The old FOCAL International website

We are not fans of rubbishing the work of another designer or developer as you never know the constraints placed on the company or individual involved. However, understanding the reasoning behind FOCAL International’s desire to commission a new website provides context to our final solution.

The old website looked dated, was not easy to navigate, lacked core functionality and, because it was built a decade ago, it was not built to work on mobile devices or with accessibility in mind.

With the client’s permission, we expanded the brief to include a brand refresh as the logo and other brand assets looked as dated as their website.

The old FOCAL logo had a number of issues: loose font tracking that over accentuated the name resulting in an uncomfortable long form; there were too many colours and a mixture of font weights and sizes that became illegible when used at a small scale. Using the bold version of the existing typeface, we modernised the logo by condensing the words ‘FOCAL’ and ‘International’. In addition, we removed the tagline to create more space for the bigger wordmark.

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There were no recognizable brand elements within FOCAL International, aside from their ‘globe mark’. So, we added two elements to accompany their new logo and colours. The first was scribble/doodle forming a letter F, for FOCAL, emulating a hand gesture wiping a dust on a surface to reveal an image/graphic/video behind it — a window to the past. The second element is the starburst, an evolution of the ‘globe mark’ of the logo, where the globe explodes to reveal new footage. Instead of circular dots, we used an elongated ellipse to showcase the breadth of experience and genres that FOCAL covers.

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The new FOCAL International website

The new FOCAL’s website has a great deal of technical innovation behind the scenes to help the small in-house FOCAL team manage all the content.

One of the key priorities was to provide member self-service, thus enabling the FOCAL team to move away from having to manage all requests. Members can now update everything, including deciding which elements of their profile they want to publicly display and adding employees to the account. They can even submit articles to be published on the website (with proper moderation of course). We also integrated the site with BAFTA for video hosting/streaming and there is a better events booking system integrated with Stripe.

We also collaborated with FOCAL’s external project manager on the selection and set up of their CRM, then hooked all the finder into that. This provides a more streamlined member renewal process and footage finder forms are integrated intelligently to now only email relevant members based on the enquiry type (previously every enquiry type was sent to all members).

Finally, we merged their awards site into the primary site and ensured this website was built with accessibility in mind and worked on mobile, tablets and desktop.

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I have to say thank you ever so much, the website looks great and we have had lots of positive feedback.

Mary Egan, Director of Operations