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Partnership / Submit Saturdays

Submit Saturdays: Take advantage of your website to show varied work as a creative collective

Words:

Lucy Bourton

Welcome to Submit Saturdays, a year-long series of articles in partnership with Squarespace. Be it a professional work website, a shop, a social enterprise or a site that hosts a personal project, Submit Saturdays will showcase the work of creatives around the world who use the online platform Squarespace. This is a great new opportunity to share your projects and ideas with our readers.

Throughout our Submit Saturday’s partnership with Squarespace we’ve showcased the work of a wealth of creative individuals. However, using a website to display your personal portfolio isn’t the only way to demonstrate your practice.

Over recent years there has been a rise in artistic collectives using websites to display the curated content of a group. This often results in a physical product such as a publication, or using the site as a blog. In light of this, we spoke to a range of collectives about how having a website can be used as a tool for promotion, a way to showcase their creative output and, ultimately, help their reputations grow.

Setting up shop: “Plain and simple, it allows us to successfully provide and manage an e-commerce platform”

Hugo Ross, Vanguards magazine

Vanguards, is a new quarterly publication that recently released its first issue. Each issue celebrates an area, its community, and its sustainable or creative produce. Issue one focuses on Scotland and was completed whilst founders Hugo Ross and James Roberts finished their degrees at Edinburgh College of Art. The physical publication features a range of creatives from photography by Cora James to collages by George Douglas, exploring Scotland’s diverse design output.

As a start up independent publication the pair developed a website to promote the brand and showcase the range of work featured within the magazine. “We used Squarespace as it has a great reputation for endorsing creative projects. We were keen to align our emerging brand with a digital provider that not only offered a great service, but has a positive ethos and great brand associations,” says Hugo.

Vanguards additionally uses its web presence to set up an online shop, generating money to continue the production of the publication, “Plain and simple, it allows us to successfully provide and manage an e-commerce platform for selling our magazine and collaborative products.”
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Promote: “Having a website allows us to be discovered globally”

Kathleen Tso and Vicki Ho, Banana magazine

On the other side of the globe Banana magazine uses its website to help promote the creative collective the publication is built upon. “We started Banana magazine firstly to create a platform for Asians in the creative industry and to start building a community” explain editors Kathleen Tso and Vicki Ho. “The choice for the name is meant to be an inside joke. For anyone who has ever been called a ‘banana’ it’s a nickname that has been given to many first generation Asians growing up in the western world, like us.”

“Most of our distributors are in New York but we have people discovering us from across the country and the globe. Having a website allows us to be discovered globally via search and offered an online marketplace to sell our magazine, shipping anywhere in the US.” The website’s simplistic design takes advantage of separating the magazine’s content to show the breadth of creativity they cover, “We don’t really feature much of our magazine on the actual website, to keep everything contained in print and maintain the ‘specialness’ of our physical magazine. But, the super easy functionality of creating new sections on Squarespace allows us to keep all the information of each magazine separated and clear.”

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Inspire: “With this amazing bunch of vinyl nutters at our fingertips, we wanted to take Vinyl Monger to the next level.”

Ryan Freeman and Jolyon White, Vinyl Monger

Rather than promoting a product, Vinyl Monger use its website to curate a record sleeve artwork, album reviews and the record collections of musicians. “About a year ago we started posting pretty pictures of vinyl on Instagram and it kind of took off from there”, they explain. ‘Took off’ is an understatement. “Within a surprising amount of time we managed to get 11,000 followers which is seriously crazy. With this amazing bunch of vinyl nutters at our fingertips we wanted to take Vinyl Monger to the next level.”

This is exactly what the pair have done, creating a website that utilises it’s features to curate as much content as possible. “It’s got loads of killer functions” they explain, “We love the gallery set up for our ‘Collections’ bit of the site. Up and coming bands or artists provide some delightful anecdotes that are worth checking out, you simply hover over the record sleeve to see the story.” With Vinyl Monger’s rising popularity they plan to soon set up an online record shop, “Squarespace has an insane inventory function which was another reason we went with them.”

Building a website is an opportunity to showcase your interests as much as your individual output, as shown by each of these collectives. If you take advantage of additional features you can utilise an online platform to display and sell your products such as Vanguards do, encourage worldwide promotion like Banana magazine, or even display design inspiration akin to Vinyl Mongers growing archive.

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In partnership with Squarespace

Squarespace is a creation tool enabling individuals to create a great website by giving them the tools to create an elegant solution and get their voice heard in the world of online publishing. Whether for experienced designers or for someone putting together their first website, it makes forming a beautiful platform simple.

If you’re not currently using Squarespace to host your site, the kind folks over there are offering It’s Nice That readers 10% off their services. Sign up here or upgrade your account using the discount code SUBMIT to get 10% off.

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