Contemporary meets classical: a digital invite to the Frans Hals Museum

The Dutch agency Build in Amsterdam was asked to develop a welcoming and slick website that would invite people to visit the Frans Hals Museum. This case by the Dutch Digital Design collective is a brilliant example of a perfect match between functionality, design and great user-experience.


The Frans Hals Museum - a museum exhibiting pieces from the Dutch Golden Age, including paintings by the famous Dutch painter Frans Hals - merged with the contemporary arts museum De Hallen, both situated in Haarlem (centre of the bulb growing district, to the West of Amsterdam). This merger has created an innovative museum experience, making art accessible to everyone.

Dutch communications agency KesselsKramer developed a bold, new brand identity to reflect the marriage of these two museums. Build in Amsterdam brought this new brand experience alive online.


They created a surprisingly refreshing museum website where ‘old meets new’, perfectly transitioning the new identity to an online environment, making art and the Frans Hals museum accessible to a wider audience. Giving online visitors a sneak preview of what the museum has to offer. Result: you will want to visit the museum after visiting the website.


To move this new brand online was an exciting challenge, using bold, contrasting colour blocks, large headings, quirky typography and no white space at all, but still displaying all content in a clear, easy-to-read way. All done with the utmost eye for detail. With smooth page transitions, simple yet stylish animations, appealing to a broad, diverse audience, including students, art lovers, tourists, children and art professionals.

The agency also chose to incorporate a side bar consisting of graphics only, making it easy to navigate and finding essential information, like ticket sales and exhibition dates, quickly.

The titles in the main menu along the top of each page are inviting, friendly and clear calls-to-action: visit, discover, immerse (learn), support - inviting people to explore further. With all underlying pages visually strong and light on copy.

All in line with the new brand identity and museum experience: bold, unusual, mixing old & new, but always clear, inviting and easy to understand for any visitor. Giving a great impression of the Frans Hals museum and all it has to offer.


The museum and website seamlessly merge into one, creating a consistent, bold brand image. This is a website that stands out from most other museum websites, with just the right balance between design, functionality, user experience and interactivity.

Offering what a museum-goer would want: an (interactive) impression of the collections on offer and all other essential information. Convincing visitors this is a place you will love to visit, again and again.

Launched in April this year, it has already won the Awwwards, CSS Design Award and FWA Site of the Day.

This case was brought to you by the Dutch Digital Design collective.

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