(Los Angeles, California--October 10, 2013) If you want to master design and digital, go survive the mighty jungle. Just ask Bernadette Rivero, President of The Cortez Brothers, and Nathan Strandberg, Creative Director/Partner at graphic design and illustration studio Eight Hour Day. The duo recently partnered to develop a brand-new website for production and creative development company The Cortez Brothers.
Bernadette and Nate hard at work in the jungle under the protection of a mosquito net (Photo Credit: David McLain/Aurora).
Rivero and Strandberg aspired to create an engaging, seamlessly dynamic user-experience that would accurately reflect the high-end caliber of talent and productions for which The Cortez Brothers has become known. To achieve this, they drew heavily from their shared production experience shooting in the jungles of Central and South America. The two first met in Belize shooting an interactive documentary about the mystery of the Mayan civilization collapse, and later, they sought answers about the vanishing jungles in the Peruvian Amazon.
After developing The Cortez Brothers
website, they solved a different kind of jungle: digital.
"There were a lot of moments in the jungle with our teammates when I thought, 'I'm going to get lost here, separated from everyone else, and no one is ever going to find me in this dense labyrinth,'" remarks Rivero. "Trying to get a handle of our digital assets and the company brand felt exactly like that. Clients are going to wander into our company, get lost in thousands of videos, and never find a clear way out. But Eight Hour Day
were our navigators. They helped us design a simple path out of that jungle, because Nate had been there himself. Literally."
"Our experience working as a team on tight deadlines in uncomfortable places like the Amazon really streamlined our process," adds Strandberg. "We were able to go back and forth quite quickly to resolve strategy, design and development issues that arose. Bernadette knows how to keep a project moving, and that is invaluable!"
The redesign brings into focus The Cortez Brothers' core brand element: a globally curated roster of cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary filmmakers spanning commercials, branded content, television and film.
The simple, intuitive front-end design lets users navigate and access content quickly. The playful interface immediately interacts with the company's latest and greatest work on the home page; large-scale images (actual stills from featured content) evoke an artful, cinematic mood. The color scheme is a continuation of the company's signature black and white brand-palette. Accenting the interface's stylishly minimal presence, pops of bright cyan lead the eye and add energy.
"We sought to create an immediate wow-factor," remarks Strandberg. "By allowing the brand to step back a bit, the content and imagery authentically define it."
Strandberg says the greatest design challenge was, "developing ways to maintain intrigue across a variety of page templates and information." He achieved this with image-driven menus and large videos, while incorporating dynamic movements based on user interactions.
On the backend, The Cortez Brothers tapped Web-based media management company Simian to power everything, including the 3000+ videos the site would host.
"The team at Simian were the manpower calmly paddling us out of the jungle," concludes Rivero. "They helped sort all of the content into manageable chunks. So, together -- mystery solved."
About The Cortez Brothers:
The Cortez Brothers, a Los Angeles-based production and creative development company, combines mainstream, high-end, cinema-level production standards with ground-level multicultural insight. It produces a wide range of global entertainment and advertising projects, from feature films and television series to webisodes and commercials. Recent clients include AT&T, Chevy, Coca-Cola, Dodge, Ford, Home Depot, McDonald's, Toyota, Verizon, Volkswagen and Allstate.