Digital Design & Strategy
Matte PR is a LGBTQ+ and woman-owned communications firm started by Heidi Ruggier based in Toronto. Trusted by both independent and global brands across the world, Matte PR prides itself on inclusivity and seeks to amplify the voices of partners who are a force for good. The firm also has an online publication, Glossi Mag.
7C Laboratories and Matte PR have been close collaborators since our earliest days and our collaboration continues to the present day, providing clients with a full-service experience. The firm originally used a blog-style single-page website which has served them for six years. In that time, technical upgrades, innovations, and design trends have changed and surpassed what was feasible on the original website. There was a need for a new website that was not only fresh and new, but robust and versatile enough for the firm to run smoothly without hiccups and technical limitations.
The client searched for a new theme for the site and found Zermatt, a contemporary multi-concept agency theme. It comes with several different layouts and functionalities to showcase portfolio and run a blog. The theme not only fits the need and feel of the firm, but also their sister-site for Glossi Mag. We used this theme to update both sites, since the theme provides multiple layouts for different styles and focus.
We used the demo content from the theme as the foundation and templates of the new website. From there, we edited the theme extensively by adding custom CSS and updating the theme settings with the firm’s branding styles. The theme is very minimal, allowing the existing website content like the portfolio and the achievements of the firm to speak for themselves.
Throughout the building process we kept a sheet of changes to be approved, reviewed, and completed. This iterative process and close communication with the Matte PR team makes the building phase simple and efficient.
A challenge of the project was importing all the content from the live website to the staging environment where the new website is built. As the site has six years worth of content including high-quality photos, videos, portfolio, and blog posts, it was very important to ensure everything was migrated smoothly without errors.
Another challenge was some of the limitations posed by the theme. The website features many posts and portfolios showcased in grids and sliders, sometimes with custom thumbnail aspect ratios and dimensions. We had to ensure all posts and portfolios generate the same set of thumbnails and image dimensions. By setting up specific standards for images and thumbnail generation, we ensure all posts and portfolios both in the present and future are showcased properly without any aberrations.
Although the theme is responsive, we had to customize many of the sliders, images, and layouts, making it important to apply our own responsive CSS, ensuring the website looks as intended and acts as expected on all devices. Once the new website is completed and the final design approved, we pushed it from staging to production on our hosting server.
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