A website is the creative heart of every brand—a cozy living room, a command center, and a shrine to a company’s biggest and best ideas. 

While our previous website served us well, we’ve penned many new chapters in the Coal Creative story since we launched it in 2018. We felt like it was time for a new look and feel—one that more accurately reflected our whole story thus far. 

So, we did what we do best: we collaborated with our entire team to create a truly special new hub of all things Coal Creative. And we want to give you a look at the how, when, and why of it all.

Why Now?

Timing is everything. Why was this the perfect moment for Coal Creative’s makeover montage?

“We wanted to modernize the look and feel of our website to better align with our brand identity,” says Holly K. Pilcavage, our CEO. 

Key word: modernize. While the last version of our site was certainly a reflection of who Coal Creative was in years past, it was also a reflection of the latest and greatest design tactics of that time. A host of new design trends and back-end tactics have emerged since then, and we decided to tinker with them to:

  1. Level up our look – We want our website to look and feel sleek, stylish, and state-of-the-art. So we took a trip back to the drawing board and rebuilt our visuals with the latest design trends and practices in mind.
  1. Authentically reflect our process – Our collaborators love Coal Creative because our approach produces results. We have our finger on the pulse, we can tell you what works and what doesn’t, and we know how to build unmistakable brand identities.

Holly sums it up best: “A fresh, contemporary design not only enhances the visual appeal of our site but also communicates our forward-thinking approach to design and marketing.”

Road Testing Our Approach In-House

Speaking of our approach, this was also an opportunity to test drive our creative strategy under the watchful eye of our harshest critics: ourselves. 

“Throughout the last year, we’ve treated our own company as we would a collaborator: putting intentional thought and care into ensuring our brand truly represented how we have grown as a company,” says Content Director Samantha Buchernatale

While you can read more about our time-tested process for web design, here’s the gist:

  1. Establish an image – Suss out what you want the final product to look and feel like; then weigh those goals against your current assets. 
  1. Collaborate and communicate – We maintained a development server that the whole internal team could access to keep tabs on our design moves. Everyone at Coal Creative had a chance to weigh in. 
  2. Don’t skip the minutiae – After building sites for countless collaborators, we know that what site visitors don’t see is just as important as what they do see: technical aspects, page flow, UX, and more.

Polishing Our Tech

This revamp posed an excellent opportunity to showcase our tech chops. Matt Simoncavage (Lead Web Developer & Lead Designer) and Travis Antoniello (Web Developer & Technology Specialist) flexed every technical muscle during our rebuild:

“We’re using the latest and greatest versions of PHP and WordPress, which will give the site a nice performance boost. We also implemented some new image optimization techniques: we’re doing some cool visual tricks without crazy load times,” says Travis. “I whipped up some custom Javascript for a color fading feature and made it so it was easy for Matt to use anywhere on the site. It was satisfying to see it working—even when we tried to break it.”

The result: A site with an airy feel and a tangible flow. 

Says Matt, “We had a chance to experiment with a few new back-end techniques, and these give the site a more fluid, open feel.”

Showcasing Our Expertise

A favorite page among our team is our revamped Portfolio: a moving, breathing showcase of our work. 

“We’ve completely revamped the Portfolio with a ton of our latest and greatest projects across departments from the past couple of years,” says Matt. “Keeping things simple with our own branding allows for more emphasis on the work we’ve done.”

Visitors can also get a taste of everything Coal Creative has to offer in our Services page. According to Holly, “We were looking to demonstrate the depth and breadth of our expertise and the value we bring to our collaborations. Whether you’re looking for branding, design, marketing, or video production services, you’ll find examples of our work that showcase our creativity and commitment to high-quality products.”

We’re especially proud of our refreshed Portfolio and Services pages, but other team favorites include:

  • The About page – “I had a blast creating the main image for the About page, which calls back to a few of our favorite team-building moments throughout our company’s history,” says Matt.
  • The Our Impact page – “Our impact as a brand goes far beyond the services we provide. It’s about the relationships we build, the communities we support, and the positive change we strive to create. Every project is an opportunity to contribute to something greater than ourselves,” says Holly.

Finding the Fun

While our new site showcases the best of our tech, design, and identity-building prowess, it’s also a testament to the sheer fun we have as a team—this is what we love to do, and we wanted that to shine through on our new site. 

We had a chance to collaborate with Diamond City Studios to create fresh team photos. This opportunity was especially meaningful for Holly: “We embraced the chance to have some lighthearted fun and showcase our authentic, human side with a few playful shots. As a bonus, it also served as a fun team-building activity.”

Every collaborative opportunity is a chance for us to do what we do best: bring exceptional ideas to life and have a good time doing it. 

Coal Creative: Telling Stories, Forging Connections

Our new website showcases the kind of creative team we’ve become over the years: an authentic, expert cadre of artists and storytellers. We’re proud of the work we do, and it’s truly a pleasure to help our collaborators bring their one-of-a-kind stories to life on their own sites and socials. 

We’re excited to present our fresh new website: a shining example of what Coal Creative can do for our collaborators.

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