Kolomenskoye is a historical estate and former royal residence in Moscow. Beyond its vast expanse, it is also a major cultural institution with a multifaceted structure. So, when the Kolomenskoye team approached us to do their branding and website, the task was not only to create a design that authentically captures the essence of the museum reserve. We also made a system that brings everything together and can change and grow as the museum does.
Kolomenskoye offers diverse services and hosts various activities – from hotels and festivals to tours and weddings. There is even a falconry nursery. The branding needed to seamlessly bring together all these facets, while the website structure had to be crafted with the understanding that sections would be in constant flux.
The Kolomenskoye team came to us with preliminary work on new branding and their mood boards. We considered them but slightly altered the overall concept. We balanced the bright style they proposed with deep, rich colors. This was our attempt to convey the spirit of old wooden architecture from ancient Russia. In the color palette, we introduced shades of deep maroon, dark blue, and rich gold. These colors resonated with the stylish photoshoots of Kolomenskoye in stylized Ancient Russian costumes, which we actively used. In the new visual identity, the ancient Slavic and Christian culture blends with dark myths and beliefs. References are noticeable in the typography, colors, and shapes. Dark hues, for instance, evoke thoughts of household spirits, while the ovals and arches as architectural elements on the website allude to Easter, and church symbolism.
The first thing we did when we started developing the website was conduct an audit. We interviewed museum staff, learned what was missing on the old website, and what they wanted to see on the new one. This helped us create a detailed website map, ensuring that each department had its place and all the requests were taken into account.
The museum team can create new sections on the website themselves. This is a distinctive aspect of the Kolomenskoye project. The website includes a mix of unique pages, while others are template-based layouts.These layouts are challenging to design and integrate with the website's backend, but they provide a highly convenient toolkit and greater flexibility. For such a large, dynamic content-driven site, this is essential – sections become outdated, get combined into one, and new services emerge.The function turned out to be useful; we see how museum staff create new sections themselves and contribute to the site's development.