otherwise noticed.
Shantell is a good friend of ours, and also a fantastic and influential emerging artist who is known for her playful, illustrative drawings. So we wanted to create something playful and original that didn’t follow current web trends and really captured her and her style while also giving fans a way to personally interact with her artwork, beyond just case studies.
At the beginning of each chapter there’s a Campaign Status ticker showing the amount of money donated to this cause so far. This makes it clear the issue is not someone else’s problem, and moves this project from simple storytelling to advocacy.
You navigate around her ‘body of work’ and zoom in and out of the website’s sections that are positioned around her body. The art on the interactive homepage reacts to the user’s mouse movements, and by clicking on the word ‘play’ you launch a hidden Easter egg panel where you can control the way the illustration reacts to your interactions.
Inspired by his first child, creative director Joe Lovelock created a typographic homage to parenting that takes the viewer through all the letters of the alphabet accompanied by little stories that all parents can relate to.
When I first saw the site, I was immediately drawn to the flat, geometric illustration style and the simple animation. The big letters are all made of circles, squares and triangles, and the illustrations are made of simple shapes. The colour palette combines in multiple ways but remains consistent in every variation. And yet the words, and how they animate to tell a story, are what really makes this project sing.
By the time I got to the bottom I was double impressed by the fact that this was a labour of love, an unpaid side-project that was done in-between client work. When I contacted Joe and asked him why he decided to do this personal project, he told me that he really just wanted to do something for his own satisfaction that would let him push his skills further, without any of the constraints from a commercial brief. He also thought it might garner some attention for the studio, and that long shot panned out – Studio Lovelock is currently working on animations they’ve won directly off the back of this project.
Anton & Irene will be presenting a special 'Concept, Create & Sell!' workshop at Generate London next week. You’ll learn how to sell your idea, make a convincing argument, tell a compelling story, and present effectively in front of a large group of stakeholders. There are a limited number of tickets for the workshop still available. Make sure you grab your ticket now before they sell out!