Stockport Old Town is a Portas Pilot funded initiative to reinvigorate the high street in areas including Stockport’s Market Place, Lower Hillgate, St Petersgate, Great and Little Underbank. Though originally conceived as a smaller venture, Mary Portas’ backing meant the project could be more ambitious – encompassing a rebrand for the area and a bold one-stop-shop website design and site structure. We were tasked with handling these latter elements.
Our intention with the site design was to create a central hub for the area, gathering anything and everything related to Stockport Old Town – whether it’s the businesses within or the events going on throughout the area. In our eyes, the Stockport Old Town site needed to be less of a traditional directory site, and instead take its cues from sites used to encourage tourism. We needed to create what was effectively an online magazine, filled with original content – making discovering the area and everything within it exciting for site visitors.
Starting with a redesigned logo to unify the area, we created a fresh, contemporary logo intended to encapsulate the innovation and creativity of the area. Twinning abstract representations of iconic Stockport buildings with a strong, rounded typeface, the overall logo is confident and distinctive, yet friendly and approachable.
As for the fully-responsive site itself, as well as administrators being able to add blog entries, businesses and locations through the CMS, we also created accounts for individual businesses to access and update their own directory entries – whether it was to update phone numbers or to upload special offers and menu revisions. Each individual trader’s page pulls through their business’ tweets, as well as having a dedicated photo gallery and direct link to their Facebook pages. At the bottom of each trader’s page, there are two suggestion boxes leading users to other sites and points of interest within Stockport Old Town, whether it’s businesses near by, or related businesses. This was intended to further encourage site visitors to explore all that Stockport Old Town has to offer.