• Main

    New i-D website

Graphic Design

Web Design: We chat to the brains behind the new-look i-D website

Posted by Rob Alderson,

Ever since it was announced late last year that VICE was buying iconic title i-D, many in and around the media have been keen to see what changes this coming together might engender. And last Friday we got a glimpse of the brave new world when the new i-D website went live (along with an exclusive video from M.I.A.). We caught up with VICE’s executive creative director Joel Kitzmiller to find out more about the new-look site…

What were the starting points for the redesign? What from the old site was important to keep?

Our first steps were to take a look at the landscape; analysing what i-D could add to online fashion. i-D has a longstanding history and there was a lot to think about in regards to what fashion-conscious people wanted to consume online and how they wanted to consume it. The editorial team at i-D were completely integrated in this process; feeding back every step of the way to develop a content strategy with which we were all happy. 

We had to take a step back from the old site and get involved in some of the analytics to figure out what was successful. We got granular with this process and picked apart the content success – looking at everything from pageviews to bounce rates and site paths to figure out what we needed to save and what needed to be abstracted into something bigger.

  • Home_crop

    New i-D website

What other sites were points of reference for the new design?

At VICE, we can see daily how fast mobile traffic is growing, so we knew that the new site needed to take that into account. The UX needed to consider how people interact with and consume the content the i-D team was going to produce. The site needed to be adaptable. 

From a design perspective, the digital team at VICE get really excited about solutions to UI problems we encounter online. We all love discussing sites that have found solutions to ongoing issues we find online; stuff like sticky menus and contextual search results. We never wanted to rethink anything that had a solution, but rather adapt it where we could. 

Inspiration-wise, we mostly looked to sites that we visited daily—asking ourselves why we visited them. Sites like Amazon and eBay—they know what we want and they allow us to tailor our own experience. We thought that was a really strong place to start.

How much pressure is there working on a new site for such a well-established brand?

Lots, but the i-D team is fantastic and super positive. VICE has a large knowledge base to draw from in digital and we knew we could help build i-D’s online video presence. However, the team at i-D know their market and their landscape. They are like a family and have been working with us every step of the way—so as long as they were happy, we were happy.

What would you say are the key features of the new look site?

Specifically, the key features are going to be user-centric design and video. 

Video views across our other platforms are growing so quickly that we instinctively knew that video was the area we could help i-D grow. That said, probably the most critical part of the UX that we rethought was the user journey. We did some workshops with the i-D team, defining users and their journeys, making sure we were developing the type of content strategy that made sense to the team. 

Personally, I am a firm believer that, soon, our user base is going to become too busy to babysit any website. There is just too much amazing content to consume online already and that is just going to grow. For i-D, I wanted to make sure we focused on building a site where the user could customise their experience and become a part of it. The content had to be intelligent enough to find them. At the end of the day it’s about them, not us.

“i-D has a longstanding history and there was a lot to think about in regards to what fashion-conscious people wanted to consume online and how they wanted to consume it.”

Joel Kitzmiller

What were the biggest challenges you came up against?

Building a future-proof CMS. The backend often gets overlooked in scenarios like these, but in the case of i-D, the site needed to be scaleable and adaptable enough to be ported to any future platform we needed it to be on. It was very important to get off on the right path here. We had an amazing backend team of developers and consultants that did a great job at this.

How pleased are you with the final result?

Really happy. It was a long, long process and the team all worked tirelessly to make something of which we are all extremely proud. There are loads of bugs, and even more new features that we have lined up, but we are really excited about making them happen and are moving quickly to do so.

  • Watch

    New i-D website

  • Watch1

    New i-D website

  • Think-pieces

    New i-D website

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. List

    It’s the overriding rule of all things trend-driven that as soon as we take a big leap forward in technology we start to look back nostalgically, triggering all manner of retro imagery, touches and techniques. At least it seems that way, and I’m sure I’m not alone in how often I’m drawn to graphic design which places hand-drawn type and recycled imagery alongside high-tech touches.

  2. List

    At its core, dance is about innovation, beauty and movement – ideas executed brilliantly in this identity for a European contemporary dance festival by Verena Hennig and Ludwig Janoff. The clever designs take a very hand-crafted, even scrawled look, aiming to play on the idea that “the classic ballet thrives on the idea of perfection,” according to Verena.

  3. List

    Parisian studio Playground’s website really does reflect its name – a joyful metaphorical ball-pond of colour and fun. The studio works on graphic design, illustration, branding and motion graphics projects; uniting all their work through a fantastic eye for colour and line to retina-grabbing effect. As something of a huge Of Montreal fan, I was particularly drawn in by their work for the band’s 2012 release Daughter of Cloud, which offers a lush, psychedelic alternative to their usual illustration-led artwork.

  4. List

    Wilfred van der Weide was once part of Dutch design duo wilfredtimo, whose work we’ve been admirers of since we came across these superheroic graphics in 2012. After several years in each other’s pockets they’ve gone their separate ways, but unlike most break-ups, some of the results have been beautiful.

  5. List

    Dutch designer Roosje Klap recently set up an international initiative known as The Design Displacement Group with the intention of approaching modern design in new and unusual ways. Their intention is to “form a group together which creates work as seen from the future. Yes! We time-travel 20 years and look back on today, to understand the discourse of graphic design as it is happening today – with different eyes and speculative future categories.

  6. List

    Belgian designer Corbin Mahieu learned his craft at the prestigious Sint Lucas School of Arts in Ghent, following in the footsteps of a legion of other respected Belgian designers and illustrators. His work is academic in style; specifically focussed on arts projects for the local creative community in Ghent. Although he’s recently completed an internship in London at Zak Group, presumably developing into further spheres of design in the process. Pictured is a beautifully realised catalogue for his alma mater, exploring the facilities and faculty in detail.We’d say he’s definitely one to watch, and hopefully he’s sticking around in London a little longer.

  7. Furnlist

    Berlin-based consultancy D describes itself as a “two-headed quadruped that focuses on graphic design and illustration” that “was born, speaks, thinks, and of course eats Italian.” It’s this heritage and appetite that explains the beautiful identity work the studio has created for Italian furniture design factory Edizione Limitata. We don’t often get excited about catalogues, but this one really is lovely, showing well-shot images of the furniture alongside more playful, painterly illustrations with brushstrokes and doodle-like patterns acting as a lovely contract to the slick imagery of the pieces on sale. It’s great to see the usually rather serious world of furniture given a less stony-faced identity, though the careful use of colour and typography as shown on business cards, stationery and technical sheets still shows Edizione Limitata as very much the high-end Italian operation.

  8. List

    There’s nothing heavy-handed about Seoul-based design studio fnt’s work. It’s like the graphic design equivalent of that little dish of mint-flavoured ice cream you get handed between courses at fancy restaurants to refresh your palette; something about their refined use of thin lines in muted colours on a white background feels newly delicate, when you’ve spent several hours being accosted by great slabs of colour and text that feel like a knock to the head. Maybe it has something to do with the Korean script, introducing a whole new realm of possibilities to the ways they treat typography, or the studio’s willingness to dabble in patterns and geometric shapes in a simple and understated way to jazz up otherwise clean layouts.

  9. List

    Furniture, typefaces, identities and posters, websites, limited edition fashion lines, music packaging and abstract works all exist within the broad practice of Berlin-based designer Till Wiedeck. Under the moniker of HelloMe, he’s been a constant creative force on the contemporary graphic design scene for the past six years, accumulating big-name clients like The New York Times, COS and Warp Records among others. This recent work for German/French art fund Perspektive, is characteristic of Till’s holistic approach to his process, with print collateral, web and all other elements of the identity created by the studio, all united by a bespoke typeface.

  10. List

    It’s all well and good writing about slick, big-client, big-agency graphic design. But once in a while it’s bloody lovely to cast our eyes over a graphic design project that takes itself not-so-seriously. One photographed using Polaroid, and sent to us as if broadcast directly from amidst a 90s Kevin Smith film. The projection questions is the visual identity for Baohaus – a restaurant that takes its name as a smart little play on, er, bauhaus and Bao – the form of Taiwanese food the restaurant specialises in.

  11. List

    Some people may be already winding down for Christmas but not so Rob Gonzalez and Jonathan Quainton, aka Sawdust. They’ve just updated their site with so much new work that we were genuinely spoiled for choice when it came to selecting what to focus on. Great typographic illustrations for_Men’s Health_,_ Wired and The New Republic didn’t make the cut on this occasion; instead we decided to showcase two very different, but equally excellent, print projects.

  12. Listhkagw-1

    It can’t be easy working on a brief set by a client that’s both an art event organised by a non-profit and a big banking firm. How best to balance a slick, serious look with one that shows creative awareness? For The Partners’ branding for the new Bank of China-sponsored Hong Kong Art Gallery Week event, the consultancy cleverly chose to look to a sense of place to inspire its look, which is informed by the area’s hilly topography. The event bring together more than 50 local galleries and museums, who spend ten days opening their spaces up for all, aiming to promote the work of local artists and contemporary Chinese Hong Kong art to the world.

  13. List

    There’s something deliciously tactile about Anne Jordan’s book cover designs. Much of her work unites a very materials-driven approach with clever typography, resulting in work that makes a two-dimensional image feel extraordinarily physical. The designer is based in Rochester, New York, and is also one-half of the duo behind the Walking blog, a rather sweet project in which she and her husband take half an hour a day to make something creative and post it online. However, we wanted to focus on her designs for books; and especially hone in on the way she takes an often oblique title and creates a design that plays off it, frequenly in smart, unexcited ways. Her look for The Woman Who Read Too Much, for instance, plays with cliched images of femininity like hair and curves to render the title less legible; and the look for Kevin McLauhlin’s Poetic Force uses feint lettering and thin-to-breaking-point paper as a backdrop. The choices seem obvious as we write them down but her work is anything but, creating covers that delight and make you think in equal measure.