Type foundry Monotype has launched a much-improved new website developed by consultancy iA, working with Monotype’s in-house team. Michael Evamy worked on copy for the new website while SEA worked on image art-direction.
Monotype creative director James Fooks-Bale says the aim of the new site was to bring in an entirely new architecture – “to move away from how we see ourselves to how our users see us” – while also “putting a more human face on to what we do”. Imagery is used sparingly, to let the type do the talking – “We’ve got thousands of typefaces and we wanted to surface them.”
We caught up with Digital Design Director Mark Boulton and he shared some thoughts about the intent, process and success of the project:
“Like most organisations, Monotype had original structured the website to naturally reflect how the business was structured. The challenge with this, of course, is that it didn’t map to how our customers think of us. For me, the biggest success of this new site is a simple information architecture designed to how our customers read about us and interact with us.
For me, the biggest success of this new site is a simple information architecture designed to how our customers read about us and interact with us.
The simple navigation – with hard rules about what can go up there and what can’t – means we have to think harder about how we drive users around by content rather than simply putting a link in a header and hoping. Coupled with a now consistent nomenclature, the site now relies on a model of stackable content objects (stacked by priority) to help people get around.
The challenges behind the scenes were quite considerable. The project was designed by iA in Zurich, together with the team at Monotype. But then the integration into a new content management system (Umbraco) was done in-house by a distributed team in Noida, just outside of Delhi; Bad Homberg in Germany; London and Cardiff in the UK; and finally Chicago, Boston and Nashville in the US. Managing any project with so many moving parts, with so many distributed people, can be challenging. But we had good people, an agile development process, and strong vision.
For the digital design team this site is just the start. It’s the first ‘instance’ of our digital design language, which is a project we’ve been working for quite a while, in an effort to unify our brand across all digital touch-points.”