Design & Technology July 24, 2017
The design process of a beautiful corporate website: Kempen.com
This is not your average corporate banking website, made by a nice cocktail of Dutch creative agencies.
Mmm, a website for a B2B bank…
When we were invited by Kempen to design and build their new website, I have to admit that I was a bit sceptical. Though past years banks have started to reinvent themselves, great concepts and designs are still often torn down by legal details, conservatism, fear and internal departments claiming screen real estate. Not this time, this time the story does have an happy end with 🌈s &🦄s.
Integrated design process
To get a design that really works, all elements have to come together: concept, copy, brand design, visual design, interaction design, photography and animations. That’s always a challenge, but especially this time considering there were 3 agencies involved with their respective specialties, pedigree and focus:
- KesselsKramer for brand postitioning, identity and concept.
- Van Santen & Bolleurs for photography of the main images.
- Dept for website concept, design, animations and building it.
This wasn’t a straightforward process, partially due to that the brand postitioning and concept wasn’t finished when we started designing the website. But also because we respected each other’s expertise, and said we would make this collaboration work to make something beautiful.
My takeaway is that this process is only possible when someone at each agency is in close contact with his counterparts at the other agencies and client, and together guard the overall process and goals.
Haute finance boutique?
Starting point for this new website was the new brand positioning for Kempen that KesselsKramer helped them with. Based on that we started to use the term ”haute finance boutique”. Think posh watch and fashion magazines style. This was because of the niche Kempen is operating in. But if we did only that, it would be a move back to how the industry is (or was). So we wanted to blend that traditional posh style with a feel of dedication, innovation, internationalism and some Dali style surrealism:
Here you could see KesselsKramer and we were in sync: KesselsKramer showed us some quirky still life photos Van Santen & Bolleurs made for other clients and our designer Dionne put a stock photo of a still life in the home page design to inspire the client. Kempen liked the images we used so much that we ended up making custom still life photography.
Home page evolution
The home page is the crucial page to make impact. See the design evolving:
Still life photography with subtle animations
Early on in the project our vision was to make a focused, high-quality website that makes an impact when people visit it, but with refinement. The still life photography Van Santen & Bolleurs made is essential in this as the user interface itself takes on a delicate role.
We added some subtle animations to the photos to convey the story to the visitor in a touching webby way. This is the Asset Management main animation in the making:
All images custom-made
All the main images were custom shot by Van Santen & Bolleurs, so these really feel at home on the website:
The next step
After this creative process, we will start with a more business driven process. This shouldn’t stay a beautiful corporate website only, it should work for Kempen, create business and add value for their clients. The next phase will involve implementing Salesforce, a client portal and more data-driven features and campaigns.
We are really, really proud of the website and hope it makes the impact we intended. A big thank you to the Kempen marketing team who lets creatives be creatives and managed us with a good balance between business demands, freedom and fun.