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Porter's Paints: a world of colour online

The Challenge

Porter's Paints has been creating paints, wallpapers and finishes of extraordinary depth and colour for over thirty years. As a much-loved brand, customers have a real passion for Porter's distinctive hand-made products.

Ever mindful of this, Marketing Coordinator Melanie Stevenson decided to duplicate this emotional bond in a vibrant and inspiring online setting to capture a wider audience for its products.

"We needed a strong visual aesthetic to match the Porter's ethos and bring more than 1000 colour variations to life in digital media including a lime wash and a mixture of rich, textured finishes."

Stevenson wanted a dynamic website with a clever interface ensuring 35 product lines could be categorised and sorted easily. To save time spent on administration, it would also function as a central repository used to remotely communicate paint specifications and other product information.

"The site had to allow for fast content updates with a measure of control in handling large amounts of information. Technically, it had to be designed in a way we could easily replicate and modify for rollout overseas."

The Solution

Soda worked iteratively giving Porters regular updates as work progressed. Information architecture and site useability were key to the project.

Structurally, intelligent search and drop-down menus were combined with top-level and page navigation for a practical layout that makes content easy to find and considers older, less technical users.

Following close review, a clever bespoke product code system was developed that indexes and sections Porter's entire palate for easy selection online by tone, product type, colour, or alphabetical order, making it easy to find things.

Virtual paint swatches have been colour matched for accurate presentation in a web browser and subtle background texture has been used to differentiate each product group online according to Porter's brand guidelines.

Stevenson says, "Soda excelled at coming up with novel ideas that showed they really understood our customers. To give our paints meaning and context, they gave us the valuable ability to create a colour palette of complimentary swatches and then apply them for display in real-world settings. For example, see how our hand-picked colour combination for Porter's Lime Wash would work on the exterior of a Mediterranean style building."

The site is powered by a CMS that was configured to Porter's specific needs for effortless and intuitive content management.

For added flexibility, an editing facility was added to make life easy and allow the Porter's marketing team to manage a mix of images, product brochures, promotions and media releases in a controlled environment before publishing.

The Results

Stevenson appreciates being able to change news articles, add new paint samples or upload PDFs at a pinch.

"Soda just got us. We needed to showcase all our products, colours and technical specifications in a way that customers would understand and the site does just that. We love how the site navigates and how easy it is to manage content for ourselves."

The high-end design from Soda also reflects Porter's visual direction and has helped define the company's look across marketing materials.

"They brought out the very essence of our brand and everything we stand for. We took one look at the design and loved it. The site is a style guide in itself and has given us new concepts which we've integrated into other marketing."

"All of our specifications were met with a strong design and a practical template for low-cost deployment to other offices overseas," says Stevenson. "We are now rolling the site out in the US under our subsidiary Sydney Paints."