Arts Council


Arts Council’s purpose is to promote, develop and invest in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives. They support activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Reading Room worked with them to create and deliver their new digital strategy, including a newly designed website launched recently.


How to create reasons for new target audiences to visit the site and engage in ways that support Arts Council England's communications objectives and strategic goals? To publish a combination of obtainable guidance, research and editorial content, creating an incentive for audiences to visit the site and to engage in ways that support Arts Council England's objectives.


Building Arts Council England's capability to engage and influence members of the wider arts sector The aim was to extend reach beyond the traditional core arts audiences and to build stronger relationships with those audiences. The strategy was to design web platform addressing the needs of these groups. A key goal for the site was improve accessibility to specialist information buried within the site.

Creative solution

Search capability is achieved through an extremely powerful search engine using Solr, integrated into the taxonomy of the website to serve up the most relevant content using a simple tagging system. Users can refine what they’re looking for, combining taxonomy terms with free text search to filter down thousands of pages ones relevant to them. The taxonomy allows relevant content to be generated throughout the site, content which then be personalised based on user preference.

Further detail:

A visually impactful site focusing on simplicity and content, allowing the artistic content on the site to take centre stage whilst supporting it with a subtle illustrative style. Colour from Arts Council England’s branding is used throughout the site to give a visual identity to the main site sections, acting as an enabler to great artwork rather than attempting to be in itself considered art.

“The search really is a thing of beauty - the whole thing is a joy to behold.”