The Philadelphia Association For Public Art’s website is an excellent lesson in powerful simplicity. The bulk of the site appears similar to the above homepage. Small, digestible bodies of text, with graphic cut outs of art work underneath. This is an example of how sometimes, as a designer, the best thing you can do is get out of the client’s way.
The Association For Public Art is dedicated to maintaining and promoting the plethora of public art strewn about Philadelphia. As such, their site should be built to foreground the art, not some designer’s convoluted personal vision. Creating simple, but appealing, graphic web pages can help you contribute to the impact of a client’s content, without overwhelming it.
Still, the site does feature some high level, albeit visually minimal mechanics. This timeline for example maintains the graphic simplicity of the homepage, but brings the information to life by sending users on an adventure through time. At each node on the timeline, users are able to see and read about some new advancement in the history of Philadelphia’s public art. This is an example of how a simple mechanic can also help to foreground a client’s content, without overshadowing it. As users pass through this timeline, the images that will stick with them are of the art, not the designer’s vision. This is a good thing! You can still create curated web experiences without having the mechanic become a distracting centerpiece of the site.
Lastly, let’s examine this interactive map where users can find public art around the city. As users explore the map and discover new works of public art all around them, they are more fully immersed in the impetus of the site. They are now engaging first hand with public art in Philadelphia, despite never even leaving the house. This is perhaps the best example yet of how a simple mechanism, an uninvolved yet interactive map, can again foreground the premise of a site.
As users click on new pieces throughout the city, they can see and learn about the art, keeping them engaged yet entrenched in the world of public art.
Association For Public Art is a great website design in the Arts & Recreation and Education industries.