VITRINE Gallery Website Re-design

Converting a physical art gallery space into a digital experience.

: a reputable contemporary art gallery established in 2010 with premises in London and Basel.

Outlining goals and eliminating obstacles

After producing a successful visual re-brand for their company in 2014, we joined up with the VITRINE gallerists again in 2020 for a website redesign. One of their biggest concerns with building a new website was the seemingly cumbersome task of migrating content from one content management system to another. Beyond this obstacle, our clients needed the new website to offer a more intuitive user experience. They also wanted to be able to digitally echo their physical galleries, which use ‘transparent architecture’ to allow artwork to be viewed 24/7 from surrounding public squares.

VITRINE Gallery's website homepage which changes colour and image based on the time of day
The website homepage which changes colour
and image based on the time of day

A tidy solution to migrating bulk content

We quickly put our client’s mind at rest on content migration, working with their previous developer to export content out of their former CMS. We then swiftly imported the material into a new CMS — the client didn’t need to lift a finger. There was just one gap in the import: image captions hadn’t been picked up. To mitigate this problem, we wrote a script that extracted all existing captions from their separate web pages, copying them into one text file. This saved our client approximately 32 hours of laborious copy and pasting work.

Once the issue of migration was resolved, we focused on VITRINE’s main objectives for their website. The first was to ensure that content was presented in a centralised way. This meant linking artists to all their associated exhibitions and events — both past and present. We created a structure where each artist had its own mini-blueprint of activity on the site, making it easier for visitors to rapidly consume all the information available about any given artist in a streamlined way.

We also worked to make the website’s homepage reflected the experience of VITRINE’s gallery spaces. A big factor that plays into their gallery concept is the impact of day and night time lighting on the work they exhibit. To replicate this, we created shifting background colours to match time of day. Users visiting the homepage during the day encounter a light blue background, whilst at night the background is a dark blue. To emphasise this effect, the time and weather conditions for both gallery venues were also given bold visual prominence.

A dynamic, contemporary website

By eliminating the daunting prospect of time-consuming back-end work, we were able to fully focus on the functionality and aesthetics of VITRINE’s website. In the end, this meant meeting our client’s central ambition: to create a website that successfully mirrored their gallery’s forward thinking curation and display.

Kind words from the client

As we approached our 10th Anniversary, we asked wearegoat to design us a new website; One that would showcase these 10 years, launch us into an exciting new chapter, and reflect the unique experience of our 24/7 gallery spaces and business model. Having successfully designed our gallery branding back in 2013, they evolved this identity into our new digital platform. Wearegoat listens and builds an understanding of their client with notable care whilst being inventive and playful with their ideas and offering brilliant design solutions. This combination offered us a wonderfully satisfying process and finished design, which we (and our artists, viewers and clients) love and will enjoy for another 10 years.

Alys Williams, Founding Director of VITRINE