[designer’s comment] New for 2012, a redesigned Bordewich website now better showcases all of his books; since the earlier design, several important new books have been published and needed to be featured while still giving the earlier books strong play. The new site also includes some of the original sites flavor and imagery, but adds stronger and clearer navigation. The original website design for author and distinguished American historian Fergus Bordewich was launched to promote his book “Bound for Canaan,” then was expanded to include his previous books and a blog, and then later updated again to promote his latest book “Washington.” NY Designlab started by working with Bordewich on a structure for the site (information architecture) and then sorted through the many documents and images to develop the right look and feel. The website design has now worked for over five years and is flexible enough to allow continual updating with new books, a growing library of articles he has written, and updates about appearances and other news. The web design was intentionally tied together with the book cover design to begin to develop a branded look for Bordewich.
Typography: Strong typographic details help distinguish this site from many other content rich website—typography is a design tool critical to giving a project character appropriate to the brand or individual. Like many NY Designlab projects, the site features strong web typography with details such as appropriate use of drop caps, small caps, and paragraph indentations—all of which make the content more readable and add a level of quality not generally found on the web. A simple logo mark for the author was developed as a accent and a visual anchor; in the earlier site, the old font Rosewood Standard Fill worked well to give an elegant yet historical feeling. In the new site, the display fonts are Dispatch and Clarendon Italic. Georgia is the text font.
Tech note: The new 2012 site also features a new custom Wordpress template design for a Bordewich's blog. The Wordpress template was customized by NYDL to fit the design of the site—and avoid the tendency of blogs to look generic. In addition to site design and coding, NYDL advised on URL naming, managed domain registration and hosting, and then managed updates and blog. Blog software in the earlier site was Movable Type, which has gone out of favor in the blog techie world. The extensive and specialized content throughout the site along with SEO-optimized code has kept the site at or near the top of search results for preferred terms. Templates were a hybrid of CSS and HTML/SHTML; common elements were inserted as “includes.”
eCommerce note: The new site also allows direct ordering of Bordewich's books directly from Amazon or other online booksellers, and a new eBook was developed that is downloadable when a reader signs up for the mailing list.
[visit live site] Fergus Bordewich website
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