Park West is different and different is cool
Park West’s stage has seen 100+ years of iconic performances, including U2, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, and Prince. They’ve earned the reputation of being the coolest venue in Chicago, but needed a website for their growing private events business to reflect that. With the team’s full trust, we experimented to build an experience worthy of their brand. This project shows what we can do with a blank canvas and a trusting client partner.
What's the story?
Park West is an iconic venue in Chicago, hosting events from concerts to corporate conferences to weddings. They needed a new strategy—one that elevated their digital brand, reaffirmed Park West as a real player in the space of private event rental, and told their story.
Tina Turner Concert Poster
Ramones Concert Poster
Pretenders concert poster
Inside the venue
When everyone goes right, go left.
Before diving in, we needed to know what Park West was up against. We looked at competitors in Chicago and discovered a commonality throughout—Chicago is well known for industrial spaces turned contemporary. Rather than mimic competitors, we saw this as an opportunity for Park West to separate themselves as a little left of center.
Physical meets digital.
An event at Park West is unlike any other. A story rooted in being different, we pushed their digital brand to be different too. We anchored the strategy in their key differentiators: flexibility, production capabilities, experience of staff, and history. These became the guiding light for our design decisions.
Classic yet new.
We pushed the limits with our design and challenged industry standards. Inspired by a grungy wall covered in music posters and brutalist web design, we paired unique elements with unusual imagery. With our interdisciplinary approach to design and development, we created animations and visual effects that lead users on a cohesive, yet exciting, journey.
The content on the site is very informational, but we wanted users to not just read, but to engage—to have fun, explore, and find things that they weren’t expecting to find. We built “hidden” features for users to discover throughout the site, including hoverable effects, click-and-drag elements, and a 404 page worth checking out.
With a trusting client partner, we were able to redefine Park West Events’ digital brand and capture their unique, funky style with design and development features.
A mix of modern and old-school design to embody the distinct voice of the venue
Glitter and flame text
Old school scroll bar
A 404 page created by combining a low-res Geocities-style gif with some glitchy animation powered by CSS
Interactive animations encouraging users to play and highlighting specific page elements
Stackable content reacts to the click of a mouse
Customizable hover states which activate pop-up image content collateral
Testimonial boxes are drag-able for a user to reorder them on the page