Explore Agency Red Lion's Digital World with Its Nifty New Site
Toronto-based advertising agency Red Lion has launched a revamped website and the result is something that’s never really been done before. It’s not just a website, it is its own geography, a traversable digital world populated by different cities, a website experience that’s analogous to urban exploration. Ultimately, Red Lion’s newly created digital world is an online graphical representation of creative capitalism, the agency’s recently redefined foundational mantra, which has its roots in the notion of unity between the left and right brain. Click here to view the site.
Developed in-house over five months by Red Lion, the website’s 3D architecture is akin to the kinds of forward-thinking design trends happening online right now. Explorable in much the same way as one navigates through Google Maps or Street View. A key differentiating factor for the website is the way it’s been optimized for mobile, with users able to navigate the digital cities by tilting and moving their mobile devices in different directions.
“One of the signifiers of capitalism are skyscrapers and we thought, why not leverage this in a new way. The result, we think is fun and playful.” Said Matt Litzinger, President, Chief Creative Officer at Red Lion.
Visitors to the site start with a bird’s-eye view from on high. For a brief moment they float above the clouds with birds chirping before being swept downward, quickly, towards the building’s of Red Lion’s three-dimensional digital city, appropriately red in hue, which becomes increasingly distinct the closer they get. Down and down they go before halting, levitating just above the city’s streets, in and amongst the peaks of Red Lion’s high-rise buildings, immersed in the sounds of a bustling metropolis. The initial landing point is the largest of a smattering of cities in Red Lion’s explorable digital world, each one providing visitors with a different gateway into various aspects of the agency, including its beliefs, the work, various disciplines and so on.
“The website is the continuation of our rebrand at Red Lion, it’s an attempt to actually create a more immersive experience, inside the world of Red Lion,” says Matt Litzinger, who initiated the rebranding process upon joining the agency in July, 2014.
“Some of the biggest challenges we faced technically was bringing the concept of an organic city to life on screen,” says Litzinger. “We began by using flat squares and adding a blur and different sizes, which gave a portion of the desired effect. Even with what effects were included, it was already starting to slow down modern computers, so we decided to use 3D with WebGL. In mobile, the biggest challenge was getting the accelerometer to work properly. We started by using velocity, but it was actually the tilt readout that gave the smooth movements we were looking for."
All-in-all, the new website represents another step in the continuation of the Red Lion rebrand, which began with the unveiling of the agency’s new word mark, an ambigram representing Red Lion’s philosophical emphasis on the unity between left and right brain, which allows people to experience the logo with either the “business” side or the “creative” side of their brain.
Ultimately, however, Red Lion’s true rebrand can be seen in the people that now work there. The agency has created its new culture with new talent, combining backgrounds without industry experience with some of the industry’s brightest young stars. In fact, Red Lion is now comprised of 95% new people whom have all joined in the last 11 months, the truest indicator of any rebrand.
Litzinger adds, “We believe that what we’re trying to do here is truly use a different approach to solving challenges and we recognize what that means. Some of the things we try won’t be for everyone. But we think that’s the point. At Red Lion we know, we’re not for everyone. And we embrace that, there’s a freedom in it.”
Creative Agency: Red Lion