Home to the prestigious University of Michigan, the city of Ann Arbor nabbed the #1 spot on Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live list in 2018, thanks in part to its stellar education and civic engagement initiatives. And it’s definitely easy to see why! The midwestern city boasts numerous biking and running trails, not to mention a myriad of stunning and expansive parks, making it easy to get out and hike, swim and catch some rays. If you’re not an outdoor enthusiast, the city also offers a wide variety of fantastic restaurants, craft breweries, shopping districts and nightlife entertainment.
Not long ago, the destination went through an extensive rebranding process, which resulted in a brand new visual identity. When all was said and done, the DMO reached out to Simpleview to complete the rebrand process with a website redesign.
At the beginning of the redesign, they identified several key objectives for the new site:
- The new branding needed to be at the forefront of the design.
- The site should serve as a significant source and inspiration for leisure travelers.
- The site needed to showcase not only the Ann Arbor area, but also the entirety of Washtenaw County.
With all that in mind, our team worked to identify key elements of the destination’s new visual identity that they could incorporate into the website design. One such element was Ann Arbor’s new logo, which featured a dramatic, angular look. Our designers worked to incorporate similar angular design elements throughout the rest of the site, including a vertical scroll (as opposed to a traditional horizontal scroll) into the hero area and the highlights collection.
In order to encapsulate all of Washtenaw County and create a county-wide experience, the team created an interactive thematic map. The map brings together Ann Arbor’s key brand pillars: “Eat, Play, Stay and Meet.” As the user clicks on each community in the map, they are greeted with the corresponding navigation, which can also be found in the highlights collection, offering a cohesive experience that’s tailored to the user’s interests.