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Best in WordPress Design: Sandwich

This is Best in WordPress Design. Our purpose is to highlight exceptional web design done with WordPress around the world. We feature selected sites, and share a brief conversation with the people who made them.

Sandwich is an atypical advertising agency specialized in doing commercials for digital products and services. Their commercials are quirky, amusing, and instructional. In 2009, founder Adam Lisagor made a fun video to introduce an app he made with a friend. The video became more popular than the app itself, and its success propelled Lisagor to create Sandwich. In the decade since, they’ve worked for almost every imaginable client: Slack, Square, Figma, TikTok, Panic, Shopify, Salesforce, Facebook, Airtable, Etsy, Airbnb.

In 2019 they hired Cosma Schema to build their site. They had very specific requirements regarding their video library—which was deep and had lots of detailed data for every project—, stability, and speed. A solid, responsive, and highly customizable CMS was the way to go, so they chose WordPress (and Jetpack) for the job. They designed a custom theme reflecting the colorful brand that is Sandwich.

Where did the inspiration for this design come from?

One of the core principles of our work and our aesthetic at Sandwich is that color is good. In the literal sense that we like our work and our brand to be vibrant, rich and full of flavor (the actual name of our brand ID that the team at Cosma Schema developed a few years ago is “Flavor Town”), but also in the sense that we feel that life is best when we can experience the full range of possible tones and values, in tasty balance. I live in Los Angeles because it’s sunny, and when it’s sunny, the full spectrum of color is reflected in the world around me. I listen to the music I listen to (jazz) because I find it most harmonically intricate and complex and reminds my ears that life is full of interesting possibility. So when we worked with Cosma Schema to design our new website, that principle was so important to bring forward. We wanted a full range of harmonic chromatic tones represented (as it is in the work in our portfolio) and a simplicity in space and intention that reflects how we present concepts to our viewers in the work we do on behalf of clients.

Why did you choose WordPress to build the site?

The design agency we worked with on our site in 2019 (Cosma Schema, headed by Andrew Sloan and Robert Lenz) made the strategic decision to build our site and its very rich CMS with a very deep catalog of the hundreds of commercials we’ve produced in our dozen years of business, and we’re grateful that they did. We knew that we needed a CMS that was highly customizable for our many specific needs (for instance, that every project must feature a comprehensive credits list of the key people who worked on it) but also not built from scratch, and highly dependable and optimizable for speed. We knew we needed our visitors to have a smooth experience when they came to view our work, and we knew that we couldn’t let the technology get in the way. WordPress has always provided the stability we needed. And a top priority was that our catalog of work would be searchable, by name, title, and tag. Not only is it exactly that, but it’s extremely responsive and every search query is traced to a descriptive URL that can be shared. When I started off in the commercials industry, it was a holy grail to be able to collect previous work from the portfolio and send it to a client without having to lay it down to video tape. We were able to build such a tool on our WordPress and we use it constantly to share “collections” of relevant work with prospective clients. In that sense, our site becomes a dynamic sales tool to generate more work. Who could ask for anything more?

Tell us a bit about your tools and your work process.

As a creative studio whose task is literally to tell the stories of new tools and how people will use them, and how they change us and our work and life, we do in fact care deeply about the tools that we use. But we adapt to the new tools that are available, and always will, as a matter of practice and a matter of principle. In each phase of our process as a studio (client intake, creative, production, post-production, even finance and human resources), we’ve introduced new tools over our 12 years of business and seen the impact they’ve made. Some tools have underperformed for us and we abandon them, and some tools have changed the work that we do for the better. The creative world is at an inflection point at which AI is going to impact a lot of the work we do if we want to accept it, and what the market expects from us if we pay attention. And as a creative company founded on principles of innovation and technological progress, we will be here to embrace these new tools as they change our whole culture.

If you could ask WordPress for just one thing, what would it be?

We’d love to make a cool video project together 🙂

By Javi Loureiro

Designer Experience