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78 Victoria Street
Wellington 6011
Aotearoa, NZ

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Creative New Zealand

Creative New Zealand

Beautifully streamlined and personalised content which improves the quality of artists’ funding applications.

Creative New Zealand encourages, promotes and supports the arts in New Zealand for the benefit of all New Zealanders through funding, capability building, international programmes and advocacy. Arguably, the most important function of the website is to provide information about the financial support for emerging and established artists, and organisations.

Coupled with the need to deliver mobile-friendly, authoritative information, CNZ communicates directly with highly design-savvy audiences — a tough crowd of critics. All the while, CNZ’s own visual identity, and branding must support and promote other identities and brands, rather than compete directly with them.

At times, CNZ can struggle to meet the demand for one-on-one consultation with the creative community — especially those who needed a lot of support when submitting proposals. The brief was to help artists improve the quality of their proposals, with less intervention throughout the process from staff. Though, putting artists in touch with the correct individuals within the CNZ team, when they genuinely need help, was also a key objective.

By differentiating art forms with colour — notably, the only use of colour within the UI, other than gold, black and white — and by remembering the users’ artform preference, from the top-level Find Funding page down through all levels of the site, the content is personalised to individual artists.

Almost all content was rewritten and restructured in a way that allows for vast chunks to be turned on/off depending on the art form identified, and the device being currently used. Mobile-friendly accordioning of long pages provides super-quick navigation of otherwise extensive information.

The site is largely sans imagery — a challenge for one of NZ’s most notable creative brands. The layout uses negative space and a strong typographic system to provide a prestigious impression, whilst remaining user-friendly. The semi-unconventional, and technically complex left-hand navigation system provides a touch of the unexpected — and to increase performance, is reused identically across all screen widths.

As many visitors use extra-large resolution screens (source: analytics), the site adopts a substantially different layout from mobile, through tablet and desktop — the latter being treated as generously as mobile, as far as ‘special treatment’ goes.

Agile and back-end partners:
3months (custom CMS development)

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