Our New Site and a 2017 Update

We launched our new website! Here's what else we've been up to.

It's Been A While

Hey everyone. It's been some time since we've put out an update about Cosmic, and we figured that the launch of our new site gives us a good reason to recap what we've been doing. 

2017 has been a big year for us. We've added 2 new team members (Brett Johnson and Ryan Hall) and launched a bunch of new work.

We've also hosted lots of fun events at our studio and are currently working on some exciting new projects such as:

  • Creating a digital style guide for an electric motorcycle brand
  • Designing and developing an app for an arts-focused national non-profit
  • Producing another video series for Choose Santa Cruz
  • Branding a new wood-fired oven centered mobile restaurant in the Bay Area
  • Revamping the digital presence of a Seattle-based company whose products encompass a 70% global market share in their industry
We went on our third Brew Cruz in April to welcome Brett & Ryan to the team.
Brett Johnson, our newest designer
Ryan Hall, our latest frontend developer

Our New Website

How it all started

We reached a point where our site started to feel dated and incongruent with the quality of work we were producing for our clients. We started toying with some new design concepts in the studio and by auditing different websites in our space. We felt that a lot of modern sites — especially agency sites — have started to all look the same, and we wanted to create something different without sacrificing the user experience of the site.

We released the previous version of our site while we were at our old studio on the West Side of Santa Cruz. We've since moved downtown and felt the new site should fit the aesthetics of our new studio a little more closely. We drew inspiration from the physical design of our space and wanted to ensure that the experience of our site and our studio were cohesive.

With digital design, we always strive to strike a balance between form and function.

We were inspired by editorial layouts that break grids and create interest. Credit: Anaïs Coulon

Inspired by Print

We also drew inspiration from some of our favorite print publications and the way that the best editorial design finds subtle ways to break grids, create asymmetrical layouts, and bring in an artistic feel to the content that draws readers in. 

With digital design, we always strive to strike a balance between form and function, so we brought in subtle nods to print design throughout the site without taking things too far. 

Our homepage pays homage to a table of contents inspired split layout and numbered navigation. Grids are broken and cards overlap images to create an association between content elements and add visual interest. 

On our case studies and other section of the site, images are aligned asymmetrically and given plenty of space to breath in the layout. Explore the site and see where else we've drawn inspiration from interesting editorial designs. 

Embracing the Digital

Although some of our core design layouts are print-inspired, we also wanted to embrace the full potential of digital design. We balanced a modern digital experience while keeping things minimal, clear, and subtle. 

Users transition smoothly and quickly between pages of the site without harsh page loads. (See how we did this by reading our Ajax Page Transitions article.) Interactions such as images swiping in and hover effects, are designed to delight the user. We describe these details as the interaction layer, and they make a big difference in making designs feel modern and fresh. We feel that the key to this is to not take it too far and avoid complicating the user experience or creating an interaction that seems busy or slow. 

Articles

We've also published a few new articles under a new topic we call "Process," where we're sharing insights, ideas, and philosophies about our design and development process. Feel free to check them out:

What's Next

We have a bunch of case studies and articles in the works that we'll be launching soon, so follow us to make sure you don't miss them. We're also planning another Popup Market event in December, so be sure to swing by for some awesome holiday shopping with unique gift opportunities from top-notch local vendors. 

We'd love to hear what you think about the new site and what we're up to - let us know on twitter.

Cheers!

— The Cosmic Team

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