Graphics Reference
In-Depth Information
Portfolio highlight:
Sandstrom Partners | Get your words' worth
One of today's portfolio rules is that prospective clients visit your website to
see really big, shiny pictures of your work. Rules like that exist because they are
mostly true. Oregon's Sandstrom Partners is a brand development company that for
years has used its portfolio to reinforce its reputation for great copywriting and a kill-
er sense of humor. A glossy gallery was never their main focus. How could they rise—
or lower themselves—to this eye-candy challenge without defaulting
to a site that looks and sounds just like everyone else's?
The answer, it seems, is to have it both ways. Sandstrom's
site is a beautiful and tasty piece of work, starting with its lush
landing page. The words “our company” and “your company” trade
places on a richly colored full screen. The background colors loop
through a rainbow of shades that have been carefully selected to
match saturation and to segue beautifully. It makes a commanding
display of smart design in the service of great concepts.
A window-shopping prospective client can move on to verify Sandstrom's suc-
cessful track record and see if it's the approach they need. Existing clients and fans
will still find their dose of the amusing and unpredictable. Sandstrom's portfolio, like
the company itself, is insidiously unique.
We hope that pro-
spective clients might
realize that effective
communication can be
ing, and bold.
—Rick Braithwaite
Navigation and architecture
Select the “your company” option, and you're presented with conversational
navigation choices, not categories. If you are looking for options like “packaging” or
“advertising,” you won't find them here. Or you will, but not by expected names. Each
choice presents a potential client scenario—some straightforward, like "needs an iden-
tity," and others, like "wants to talk to grown ups," tap shrewdly into emotional
wants and needs. Sandstrom is leading you to their case studies through narrative.
Once you've made a selection, the navigation disappears. It's replaced by a
frequently tongue-in-cheek description of a client's
situation and Sandstrom's response, complete with a
clear description of the results of their work—and
sometimes a punch line. After you've read the intro-
ductory text, your only navigation option is “see the
work,” flashing onscreen. Yes, you could use the Back
button, but who could resist the invitation? If you
do resist, you can select the last menu option, “just
needs some arty types to do whatever you tell them.”
Anytime that you do things differ-
ently, you can expect polarizing
feedback. Some clients love it while
others would prefer a site that is
more conventional. You can't have
it both ways, so we default to
thought leadership.
—Rick Braithwaite
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