The Evolution of the Whoa Mama Website
As a design firm, you burn so much creative fuel on the brands you build, often forgetting that you need to look good too. This is the story of how our digital face has taken shape over the last decade.
Before we begin, you must know that some of the images here are not what was once up (since we lost some of the files).
When we first started Whoa Mama Design we knew that our website needed to reflect our personalities, and we were loud and playful. With a name that sounded almost better than Pornhub, we knew that being bold would be the differentiator that made us stand apart as a design studio.
We were two men, 21 years of age. We had leaped into the rat race with aggressive yet unseasoned feet. Somehow, through someone’s deep prayers we still managed to woo a lot of people.
It’s a big load of ‘WTF’ when we look back on the firms identity eleven years ago. The first websites user interface was slick for its time, we are talking about a time of 1024 X 768. Our entire website ran off Macromedia Flash, which by itself was a challenge to program to get all the work on board. The communication was simple, visually depicting two young men on a surreal journey to start an agency, with design at its heart.
While we managed to fill up our categories with work done as individual freelancers, we gradually started creating work that was truly Whoa Mama!
And for the most important part we weren’t really two guys. Our contact section revealed a third – Nishant John, who has a striking resemblance to X-men’s Mystique was our good buddy and creative writer. It was he who said we were a company, not individual freelancers. That’s when shit got real. It used to be all wide grins and full-of-rum times. You couldn’t blame us, it was 2007. Why the blue filter on the pictures? Fuck knows.
Shift from Black to White.
But hey, we hadn’t forgotten our pledge to be different. We wanted to look louder with our work, so we took ourselves out of the homepage, ‘cause face it, that was so 2007. We didn’t care about wealth, we craved design exploration. We introduced ‘Big Sexy’, a scaled-up poster girl who represented our attitude at the time, to create stunning work for every client.
Then, this happened when we decided that our branding called for more negative space. We were becoming quite popular for the work we were doing; folks in the city were curious about this “whoa mama”.
We decided that white space would allow us the freedom to create a fun yet more sophisticated site. Version 2 progressed with cleaner layouts, less Flash and more work. Whoa Mama was about two years old at the time, we were young and hungry to make a bigger name through the work we would create. We figured that was what kept the phone calls coming. But, we still couldn’t let go of our old website.
We also reworked on our designations (thanks to our copywriter) and gave ourselves ones that no one else would probably ever dare to put on their website leave alone their business cards. Talk about ego, you’d better have a little at 23.
It’s 2012 and the world hasn’t ended as yet. Yellowstone National Park is still intact.
We decided to tone down the crazy a little and let our work do the talking. This is when big sexy was revealed in full. She wasn’t screaming for attention, she was merely turning the chapter, revealing new surprises. Everything vintage was starting to creep back into trend. She was a sexy 50’s pin-up dame who had worn many avatars to match her lacy garter stockings. And guess what? It was okay for your homepage to scroll.
We had some noteworthy brands under our belt and it was time to flaunt our craft.
We hired an illustrator who just couldn’t stop. Don’t miss how he looks rather sane while the rest of us look like we have lost the plot.
We had created a lot of good work. Our portfolio of clients was rapidly diversifying.
Honestly, this website did a lot for us, people were starting to see what the fuss was all about.
Minimalism was the word of the day; text was displayed on a “need to see” basis. This version was all about our portfolio and full screen imagery. It added a wee bit of visual intimidation, kinda like we couldn’t give a hoot about you or your business unless you wanted to do something truly awesome.
Some of our work even had us posing in it to make it look totally awesome. I know, it appears that ego we talked about went off the rails just a little.
We had finally put together so much work into this site, it was impossible for anyone to go through it all. Nonetheless this was the most functional website. Clients would get an in depth insight on what we did for each brand. We had a portfolio that covered many industries and continued to get inquiries from other fields.
Version 5 proved to be a little bit more in line with our current vision, but it was just the start of growing the team, bringing in new services, experimenting with film and our huge green screen. Truly a significant time in WMD history to see the most change. The design involved showcasing our work and culture more than anything. The website opened with a brief video of the people, scenes at work, and culture of Whoa Mama and then proceeded to do the job of selling our work.
A decade of design. Sweat, blood, tears and magic. We had grown from kids to adults. We would laugh at our past ideals and design mindset. Our culture and history had to be put into context. The new website showcases some of our more recent work, the notable brands that we have worked on and reveals our raw personality and identity. It’s live so go check it out at www.whoamamadesign.com
Like it couldn’t get more badass, we were awarded a gold trophy for it.