- personal portfolio site of digital designer Rich Dean.

Creative. Design. Technology.

I create beautiful design and engaging experiences to help brands flourish. I’m passionate about doing great work with great people: I’ve worked with big brands and one-man bands, designing websites, brand identity and print work to help them grow.

I run design agency Supersonic Playground.

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Baking Mad

Redefining what a baking website should be

Baking Mad is a website that is produced by Associated British Food to promote their popular baking brands like Silver Spoon and Allinsons. So how do you create an innovative website that will create cut through in what is an increasingly crowded sector?

Baking Mad homepage in computer display

Brand development

Baking Mad style tiles

The only brand asset Baking Mad had prior to our redesign was their logo. So my first job was to establish the brand’s visual language. I started off by producing style tiles to try and capture the brand’s personality. I came up with three options – classic kitsch, cake shop and retro cookbook. The process was really fun and well received by the client, and retro cookbook was chosen.

Baking Mad style choices

The style tiles enabled me to quickly and easily define visual languages, including clear typography systems and colour palettes for each, and the variety and choice it gave the client meant that they could drive the new direction.

Baking Mad illustrations

The chosen option has a warm feel and is complimented by subtle touches like hand-drawn iconography.

The homepage

Baking Mad homepage

With the homepage, we wanted to do something quite different and groundbreaking. Baking Mad has a library of over 2000 recipes, and we wanted to make the homepage a really direct, streamlined way to access them. It’s focused around an full width grid and dynamic search that updates in real time as the user filters down to what they want. I wanted the grid to have an eclectic feel to engage the user, with recipe content mixed with promotions and other areas of interest.

The recipe page

Baking Mad early recipe page

Probably the most important page on the site, the recipe page had to be designed to work hard. One of our key challenges was balancing the need to do something innovative with making sure we weren’t moving too far away from convention.

Baking Mad header images Baking Mad recipe page final

Another challenge was how to display the main feature image for the recipe page. ‘Food porn’ imagery is a key component in making the recipes appealing, but the solution had to work across all of their 2000+ recipes – all quite different in size, so I designed a number of different form factors.

In the end the square option was chosen as it was the most versatile.

Bake mode

Baking Mad bake mode

To make our recipe page innovative, we came up with ‘Bake mode’ – a truly unique feature that allowed the user to switch between the more traditional ‘classic’ recipe view and this full screen, step-by-step mode.

Baking Mad bake mode in iPad

It was driven by user insight that showed a large number of bakers now read recipes on their tablets when baking, so bake mode allows them to easily swipe left and right between steps. The large, colourful typographic treatment that I gave each step allows the content to be easily digested (excuse the punn).

About me

I believe that design should be available to everyone. It doesn’t matter what your company’s size, budget or business is: great design will help you tell your story better. Design isn’t just about visual style: it can change how your business works, and how your customers see you.

I run design agency Supersonic Playground, based in Lordswood, near Maidstone in Kent. I have 16 years’ experience in design, most recently as head of design for Zone, voted 2014’s number 1 independent agency in the UK by The Drum magazine. I relish working collaboratively, and put my utmost into every project.

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