Mah Ze Dahr, founded by pastry pioneer Umber Ahmad, sells heavenly culinary treats inspired by the flavors of her upbringing (by Pakistani parents in Northern Michigan) and her family’s international travels. A hint to the complexity and delight of Chef Ahmad’s treats: her bakery’s name translates roughly from Urdu as "the magic that makes something delicious".
We built Mah Ze Dahr’s original e-commerce site in 2012, and just launched a new design and upgraded e-commerce platform in anticipation of the opening of their third brick and mortar store Midtown Manhattan.
We wanted the site to feel as rich and sensory as Chef Ahmad's baked goods, so we started by highlighting Vanessa Rees’ mouth-watering photos. Because the photography is so striking, we mirrored the clean aesthetic with the website design as a whole, even extending it to the uniquely modern way we built the site.
Instead of relying on clunky and sometimes slow page refreshes to display content, we built the entire site as a single page application. When a user interacts with the site, only the content that needs to change will change, giving us the flexibility to design subtle transition animations and create a more responsive, desktop app feel.
In 2016, when the bakery opened up its first storefront in the New York City’s West Village, the shop was a physical extension of the website sharing a similar aesthetic to create a unified experience.
The AIGA Leadership Retreat is an annual gathering that brings together board members from all 75 chapters of the organization to, among other things, unite around the “state of the union”. Between 2012 and 2015, AIGA looked to us to help craft that story in a transparent, compelling way.
Working directly with former executive director Ric Grefé, we understood that the presentation to be honest, open, and direct. Using simple visuals and compelling animations, we crafted a presentation that emphasized tangible goals over platitudes, and effective communication over generalities. As members ourselves, that's how we wanted to hear about the future of AIGA.