Our Work

Unifying the digital presence of an arts leader

UrbanGlass Website

Founded in 1977, UrbanGlass is the first and largest artist-access glass center in the United States. They have a wide array of offerings previously featured on separate websites; managing content across them eventually grew unwieldy.

A new website, whose launch coincided with the opening of the organization’s renovated facilities along the burgeoning cultural corridor of Brooklyn’s Fulton Street, was needed.

urbanglass.org ↗

Familiar understood right away that we had a lot of needs and not enough time to get to them all. They really helped us prioritize features for our site and then helped us execute on them on a schedule that made sense.

Cybele Malone, Executive Director, UrbanGlass

The Site Redesign

We conducted a content audit of all their existing websites, stripping them to create a single, content-rich site. Site content is organized around structured data and the relationships between them, facilitating easy maintenance and organic navigation sitewide.

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Unifying Distributed Brands

UrbanGlass publishes the leading glass art and industry magazine, Glass, four times a year. Before Familiar redesigned their site, the Glass editorial staff was maintaining multiple individual websites outside of UrbanGlass core site. 

By unifying all of this content under one purpose-built umbrella site with a single CMS and CRM, we were able to make operations and systems support more efficient, and make the visitor experience more rewarding and informative.

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Refining the UrbanGlass Identity

UrbanGlass had years of equity built up in their striking and simple logo. We decided together that this redesign would be a great opportunity to refine their existing logo.

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The kerning of the old logo is uneven, which effected its legibility, and the letterforms are also irregular. Our solution was to update the logotype to a more regular and digital-friendly version of the same style of lettering, and to carefully hand-kern the new logo. The new kerning is much more regular, even accounting for optical irregularities in characters like the “r,” the “l” and the “s.” The letterforms themselves are more refined, regular, and legible.

These aren’t big changes, but they weren’t meant to be.  The new logo improves on the old logo and is overall better-suited for the variety of applications that it’s now expected to be used in.

Phased Design & Development

Because UrbanGlass had a major real-life milestone approaching when Familiar first started working with them, we focused specifically on educational and informational content on their site in order to serve as many visitors as possible with the brand new site. But as soon as that launched, we began working on additional features on the site and rolled them out over the course of the next year.

These features were intended for use by smaller, key segments of UrbanGlass' overall audience—including online space and equipment rental reservations, online shopping, and online GlassQuarterly subscription management. Each of these user-focused features were able to significantly reduce staff time needed to manage each of these elements of their operations manually.

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Familiar was able to leverage several best-in-class third-party systems to seamlessly enhance the UrbanGlass website for its visitors, including Shopify for their online store (which also handles inventory management for UrbanGlass' retail storefront), and Checkfront for reservations that their artist community can access directly through the site anywhere at anytime.
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