ImageX take headless approach to their brand and website redesign.



The ImageX team had just 3 months to undertake a full logo and brand refresh along with website design and development, using an innovative headless approach.

Case description

Historically, ImageX has been a Drupal-focused development shop, but the organization has grown to a place where the organization offers a wider set of services across design and marketing, specifically within UX and UI design. It was recognized in 2018 that the ImageX visual identity, branding, and website did not reflect the client and employee experience, therefore a redesign was undertaken to align the visual brand with the true personality and experience of working with the ImageX team.

The site was already on Drupal 7, therefore it was a clear plan to move to Drupal 8. However, there was an extremely tight deadline of just 3 months (January 4, 2019 - April 4, 2019) to undertake the full brand refresh along with website design and development. The team chose to use an innovative headless approach to ensure that this timeline could be met, with the site being launched at DrupalCon 2019, Seattle. The full project was run internally alongside client projects which added to the pressures of the tight deadline. Using a headless approach we were able to move very quickly through design and frontend implementation. We decoupled the presentation layer completely and were able to implement a best practice, standards-based frontend Semantic HTML, CSS3/SCSS, "Vanilla" ES6 Javascript that was WCAG2.0 AA accessibility Standards compliant. While this was essentially a non-managed static version of the site we able to get pixel-perfect execution without any Drupal templating overhead.

You may be tempted to think this loses all the benefits of using an enterprise content management platform like Drupal. You would be right if we stopped there but there was much more to come. All content identified as ‘content types’ to be managed by a CMS was consumed by this platform-independent presentation layer in the form of JSON files. For the first phase, these files were stored as physical files on the file system of the website. This allowed us to fully test the site and even launch a beta with a partially managed content structure. Phase two consisted of replacing these static JSON files with a live API source from a Drupal 8 instance.

In summary, the site has been built on Gatsby & React, utilizing the latest approach and technology to be used within the market. Gatsby and React have been used for the front end with a Javascript framework as it is a better structure for front end stability. The back end was added separately after launch, using Drupal 8. This separation allowed the site to go live on time and to budget, showcasing the high level, UX and UI focused design without waiting for the CMS to be in place.

Case goals and results

The main goal of the redesign and the new site was to align the visual brand with the true personality and experience of working with the ImageX team. This was in conjunction with bringing the site onto D8.

Looking at analytics post-launch, for the last 30 days, the site has seen an increase of users by 25.95% and sessions by 28.3% on the same period from 2018.


The main challenge with this site build was the extremely tight timeframe which was set. The team only had 3 months for a full logo redesign and brand refresh along with the website design and development. Just 5 weeks of this was awarded to the development stage.

Community contributions

The project has not yet given the Drupal community any contributions, however, the team has increased expertise with headless implementations which they utilize to contribute to community discussions where appropriate. We will also be submitting a talk for DrupalCon 2020 which details the approach and how organizations can save time and resources.

Why should this case win the splash awards?

The project shows a high level, fresh UX design with a streamlined headless build which is a fairly new approach within the market.
The site has been awarded platinum by the dotComm awards and submissions are active for Awwwards and Webbys.