Unveil

Looking beyond the surface

Project

Website

Role

Art direction, web design

Team

2 visual designers

Challenge

How can we exemplify emerging designers through the web?

Background

Unveil is a student exhibition featuring twenty rising graphic designers from San José State University. Its theme revolved around revealing each designer’s purpose. Historically, past exhibitions didn't embody their show's theme well. Unveil needed a way to give its exhibition a digital prescence while still embodying the exhibition’s theme.

Outcome

A motion-driven website that presents each designer’s portfolio and values.

Research & Discovery

Research & Discovery

Looking at Past Exhibition Websites

Due to coding and time limitations, previous exhibition websites felt generic. This did little in attracting viewers to the exhibition and de-elevated the look and feel of the exhibition’s theme as well as the participants’ works. How could I lead a team of designers with limited website implementation know-how to create a site with the knowledge we had on hand?

Process

Visual Studies

The exhibition's theme focused on revealing the thinking behind a designer's process. To embody this concept, I experimented with various ways of hiding and showing visual elements on the website.

unveil_drafts
Website drafts
New color palette

Final

Implemented Website

Unveil didn't have the resources to code a website from scratch. To combat this problem, my team hosted the site on Squarespace. It's easy to tell when websites are stale and templated though. In turn, I learned basic HTML and CSS while another team member learned Javascript. Together, we were able to modify the Squarespace template from a static hub to a dynamic one filled with dark tones, blurs, and animations to stay true to the exhibition theme.

Showcasing the Designers

People respond to aesthetics and are not always aware of the conceptual thinking that plays into a design. Playing on this oversight, I hid each designer's value behind an automatic carousel. Their identities are revealed when a viewer mouseovers their names.

Website carousel
Final design system
Website hover effect
Final design system
Exhibition Details & Contact

Exhibition details were displayed to inform the current students, alumni, professors, and potential employers. Social media posts were integrated into the website as well to give viewers an intimate, behind-the-scenes look of the making of the show.

Unveil_Exhibition
Exhibition details
Final design system
Unveil_Contact
Contact details
Final design system
Impact

The Unveil website got much positive reception from underclassmen, alumni, and professors. They felt the site drew them in with the thoughtful interactivity and the way we showcased ourselves was a testament to how much we had grown as designers over the years.

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