Re: Design

Karim Rashid’s Website Gets a Much-Needed Makeover

There are few living designers as iconic as Karim Rashid. The man himself is as bold and bright as his countless designs, and there seems nothing he can’t turn his hand to from product design, branding, fashion, art…you name it. It seems pretty surprising then that his website had not been given a refresh for more than 10 years.

“I was not sure how necessary a website is today for developing new business since Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest have such visibility and presence,” explains Karim. Enter stage left Anton Repponen and Irene Pereyra aka Anton & Irene. “I chose Anton and Irene because they seemed the most progressive and there was a sense of ease about their work and them personally. I must like the people I work with always.”

Anton & Irene had unsurprisingly been long-time admirers of Karim’s work so producing something so design-orientated for him was no doubt a slightly daunting prospect: “Designing for a designer, and especially for one as prolific, influential and celebrated as Karim Rashid could have been — let’s be honest, a total disaster” said Anton & Irene. “After the first meeting we were no longer intimidated and the working relationship from start to finish was extremely good.”

That strong relationship obviously paid dividends, as Karim was delighted with the results: “The site is simple yet complex (behind the scenes) that only really beautifies my existing work. The new website contemporizes even my older work! I saw photos of my work from the early 90s that look just as fresh as my work today.”

Anton & Irene shared some deeper insights into working with such a prestigious client:

The Plus: What kind of brief were you given and how did you meet it?
Anton & Irene:
The brief was actually very open. Since the current website was more than 10 years old, a redesign was needed to not only raise it to current web standards, screen sizes and requirements, but also to make it easier for Karim’s team to update the site more easily, and on a more regular basis. Our main goal was to showcase the plethora of products and projects in a visually enticing way, and engage users to interact more.

TP: Was there much dialogue throughout the process with Karim’s team?
Yes, we were in touch with Randy and Jessica almost on a daily basis and getting the site up and running was a true collaboration.

TP: What was the biggest challenge?
The project was actually quite easy, and the process was quite straightforward. It wasn’t nearly as challenging as some of our other, larger projects have been like the redesign of or the Nickelodeon iPad App for example. The only thing that was tricky to figure out was how to build a modular system that would support as many different kinds of inputs as needed so that Karim’s team would have to do zero work in Photoshop and the content management system would handle all those tasks.

TP: Do you have a particular piece of Karim’s that sticks out in your mind?
Anton loves the Ottowa Chair and Irene loves the Kurve Chair.

TP: What are you working on now?
Right now we are working on the redesign of the website of one of the largest museums in the world (can’t say which one just yet), which is incredibly fun but also really complicated and a lot of work. We’ll be launching that in 2016 and we’re very excited about it!