We love John and Janet. After working with them for years, we consider them close friends and felt so privileged to be asked and able to create a digital experience that truly communicated their brand. From branding the city of Del Mar, the amazing Muttropolis store in Solana Beach or Staying in the Hotel Vivant in Little Italy, if you have traveled through SoCal, you have likely encountered the work of MDL.

McCulley Design Lab is a multi-disciplinary design firm. With work that spans brand strategy and communication, interior design, graphic design, exhibit design and architecture, they needed a fresh take on their website to better showcase their impressive body of work.

Distilling a Brand’s Essence

It was important to the MDL that their site balance and reflect approachability, a refined design aesthetic and quirky sense of humor, just like John and Janet. For many people the website is the front door to McCulley Design Lab, which opens up the conversation to new business. In addition, MDL wanted to gather insights from the website to drive their business forward. For nearly all designers, it is terribly hard to design about ourselves. John and Janet understood that so we did a series of candid interviews with them where they shared their hearts, philosophies and approach to design.

We used that to capture their collective brand voice through our Essence process. Our Essence guide is a valuable document for us, the client and for our relationship. It allowed us to abstract a voice that reflected who they are. And the process built confidence between our companies. That confidence enabled MDL to trust us and our knowledge empowered us to craft a first draft of their About Us page. Together we refined the copy to capture who they are and what they do.

  • Creative Direction
  • Mobile Responsive Design
  • User Interface Design
  • Web Design
  • WordPress Development

Analyzing What’s Important to Users

During the UX process, we worked to identify who would be coming to the website and what would be important to those users. We ensured that experience required was translated into the site map, wireframes and content strategy. By reviewing analytics, we could see that many visitors came to the site on mobile and tablet, so we ensured the website would not only view properly on devices, but also provide an ideal user experience.

On to Design

The design phase was very enjoyable. We applied branded UI that put John & Janet, as the people, brains and personality behind MDL, at the center. It brought forth their personalities and gives a digital sense of their IRL characters. The work section struts, showing the beauty and attention to the details on which MDL has built a reputation.

The client was so happy with end product and continues to receive compliments. MDL proudly refers friends, prospects and clients to the website, knowing that it helps build trust and bolsters new business efforts.

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