An agency’s online design portfolio has to tick a lot of boxes. It needs to present a wide range of clients and an impressive breadth of skills. It needs to showcase what it can do for new clients in the digital space. It needs to be good looking and user-friendly. It needs to make full use of large, high-end screens but also work well on small ones and low-bandwidth connections, as well as conforming to accessibility standards.
In truth, not more agency websites can claim to have a perfect scoresheet in all of these areas, especially accessibility. But that doesn’t stop us from learning from, and being inspired by, the areas they do score highly in.
In this post, we look at seven of the coolest new sites from agencies in the Big Apple this year. We hope they inspire your own agency websites.
BRAVÒ is a multidisciplinary team of creatives led by Ivan Olita, specialising in developing films for both editorial and commercial outlets. Based on West 16th St, its impressive rosters of clients (including Adidas, Hugo Boss, Condé Nast, Campari and Rémy Martin) is usefully listed on the homepage in the centre.
Appropriately enough, this is set against some beautiful video backgrounds, so you’re left in no confusion about exactly what BRAVÒ is about.
Based at 200 Hudson, Form& creates innovative, high-end branding for clients including Ebay, Havas and World of Watson. Its new website is beautifully art-directed, with sparing use of huge type, a wonderfully off-kilter layout and an uber-confident use of white space. There are some kinetic bursts of movement, from the most unexpected directions, to keep things interesting too.
Croscon is a digital product studio that specialises in designing and building digital businesses, located at 134 W 26th St. There’s a smart focus on geometric style on its new website, which carries forward from the homepage throughout the site.
The inventive method of presenting screengrabs from projects, shown in the example above, is used across all the case studies, and adds an original touch to a colourful and attractive website.
04. Zero Studios
Zero is a digitally driven design and branding studio based at 442 Broadway, with clients as diverse as Stones Throw Records, Dune Resorts Branding and Concord Music Hall. Rather than the normal approach of chucking lots of imagery on their homepage, Zero’s new site simply lists the clients, making for a cool looking monochrome experience.
Hover over any one of them, however, and a beautiful piece of full-screen photography or video appears. It’s a cinematic approach that really pays off and marks Zero out as a studio with creativity in their DNA.
05. Coop Brand
With studios in New York (at 75 Broad Street) and Boston, CO OP is a full-service creative company with the tagline 'We Make Brands Work'. Its new website presents everything in a fairly standard image grid, but it’s an elegantly constructed one, with some nice transitions on hover.
The studio has also done a stand-up job of categorising everything so you can find what you need quickly: you can filter either by type of work (industry, real estate, media, and so on) or capabilities (visual identity, art direction, photography).
Based in Brooklyn, The Future Forward is a creative agency helping brands achieve greater influence through strategy, design, and technology. And it's got a smart and slightly quirky new website for 2017.
The grid-based homepage makes full and unrestrained use of the colourful and high-end photography from their various projects. We also love the cute little symbol in the top-left corner, which spins when you jump from page to page, and that the site is '© 2021'; a cheeky little reference to the company's name and associated ethos.
07. Canvas United
With clients including Showtime Networks, Credit Suisse, BBC Worldwide, and Estee Lauder, Canvas United is a full-service digital agency located at 104 and 5th. While some agency homepages assault you with a blast of vibrant colour, Canvas United’s new website takes a somewhat different route.
Riffing on the notion of being at the cutting edge of tech, it uses a fuzzy and distorted black-and-white video background to add a touch of the avant garde. Combined with a retro-futuristic colour scheme and typography, it works quite brilliantly, and is carried through the whole site with admirable consistency.