When your designer friend asks to team up on a website project for your favorite sushi restaurant... you jump at the yummy opportunity!
RED was moving to a larger location on the other side of The Square, and to coincide with their hip new restaurant space, they wished a re-designed website to match the updated décor and different interior feel. Visit the website »
You may or may not know that Madison, Wisconsin is known for a handful of very important things: 1) The Badgers, 2) cheese and beer, and 3) great restaurants. It's restaurant scene is diverse and very competitive. As an annual Best of Madison award winner, RED is a local favorite for sushi and Japanese cuisine, but had outgrown their small space.
While renovating it's larger, new location a few blocks away, the decision was made that their website was also in need of a facelift. Specifically, the website had to fulfill the following needs:
- Visually express the look and feel of the new restaurant
- Provide visitors with current menus and specials
- Take online orders for the booming takeout business
- Advertise special events and seasonal restaurant happenings
RED's owners wished a really cool, hip, sexy, date night feel for the new website– something edgier than you’d normally see in the Midwest. The interior designer had developed mood boards with a subtle underwater theme to relate to the origin of the sushi ingredients.
While graphic designer, Kate Pahl of Spruce Studios worked on the new print materials (menus, place settings, and signage), we took the lead on development of the re-designed website to mirror the feel of the physical pieces.
The overarching graphic theme we set out to achieve was sense of weightlessness or floating– which is intentionally a bit off-putting in an edgy/modern way– but fits within the underwater theme. The concepts had to clean, modern, bold… and not too visibly Japanese.
One challenge we faced during the development of the new website was that the old restaurant was closing before new location opened. To solve this problem we created a couple of interim landing pages to provide visitors with updated information and project progress, as well as a variety of "coming soon" messages to engage interest and intrigue.
There were a lot of moving parts and pieces that aligned to make this website project successful. Working with a great developer, Eric Schmidt, and the extremely talented food photographer, Paulius Musteikis, made the process go smoother.
The new restaurant space has an intentional new atmosphere and we thought a full screen video would best describe that to website visitors. Local video guru Eric Schirtzinger did a great job capturing the RED experience in the feature video seen when first visiting the home page. It's actually quite mesmerizing. Have a look...
The new RED website greets visitors with subtle motion and mouth-watering imagery that pulls you into the dining experience and entices your appetite. We are extremely happy with the results and so is the client.
What's even better is the wonderful words an restaurant visitor sent to the client about their new site:
I would just like to take a moment and let you know how absolutely stunning your webpage is. Please extend this compliment to the company responsible for it. I have not dined at RED yet, being new to the area, but I have found myself falling in love based solely on the website.
It is an elegant blend of simplicity and depth that truly captures the attention. I know I will be frequenting RED on my next night on the town. I do hope my first trip in will be as enthralling an experience as the one your website has already painted in my mind.
Again, please pass this along to whom ever is responsible for your site.
Awwww.. warm fuzzies all around 🙂
Ready to get started?
If you'd like to talk to us about working together on your project, there are a few things we'd like to discover before getting started.