Among the winners of The Annual 2021 this year, Ted Vesania certainly has one of the most colourful entries across the entire board. It is also one of the most distinctive.
Our judges in the Web panel were impressed by the clean and modern design of the Plantacea website, a rather unique approach to e-commerce with floating content and clear, bold colours. The project was able to catch the eye of the Creativepool community too, granting Ted a People's Choice award in Web.
Today we are getting Behind the Idea to learn more about this award-winning project with Ted Vesania, Head of Design at #0000 (formerly White Space Creative).
What do you think impressed the judges about this project?
As Richard West put it "Clean modern design. I loved the flat colours and floating content. A different approach to an e-commerce website.", its the best way I can summarize it.
What was the brief?
To do a complete redesign of the website. Make it different and unique so that it stands out from all other dispensary/CBD websites that are out there, it has to really pop. Also it needed to have some unique animations to it so it’s not just another scrolling top to bottom website. It really needs “wow” people so they stay on the site and learn more about the brand and the products. But most importantly its typography had to be big enough so that elderly people could also read it as they are one of the primery targets of the market.
Tell us more about the concept. How did it come to life, and why was it the right choice?
The design was really brought to life through Plantacea’s logo, which is a set of squares. Now doing my research on what I was having to compete against proved lackluster because all the competing brands and not just do the obvious, use existing templates from Squarespace or Wordpress, tweak them and call it a day. Not one brand had something beautiful or amazing about them to be proud of. I tend to think of these “designs” as street signs, you see them and pass them by with no second thought.
As I said earlier the designs were brought to life through the company’s logo, it really gave me a retro vibe so I decided to do something that no one in the dispensary/CBD industry is doing and that is fuse retro design with modern design. I wanted to make it an 8-bit website but without all the details and colors in the graphics. Plantacea’s logo has a variety of colours in it and I wanted to incorporate that into the website, beautiful clean pastel colours that feel welcoming and enjoyable.
I decided to do something that no one in the dispensary/CBD industry is doing
I set out to design all the graphics as simple as possible keeping in mind to maintain my color palette to a minimum of 2-4 colors per design, the graphics just needed to be simple and clean without being over whelming. The photos were the biggest challenge to be honest. I had to cut each photo with the pen tool in Photoshop and that really took along time. I also wanted to incorporate the photos as floating elements but because the majority of them had been taken up to the torso of the people I decided to use the 8-bit idea on them by cutting floating square at the bottom edge of the photos. The idea was that the photos had loaded in from squares.
Was it the right choice? Yes, definitely. Everything about the design and execution of the site came out better than I thought it would and the clients were super excited as to how the design turned out.
This year’s winners are a testament to the power of creativity in hardship. How did Covid restrictions influence your winning projects and how did you approach these new challenges?
Honestly there have not been many challenges for me. When I did this job for Plantacea I was still freelancing full time, way before I joined #0000 (White) or even when Covid happened. For me it's just another awesome day of doing what I love doing.
What is one funny or notable thing that happened during the production of the campaign?
I can put something for both.
Funny: I can’t remember what page I was designing but somehow what had happened was that I had over-written one page with another. So basically I lost a full day of work because I had saved one page with another's name. I was pretty pissed at the time because code, links etc, was gone but now I just think it’s funny, and I'm never repeating that mistake again.
Notable: Each of the pages had to be set up independently from each other so adaptations between PCs, laptops, tablets and phones could scale accordingly. That took a really long time.
What’s the main message of the campaign and why does it matter?
Change. The brand is taking its design to the next level and does not want to be ordinary, not just another dispensary.
What is one unique aspect of the campaign?
Carte blanche, I was given a job to do with it as I please, just make it amazing.
How long did it take from inception to delivery?
If I remember correctly it took me six months from start to finish.
What do you hope it achieves for the brand?
As I had told the clients, “this design will wow people and it’s going to bring you more clients and sales. People will know you as the brand that sticks out”.
What advice would you share with other agencies and individuals looking to grab an award?
This is where people need to be brave and take risks. The best advice I can give you is stay away from the norm, set a new standard. This industry is constantly changing and everyone is doing the same thing with changes. I don’t see anyone breaking away from the flock and just doing their own thing because of conservative or political reasons.
If you want to grab an award, be brave, be unique and genuine. As Steve Martin put it, “Be so good they can't ignore you”.
What is your most exciting project in the next year?
Unfortunately I can't divulge that information but I can say that with #0000 (White) we are doing some amazing things and I do mean amazing. I will be keeping my profile updated if you are curious about seeing what’s new.
Will you enter again in 2022? If so, what are your hopes?
You better believe it, you will see me again.
How do you plan to display your award?
I’m not sure yet, I’ll probably put it on the wall in my work space and just enjoy it. I can’t really say, I never thought about that. I never even thought I would win!