New website for Catharine Somerville

New website for Catharine Somerville

This month saw the launch of the new look website for Canadian artist Catharine Somerville ahead of her forthcoming exhibition in Toronto.

We have worked with Cathy for many years and have constantly striven to represent her eclectic and varied work in the best way possible. As colour is one of the most dominant aspects of her painting it has always been important to match the colours and tones onscreen to compliment the vibrant but subtle colours in her work.

In the past we have used shades of blue, grey and indigo to frame and add a backdrop to her work, but this time around we have opted for a much starker white and grey colour scheme. Working in conjunction with Canadian designer Claire Orange we devised a very stripped down bespoke design, based on a very limited colour palette in order that nothing would detract from the work.

With such a minimalist design, the typography really had to shine. The original designs called for Avenir but as this doesn’t exist as a web font and we didn’t want to take any risks with the font rendering, we chose to use the web designer’s current favourite, Proxima Nova from Mark Simonson Studio via TypeKit. Often used as a web replacement for Helvetica, Proxima Nova combines precise geometric style with Humanistic proportions which give it such a clean and modern appearance.

Based on the WordPress CMS framework, there are no huge surprises in the coding apart from the custom payment pages. A deceptively simple function which had to be incorporated into the gallery displays and listings. Using the reliable Next-Gen plugin, we hacked the code around so that the site could display buy now buttons on the works, either within their own galleries or as part of a separate catalogue.

The end result is a simple intuitive site which is responsively designed to work well across all platforms including tablets and mobile phones.