Brighton Photo Biennial

October, 2014

Brighton Photo Biennial (BPB) is one of the largest curated photography festivals in the UK. Having worked on previous BPB sites in the past, we were approached by Photoworks, the organisation behind the BPB, to design and develop the website for BPB 2014.

Holly Dawson talks to project lead Kevin Beck about the Google Maps API and spinning around in circles with a phone in his hand.

Photograph of a BPB exhibition by Nigel Green

How did the previous BPB websites influence the development of this site?

We had a list of improvements that had been requested by Biennial visitors from the previous year that formed the starting point for the BPB14 site. We added a lot of features based on that feedback. For example, the users of the BPB12 website found it hard to find what was on during a specific set of dates. To address that, we created a new event filter system. This allowed users to easily filter the events by date and/or category.

Website screengrab

Was the branding already set?

SMITH studio had designed the printed material and therefore had set the style guide for the BPB branding. They had done a great job and the transition to digital was pretty straightforward. The strong poppy colours were fun to work with and the various page elements grew naturally out of the typographic treatment of the printed material.

Website colour scheme

The venues map is great. How was that developed?

The Google Maps API was so easy to work with. We put some custom styles on the map and markers and then allowed the Photoworks team to add the addresses in the backend. The map was then automatically populated. This was great, as with all events like this, there are late changes and these could be carried out easily without touching the code. This avoided the typical headaches you often hear about with late content changes.

Styled Google maps

The 360° photographs are lovely. Anything you want to say about those?

Again, this was actually a really easy thing to achieve technically. Google has a great app that allows you to take 360° images and then add them to a location on Google Maps. Then it is just a matter of including an embed code. These virtual tours give visitors to the site a real insight to what the exhibition was like making the site a valuable resource long after the exhibitions have ended. When you view them on your phone, it responds to where you are holding your phone, so you can physically spin around and see the room. We had a great time taking the images on our phone and spinning around in circles.

Photograph of a BPB exhibition by Nigel Green