Bownds Ranches

Let us show you Texas
Real Estate / Nominee

Real Estate

Promote the brand and ranch listings like Hollywood blockbusters. Bonnie MacTavish, Head of Experience Strategy


Q: Can you briefly describe your project and the concept behind it?

A: Bownds Ranches is a third generation, family-owned Texas property group. Our concept was to promote the ranches like blockbuster films. Inspired by typographical movie posters, we paired GT America with bold statements, with each property listing page a story in itself - highlighting the premium nature of properties Bownds Ranches represent. The homepage is an immersive, scrolling introduction to Brandon & the new Bownds brand.

Q: Once you settled on your idea, what influenced your decision on the chosen technical approach? How did it differ or go beyond approaches you’ve taken in the past?

A: As a platform that will be continually updated with new ranch listings, we used our headless tech stack for ultimate flexibility. We also engineered a clever color-change slice that allows content editors to change the colors of multiple slices at once, add an optional paper-tear edge (for that rustic ranch vibe), an animated noise texture, or even topographic contours of the state of Texas.

Q: What web technologies, approaches, tools, or resources did you use to develop this experience (WordPress, headless, AI, Sublime Text, HTML5, Adobe XD, etc)?

A: Next.js is our front-end framework, with Sanity headless CMS and Vercel hosting. With our modularised approach, Bownds Ranches has the power to create an infinite number of unique pages to advertise their clients’ ranches and showcase them in their best light. Lenis scroll improved performance & accessibility of the site, & allowed us to utilize native APIs such as CSS sticky. We’re also using GSAP and Jotai.

Q: How did the final product meet or exceed your expectations? What results did you see?

A: With a lean budget in a tough market, this was a real passion project for us and we’re so thrilled with the result. It’s already picked up Awwwards Site of the Day, has local competitors raising their eyebrows, while also garnering plenty of praise from Bownds clients. Most importantly, it drastically improves the way properties are showcased, leading to vendors of premium ranches to reach out to Bownds as their representation of choice.

"We never recreate the same experience twice. Every project is an opportunity to learn, to experiment, and to improve. Nightjar is technology agnostic, so we always find solutions that fit the project needs, while also championing emerging and innovative tech. This is what gets us out of bed every morning - the thrill of finding new ways to solve old problems."

Q: How did you reach a good balance of your own creative ideas and technical capabilities with a fair representation of the client’s brand?

A: We were incredibly fortunate with this project that the Bownds team trusted us from the beginning, and were open to all our technical suggestions. With such powerful brand assets, we knew the design had the potential to be incredible, and so we kept pushing ourselves internally through many iterations to really deliver something above and beyond for them - much like Bownds does every day for their clients.

Q: What did your initial moodboard, wireframe, or prototype look like? How did those ideas change throughout the design process?

A: Our initial moodboard drew quite heavily on the new brand identity we created for Bownds - a bold color palette and the unapologetic typeface (GT America). As we worked through the design process though, we realized these elements had begun to compete with one another, so the final design is a far more considered version, with more changes in mood, and selection of pivotal moments.
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