No circles allowed.
Joe Squared is a super-funky Baltimore restaurant that serves up signature square pizzas, delicious drinks, local art, and live music/comedy. I hopped on board to help update the company's brand identity and rebuild their existing website..
More than good food and drinks, Joe Squared is about bringing people together and giving back to the local Station North community.
Actions speak louder than words, but even though Joe Squared was well-known to locals, the current website wasn't working hard enough to attract new customers.
There are plenty of restaurants that serve tasty food in Baltimore, but community is the one ingredient that really makes Joe Squared special.
I tag-teamed with co-owner Kathy "Mamma Joe" Palokoff to develop a website concept centered around the idea of, "Pizza that does good.™"
A fiery new identity.
Joe Squared is famous for its, well… square pizzas—but also for its blazing-hot, coal-fired oven, which cooks at around 900 degrees. A spicy red set against dark type captures that heat rather nicely! The Edmondsans font family lends a friendly personality to the whole site.
Menu browsing, easy peasy.
With more than a hundred items on the menu, static PDFs were making it too difficult for people to peruse their options—especially for users on smart phones.
I created a whole new menu system on a more modern CMS, Contentful, which made it super-easy for the team to add and edit menu items. I also implemented some handy sorting features, that allowed people to quickly jump between different categories and ingredients.
Static, at the speed of light.
While the previous site had run on WordPress for years, the constant updates, plugin issues, and outdated interfaces were becoming a huge pain.
In addition to migrating content to Contentful, I also rewrote Joe Squared as a "static website," which essentially means that it now loads 10x faster (in under half a second) and doesn't require any regular maintenance.
Fresh (content) out of the oven.
With a shiny new CMS, the team was able to keep the site fresh with local art shows, "Do Good Pizza" announcements, and upcoming comedy/music events.
I integrated Eventbrite to automate the event posting process—once being published they show up seamlessly on the restaurant's website and Facebook page. This saves a heck of a lot of time (and frustration) from double-posting every event!
In the first week, alone, we saw joesquared.com's bounce rate drop by 23% and its session time increase from under a minute to almost three. In case you were wondering, that's tech-speak for people spending longer on the site and visiting more pages!
More importantly, Joe Squared now has a clearer stance—the website lets visitors know the brand is all about community, and makes it easy for them to plan a visit or learn more.