One Darnley Road
Branding + Digital

White Cube

White Cube is one of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries, representing over 60 international artists and artist estates in New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Seoul and West Palm Beach. As they expanded further internationally, White Cube wanted to modernise their digital presence to help their business remain agile and to increase visitor engagement. In a project that took over a year to complete, we created a new, intuitive website that supports their continual growth and offers a visually engaging experience akin to their physical locations.

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One Darnley Road White Cube Artist p AHR website one darnley road 2023 07 11 162551

The opportunity

Before working with us, White Cube’s website spanned three different platforms. While the site worked well as a gallery archive, it wasn't streamlined or straightforward to use, and it didn’t support the commercial needs of the business. So as the gallery continued to grow, there was an increasing need for a more capable platform that would not only continue to represent their art, but that would make it easier for visitors to navigate the site, more approachable for potential clients and more manageable for their marketing and sales teams.

White Cube chose to work with us for the multidisciplinary approach we apply to our projects. We start each task from the ground up and we know that solid research informs sound results. We’ve also never restricted ourselves to one house style which means our designers and developers are well versed in working with pre-existing branding requirements. This lent itself well to the White Cube project as they wanted us to maintain their current brand throughout the new site.

As the gallery continued to grow, there was an increasing need for a more capable platform

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"It has been an absolute pleasure working with One Darnley Road. We had ambitious objectives for the new White Cube website, coinciding with the gallery's global expansion. Their UX and design teams and front and back-end developers went above and beyond to fulfil them all while upholding our brand's integrity and aesthetic. They consistently gave us meaningful, perceptive input and supported us with their in-depth knowledge and experience"

— Clara Bodelon, Director of Digital and Audiences
White Cube
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Our approach

As with all of our work, we completed a comprehensive discovery phase first. After holding content workshops with key stakeholder groups across the business and carrying out in-depth competitor analysis to identify trends within their industry, we formed a solid understanding of what was missing from the current White Cube site.

From balancing the artistic and commercial side of the business to building something that was easy to manage, we were able to formulate an idea of how to streamline their business requirements while merging the three existing platforms. We also understood that the evolution of the site needed to be handled in a way that included White Cube throughout the process, and empowered their teams rather than restricting them.

The discovery phase also laid the groundwork for creating a digital foundation that White Cube can build on in the future. Each idea we came up with and every decision we made were all part of a bigger picture and needed to drive towards achieving the long-term goals of their strategy.

The discovery phase also laid the groundwork for creating a digital foundation that White Cube can build on in the future

The output

Using the knowledge we gained from our research, we designed and built a custom solution on Craft CMS which allowed us to meet all of our requirements. On the user side, the improved site structure allows for a more intuitive journey. New features include simplified navigation, a location filter for exhibitions and contact forms that make it easier to get in touch. We also implemented considered visual touches such as full-screen homepage imagery for a visceral experience. And we prioritised accessibility, working with a dedicated team to ensure we cater to all users.

On the art side, we crafted dynamic content that showcases White Cube’s artists and exhibitions in a more immersive way. With dedicated artist pages that can be expanded or simplified, and interactive online presentations such as the monthly Salon programme which the team can put together themselves, we have created a more holistic and consistent journey from the offline to the online.

And on the backend, we developed our most advanced page builder to date with over 20 unique content components that were hand-coded. These components have given White Cube the flexibility to update any page without the risk of fonts, sizes or styles becoming disjointed. We also integrated Sage, Shopify, Mailchimp and Vimeo to maximise the site’s capabilities for the marketing and sales teams, allowing them to tailor their communications to specific audiences. Finally, we automated imports and synchronised artist information and artwork from their bespoke inventory system, reducing the amount of admin required.

...we crafted dynamic content that showcases White Cube’s artists and exhibitions in a more immersive way

One Darnley Road White Cube Exhibition
One Darnley Road White Cube Shop v2

Set up for the future

Through our detail-oriented approach, we created a digital platform that toes the line between immersive storytelling and intelligent functionality while delivering a first-class experience for all visitors. The power of the website not only lies in its functionality to serve a leading commercial gallery, but also in the fact that its content can be regularly updated to keep up with what is being shown in White Cube’s spaces.

For the White Cube team, the automated nature of the new site has allowed them to utilise it commercially, streamline processes and build a foundation to drive more activities in the future, from an artistic and business perspective to everything in-between.

As for the performance of the site, there were almost 4 times as many online enquiries when it launched in June 2023 compared to the previous June. This demonstrates how it was able to make such a huge impact on visitor engagement in a very short space of time – as well as offering a radically different on-site experience and serving as a true digital representation of White Cube’s galleries.

A digital platform that toes the line between immersive storytelling and intelligent functionality

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