Curating before curating was cool
- Brand Identity
- Language & Architecture
- Web Design
Update, Connect, But Don't Disassociate
We all have them, brands we simply can’t live without. These brands have a way of making our lives a little sweeter, wonderfully easier and magically, they’ve found their way into our hearts, enriching our lives. So is the case with Embroidery Library, a brand about which a recent embroiderer said, if she were stranded on a desert island she would want access to www.emblibrary.com, along with her embroidery machine. Oh, she also noted that she would need electricity and water, of course.
Embroiderers, a group as passionate as Philadelphia Eagles fans, are fiercely protective of their beloved website. And who can blame them? Embroidery Library offers the embroiderer over 100,000 amazing designs, tutorials, inspiration and access to an alternative collection—a sister brand/website—Urban Threads.
A curator before curating was cool, Embroidery Library realized their brands and their sites had become outdated and difficult to navigate. It was time to revitalize. Our challenge; To update their identities, connect Embroidery Library to Urban Threads for a seamless experience and make the overall user experience a better one. Success would only be realized if the embroiderer’s sacred ritual of finding the right design for the right occasion was not disrupted and, if the brand they’d fallen head over heels in love with remained lovable. This challenge was about keeping those who love the brand in love, while inviting others to join in and feel the love.
Simplicity Never Fails
When you think of a library you think of an index, a way to connect with what you’re looking for. Makes sense. But when the index becomes the thing, and the thing you’re looking for becomes secondary, then making that connection becomes more difficult. It was our opinion that the Embroidery Library site had become somewhat of an aggregator of embroidery design. It was not reflecting the artistry of their craft as best it could, nor was it showcasing their expertise as a master curator.
Our strategy was to revitalize simply and enhance the experience while keeping it easy to explore. In doing so, we wanted to bring forward the intangible beauty of their craft and strengthen the bond of partnership between Embroidery Library, Urban Threads and their customers.
Reflecting a Heart for Art
The exquisite art of embroidery was practiced in the 17th century and today the beauty of embroidery is found in the art of fashion.
Our approach was to honor the legacy of embroidery — the way your great-grandmother might have enjoyed it — while passing that legacy to today’s generation of embroiderers who adorn their jean jackets, purses and book bags with vibrant intricate designs.
Urban Threads, offering a more “urban” sensibility to the traditional designs found at Embroidery Library, had become too separate and was causing confusion with users. As a sub-brand, Urban Threads is driven by the same passion and commitment to creating the highest quality design found at Embroidery Library. That connection was an important asset to leverage.
The visual expression was accompanied by a messaging strategy that started with the authorship of a manifesto. The manifesto defined the promise and voice of the brand and set the stage for creating core messaging and persona development for various communication platforms.
While functionality remained the same, the presentation of that functionality was greatly enhanced. Instead of a long index running down the left side of the page, we reorganized content to follow the various access points for entering into the experience. “Looking for a great deal? Click here. Looking for inspiration? Click here. Looking for the newest additions to the collection? Click here.” The new user interface brought forward content that had become lost and buried and helped to reinforce Embroidery Library’s position as the market leader.
Like our friends at Embroidery Library, we believe design equals art. The site was designed to celebrate the art of embroidery for it is art that connects to the heart.
Change is good for growth
The new brands and website designs have wholeheartedly been embraced and business has never been better.