Dorotea Design Lab

10th Annual Music Website (Artist,
Band, Record Label, etc.) Vox Pop Winner

See More At The Vox Pop Jukebox

Nominated Piece: Old Wives’ Tale – Official Site (band)

Web Designer’s

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Dorotea Design Lab – Music Website Nominee – Old Wives’ Tale (

As bands from all over the world increasingly turn to the Web to help introduce music fans to their efforts (and to try to build a strong relationship with their fanbase through their sites), its not surprising to see that one of the sites nominated for this year’s IMA for Best Music Website is the result of a cross-border collaboration between a musical act and the designers hired to build their web presence.

Hailing from Bogota, Columbia, and now based in Miami, FL,  the principal members of Old Wives Tale are brothers Jaime (vocals, guitars and programming) and Juan Felipe (vocals, bass and programming) Valencia, who also did double-duty as art directors for the project (drummer/percussionist Pablo Toro rounds out the list of band members). The multi-talented Juan Felipe was also nominated for an IMA this year in the Best Venue Poster category!

Dorotea Design Lab, also based in Bogota, teamed with NY-based Maddy Kramer to update the band’s previous web effort (which they’d like to remember as only a bad memory!) and build a much more user-friendly Flash-based site. We interviewed DDL designer Diana Gamboa to learn more about the people and the process that produced this nominated web design.

How and when were you introduced to Old Wives’ Tale for this assignment, or did they do the research and then contact you? Had you worked with them before?

Dorotea Design Lab is located at Bogotá Colombia, the home base for the band. The band performers are old friends from the neighborhood, so we did not hesitate to work with them in order to make sure that they received the best site possible. This was the first time we worked together on a project, but we think that the results were amazing.

If you worked with a team, how did you choose the talent (designers, illustrators, animators, writers, etc.) who would work with you on this effort? Did the project’s art director already have a basic approach to the design and/or functionality in mind? Had they seen similar examples of your work that they hoped you’d adapt for this effort?

Currently, our Concept Developer is the person that gives shape to the concept and envisions what type of communication tools we’ll use in order to achieve the goals previously set with the client. During the second stage of the project’s development, our Strategy Developer evaluates if the first conceptual phase is feasible and then he or she plans the approach to graphics and how the site will best communicate with fans.

Generally, our jobs are produced by a interdisciplinary team made out of graphic designers, industrial designers and communication specialists that join the work group according to the requirements and sizes of each project. On projects that already have set underpinnings or have been created previously, Dorotea Design Lab does all it can to adapt to the clients’ existing infrastructure, but we always want to leave enough creative room to suggest any additional changes that may be necessary.

What was the inspiration for the particular design chosen for the site? Did the artist’s/band’s music, reputation or performing/visual styles provide you with some inspiration as to how to develop the basis for the design? Did they let you hear any of the music/see any of the video that they wanted featured on the site (for inspiration)? How important is it for you to like – or, somehow, connect to – the act you’re designing the site for?

Old Wives’ Tale gave us a very specific brief, and that helped us a lot by giving direction to the project from the beginning. We met to find keywords and how they wanted to project the personality of the band and its members. All of this, together with our graphic applications knowledge, was essential to deliver an attractive, coherent and up-to-date finished product.

Listening to their music was essential to understand the feeling they wanted to transmit to the audience. The connection to the band that the music provided was magnificent and was key to the success of the project – it’s very important to be absolutely in-tune with your client.

How involved was the artist/artist management/the record label in the process of deciding what you should produce, and did they provide you with any direction? Were they happy with the results and, if so, how did they express that to you?

The information, time and resources provided by the band were ideal for the successful execution of the project. The band ultimately expressed their approval with the design of the webpage and the final results as evidenced by the increased site traffic and positive comments from the website’s visitors. It was quite gratifying to work with Old Wives’ Tale in all aspects of this project.

How long did it take you to develop the finished site (from concept to final product)? Were there any special processes or other tools used? How many designs were considered or submitted before the final decision was made?

It took us approximately 3 months to deliver the final product. We used Flash Macromedia, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to create the various aspects of the site’s design and programming. We developed two versions of the design, they selected the one they wanted, and then we finished developing the chosen version which became the final product.

Was the imagery you created as part of this commission also used in related promotional efforts, such as on gig posters, music videos, stage props, merch, etc.? Do you consider these alternate uses for your design/imagery (and the different audiences they must appeal to) as you enter the design development phase of your project?

We produced some related graphic pieces for the band, since the concept and graphics always spoke the same language and complemented the entire work of the website.

Tell us why you submitted this particular work for consideration for an IMA.

The band was very proud of the look and functionality of the page and we thought it would be a great way to show our work to the public.

Please give us some basic info about yourselves and any details of some of the other work you’ve done, particularly if there are other music industry-related images that folks will be aware of.

This was our first time working with a band. Some of our other clients are Amway Colombia, Carrefour Colombia, Andina Cerámica Ecuador and Agroéxito Venezuela, among others.

You can visit us on our Facebook site at

Lastly – what are your views regarding the future of graphic/visual design in the music industry as it moves on to the many new distribution platforms? Are you seeing new opportunities for your talents?

There is a world of possibilities in design. We believe that everything revolves around how clear the band states its commercial and musical values so that these can be transmitted clearly to its followers.

Interviewed in April, 2011, by Mike Goldstein of RockPoP Gallery –