Grand Marais Art Colony | Website


Simplification is at the core of what we do. And that was certainly front and center in our minds as we worked to redesign and develop Grand Marais Art Colony’s (GMAC) new website.

The biggest challenge the GMAC team felt with their old site was how disconnected things were on the backend. They were using different systems for each function: registration, payments, donations, etc. Employees were having to connect the dots across the various parts of the organization manually. This manual work was taking time away from activities that would actually move the Colony forward. It was also leaving the organization open to human errors (which of course happens!)

So while we would still very much focus on laying out the website’s content in an easy to navigate way, connecting systems on the backend was a must was it came to redesigning the GMAC website.


Finding a solution for this website started with fully understanding every system GMAC had in place, how it was used, and how their team would like them to all ideally work together. With this knowledge in hand, we were able to find new systems (when needed) or connection paths. This allowed for information to pass through systems and trigger actions or notifications to automatically happen after an event. No more manual tying back a received payment to a registration identity!

While our development team was hard at work making all the backend magic, we also gave the site a nice facelift. Without implementing a full rebrand, we incorporated visual elements that aligned with their 75th anniversary graphic – a piece they’re using as their temporary logo. Doing this helped breath more life and dimension into the new website.

We cleaned up the way information was presented so that it would be easier for users to read (or let’s be honest, skim). A big piece of user functionality that we designed was around how GMAC’s classes were displayed. As people are more incline to prefer different views, we created options for the classes to be displayed in a list, on a monthly calendar, or through a more visual-forward photo grid. On the classes page, users can filter by medium, skill level, instructor or studio. And if they don’t want to monkey around with filters, there’s also a classic search bar. So no matter who you are or what you’re using, you’ll be able to find what you need.

Want More GMAC?

Well, we’ve got it. The Grand Marais Art Colony has been a fantastic partner throughout the years. Here are some of the major projects we’ve worked on in collaboration with the GMAC team.