Steinway & Sons Redesign

Over the past year I’ve had the pleasure of working with New York based piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons. They’re not just any old piano manufacturers. We’re talking pianos that take almost a year to make by hand, and retail at close to what I bought my house for. Seriously.

The whole project came together fairly smoothly, and included a variety of different mini-projects that really kept things interesting. There were some print ads, dealer site designs, and even some internal cms and crm design tweaks done. The first thing the client wanted to tackle though, was the home page.

Having never worked with this client before, I wasn’t quite sure how much creative liberty I would have, so I played it safe and started off with a design that closely followed a wireframe that they provided (I can’t track down that wireframe right now, or I’d post it as well).

Steinway and Sons Draft 1

Along with that comp, I also showed a variation that was a little more dynamic and something I felt fit the Steinway brand a bit better.

Steinway and Sons Draft 2

Steinway liked the second approach… and wanted to go with it. I was pretty happy with it too, but continued to refine it as I worked on the rest of the site. The first change I made was to the secondary content section.

Steinway & Sons 3

This was better, but I felt that it was still a bit too top heavy… and could be balanced a bit better. I cut the height of the background image a bit, and let the piano pop up over the top in an attempt to make it stand out more.

Steinway & Sons 4

From there it was just a matter of tweaking the colours and typography to bring it all together…

Steinway & Sons Final

Overall I’m very happy with how this project turned out. One of my personal goals for this project was to get away from relying on the same techniques that I’ve become comfortable with over the years… and it was actually harder than I thought it would be. I found myself resorting to the same button styles, shading techniques, etc… and having to force myself to go back and change things up. I figured that if these guys can spend a year making a single piano, I could probably spend an extra couple hours here and there on refining these details.

Along with the website redesign, I also had the opportunity to work on a metronome application for the iPhone. I just added that one to my portfolio today, and if you want to see some of the process on that one, you can check it out on Dribbble.

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