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Animation school Escape Studios unveils new website from The Bigger Boat

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Escape Studios, one of the UK’s leading animation, games and VFX schools, has unveiled a modernised and immersive online presence, thanks to its ongoing partnership with Huddersfield creative design agency, The Bigger Boat (TBB).

TBB was selected to design the new online offering late last year, and has sought to showcase Escape’s market-leading creative credentials to budding students. Simultaneously, TBB needed to deliver a dedicated space packed with inspiring insights and resources for current students, so the website fulfils a dual purpose, uniquely tailored to meet each user’s needs.

Constructed entirely from scratch using Storyblok – a headless content management system – the website was built with a keen focus on accessibility, SEO, customer journey, and user experience from the outset, a move which will benefit both the business and its students in the years ahead.

With appropriately eye-catching visuals taking a leading role in capturing the attention and imagination of the site’s creatively inclined visitors, design was a crucial element of the build.

TBB’s senior UI/UX designer Charlotte Conqueror said: “We knew we had to deliver vast amounts of significant information about the fantastic undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses on offer at Escape Studios — but we also wanted to breathe some life into the design and make sure we had fun with it.

Subtle nods to gaming features such as keyboard keys, language, retro buttons and loading bars that mimic those seen on computer games did just that. We turned the colours on their head, opting for a darker look and feel with pops of colour, letting the student work take centre stage. But we were also committed to making sure the website was easy to access and navigate for everyone.”

While design took centre stage during the project, other crucial elements of the build included streamlining the authoring process to provide a user-friendly experience when refreshing content from the back end. The team at Escape Studios also required integration with their CRM – both of which were catered for within the construction.

Due to the use of various student works, copyright played a large role in the website with the relevant accreditations needing to be in place prior to use. There was also the scope of the website to consider. With frequently changing content covering topics such as open days and curriculum updates, the team needed to ensure the content was hosted in one central place, so any changes only had to be applied once.

Cameron Richmond, website manager at Escape Studios, said: “The final product is something we’re extremely proud of. We knew it had to be exceptional in order to appeal to the incredibly talented creatives who choose to visit our platform, and we’re confident that they’ll love it just as much as we do.

“Working alongside TBB on the build was as enjoyable as it was seamless. The team always listened, took on board our ideas, and actioned them – all while coming up with amazing ideas of their own. Our partnership was so successful that we’ve decided to continue working alongside them with further website support. We’re delighted to be maintaining that relationship and gaining an additional level of expertise.”

Escape Studios alumni have worked on award-winning TV series such as Stranger Things and Obi-Wan Kenobi; Oscar and BAFTA-nominated films such as Avatar: The Way of Water, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Batman, Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick and The Banshees of Inisherin, and best-selling games Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted 2 and Forza Horizon.

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