As a creative arts studio, we wanted to ensure that the branding suite for CUT designs reflected the handmade aesthetic of their product: “CUT” has been laser-cut into each piece of letterhead, which is produced on a heavy bond paper. When paired with a contrasting envelope, it makes a visually stunning first impression when included as part of a shipping package or product quote. The business cards have also been designed so that the artist can excise “CUT” by hand out of each of them for a personal touch. Each card has the words "this card was hand cut" written on it as a reminder of the product.
Established in 2012, by 2018 CUT designs had expanded their business and were in need of a way to sell their products online. We began with a full audit of their current site to determine metrics such as where their visitors were coming from, which pages were seeing the most/least engagement, and their level of accessibility compliance. From there, we began building an e-commerce store and refreshing the page designs to establish a more modern and minimalist aesthetic which allows their products to stand out. High-quality photography, consistent brand imagery, the inclusion of an accessibility widget, improved SEO, and a rewrite of their website copy has helped to increase their web traffic as well as their product sales.
Using a split header design for the top of the homepage allowed for the inclusion of both an eye-catching product image and explanation of what the product is and that it is, impressively, made by hand—all at first glance. Highlighting a few best-selling maps next allows the user to quickly access the e-commerce shop, as well as to see what new products have been added recently. The website owner can also easily customize which products they want to display in the ribbon on the back-end.
While great efforts were made to ensure WCAG compliance, the use of an additional accessibility widget takes this one step further. Allowing the user to customize the page to their specific needs, such as changing the default font type and size, adjusting the screen contrast, enabling keyboard navigation, highlighting links, and disabling animations helps to build a more inclusive user environment, providing a better shopping and browsing experience. The widget remains sticky when the page is scrolled so it is always available, and customizing it to reflect CUT designs brand colours ensures the site remains visually consistent.