Crispin Porter + Bogusky Going For Purpose Than Design Is A Smart Move

Crispin Porter + Bogusky Beta Site

Announced just this month, world-famous agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B) have created what is probably the most social that I’ve seen an agency become thus far. When is it that all agencies will fully embrace social media? In the case of CP+B, they seem to acknowledge that conversation is something they can have some control over and there are others that they have none. Take the opening video featuring Alex Bogusky for example. He makes some interesting points to show how open it appears to be:

  1. It’s a agency site but also a digital experiment.
  2. Not a site, but more of a “giant digital fishing net” gathering the good & the bad about CP+B & their clients.
  3. Wants it to be less about their work but more about what their work has accomplished.

I’m really impressed with how the site looks. A couple of nights ago I was having dinner with a graphic designer friend and he was working on redesigning the website of his agency. This got me to really think about the purpose behind what CP+B was doing with this “redesign” and what my friend was doing with his. I’ve seen his design layout and it’s very artistic and creative, well worthy of any top notch agency website. But my thought on CP+B is that I’m more into the functionality of their site over their design. Why? Because their work speaks for itself.

An agency that is constantly making their website way creative and design’ish should look at how CP+B has done their work. A friend commented to me that their new “beta” site is basically a rip-off from another sites (from a design perspective). I don’t know what site specifically nor do I care. I care that the CP+B website is adopting the trends that people are interested in and that they are eager to engage in conversation. The introductory video by Alex Bogusky tells it all. they have limited control over what appears on the site. Updating the client list and reel and also the videos is probably the only thing they can apparently customize but the news and articles about the industry are auto-generated. Anyone has free reign to post something on the CP+B website through Twitter, according to Bogusky. Just tweet to @bogusky and say something and it’s going to be posted on the website – not to mention be sent to Bogusky himself to respond to. Is this an entirely good thing to do? I don’t know…since Skittles did something like this earlier (they embedded the Twitter search page on their homepage – thereby really letting people “express” their opinions without filter). What would happen if someone did that? Is there any filtering of tweets to @bogusky? I don’t think so…but if there was, then they’re not really open to it, or are they?

Is the design more important than the functionality of a website? Don’t get me wrong, I like a really eye-pleasing website. I can’t stand websites or anything online that has bad design. If you’re looking for an agency to represent you, would you select the one that has created an awesome design for themselves or look at the work that they have presented? When I had to select an agency during a project, I did not look at their website, but was more interested in the work they presented. Your work should speak for yourself and then focus on making your website emphasize the services you offer and that you understand what’s going on in the industry and profession.

CP+B hasn’t done a bad design. They’ve created something I think is mild-mannered (not entirely creative, because they very well could), but they recognize the need to get a portal out there to accomplish two things: spread industry news & promote themselves without promoting themselves. It’s a smart decision.

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently Flipboard's Assistant Managing Editor, overseeing news curation in technology, science, gaming and health. In addition to his day job, Ken's the co-host of "The Created Economy" podcast, examining the Creator Economy. In a past life, he was a former reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding.