Made in Italy isn’t just a tagline for the two principals of Bluestepstudio; it’s a philosophy, a standard for their work. It means “high quality and beauty, functionality and aesthetics,” according to Svetlana Grnčaroska and Andrea Sotgiu.
This multidisciplinary design studio specializes in digital identity and communication, working primarily with global fashion and lifestyle brands. Based on the island of Sardinia (lucky them!), the two partners describe their approach as “applied creativity”—that is, creativity that’s planned and purposeful. “We took the best artisan tradition and we translated the values that stand behind every craftsman—passion, humility, dedication, excellence, strong attention to the details—into new technologies, creating extremely tailored work with a very personal approach for every single client,” Grnčaroska says.
Some design agencies agonize and sweat over—and postpone again and again—renovating their websites. (There’s that saying about the shoemaker’s children having no shoes.) Bluestepstudio’s during-summer-downtime site redesign was unplanned: an idea sparked by the words “photography” and “summertime” grew into a full-scale project.
The site’s design is highly photographic—reflecting the team’s love of photography and the importance of the medium in their clients’ realm. “We are in love with photography so the imagery portfolio was the natural solution: sleek and intuitive, more similar to a photo book than a showcase.”
Visitors can access Bluestepstudio’s portfolio in a couple of ways: From the homepage, via a grid of photos that, when clicked, lead to a series of more detailed images. (Click on the blue circle to view a text description of the project.) In an interesting presentation, rather than display their digital work flat on the screen, it’s projected onto a large computer monitor as if viewed from a desktop. Or, click on the Lavori (Work) tab in the top navigation, and you’ll see a range of work organized by client.
The website redesign also incorporated some playful elements that reflect current web design trends: An array of colored circles drops to the bottom of the Competenze (Competencies) page, while on the Lavori page, the portfolio navigation slices in ribbons across the page. “The idea was to create a website that wouldn’t only reflect our identity and show our work, but one that would also interpret our current state of mind and mood,” Grnčaroska says. “The summer ease defines the mood for the site: It is more an invitation to enjoy our portfolio then pure information about the projects.”
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The site’s overall navigation is minimalist—almost missable, in that the header navigation bar disappears on most pages. If you feel lost, just mouse to the top of the page, and the header reappears.
“Sincere, honest, genuine, business-oriented, elegant, non-aggressive” is how Grnčaroska describes the site. “It was created by heart and crafted with our knowledge.”