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Chester Arts Fair

The Brief

Here at Fotofire we love designing any website, but when we have images like those of Chester Arts Fair to use in a custom website design; we know the finished result will be extra special.

Founded in 2011, the Chester Arts Fair has grown considerably, being one of the Northwest’s most influential gallery spaces for over 100 UK & international, emerging & established artists. The gallery represents a varied selection of visual arts including paintings, sculpture, photography, illustration, glass, digital art, ceramics and much more.

When Chester Arts Fair approached Fotofire about creating a new website, they had firm views about the kind of user experience they were after.

They wanted a website with an elegant and intelligent design that would reflect both the vibrant contemporary side of the gallery and a premier platform to showcase each exhibitor. Through a variety of mixed artwork and a clean grid layout, the website needed to appeal to a large target audience. They also needed an efficient content management system that would allow them to easily update website content.

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Our Approach

The new website features a beautifully stylish and intuitive design with a strong focus on the originality of the artists. Our primary goal was to make everything easily accessible to the user. The clean look has the appearance of simplicity, but in fact the website is deceptively robust—it is rich with content and features, intelligent search functionality and links to dedicated pages for each artist together with links to an online booking facility. The architecture of the website achieves a new level in gallery website design.

The first thing you see when you arrive at the site is a large image announcing the current exhibition against a background of stunning photography taken by our in-house photographer. The user is then presented with a customised clock providing a countdown to this special event. The home page then presents all the current artists, clicking on one of these thumbnails takes you to a page devoted to the artist where you find information about and his/her body of work.

Each artist page has a clickable image filling the left half of the page. Click on this image and you’re taken to a slideshow full of large eye-popping images, produced by that particular artist. Just below each image, are two simple directional arrows which enable you to move backward or forward one image at a time, It’s a beautiful device for displaying artwork on the Web. The organisational structure for this section gives the gallery the ability to share a generous amount of information about the artists. Here you will find selected images of the artist’s work; biographical information about the artist and a brief description of his/her work.

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The Outcome

The website now has content that is more visible and attractive to visitors with a new gallery that houses the artists content.

The Chester Arts Fair website is driven by a powerful WordPress back-end. The site is entirely managed by the team over at Chester Arts Fair via a simple-to-use, intuitive web interface. The result is a totally integrated gallery solution, with an elegant public interface and a refined back-end interface that makes the day-to-day maintenance of the site easy for them.

The website is fully responsive, able to resize and adapt to the full range of devices that audiences may be viewing it on. This is especially important for people on the move. As the fair continues to grow, the needs of the audience will also change and it’s important for the organisation to have a platform that can easily cater for this expansion.

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Testimonial.

“Thank you for all your hard work to launch the new site. It looks fantastic and works well – we are all delighted with the result.”

Shirley-Ann - Director at Black Mango