Poetry in America: educational non-profit

Poetry in America is a multi-platform digital initiative on a mission to make poetry accessible. The organization offers free online courses in partnership with HarvardX, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Harvard’s Division of Continuing Education. Their public television series, Poetry in America, is being produced in partnership with WGBH in Boston and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker David Grubin.

The organization needed to update their web presence to fit the high profile of their initiatives and adapt to their future endeavors.

Sasha’s initiative and platform knowledge — whether we were selecting core theme or explaining module possibilities to the client — made the development process smooth and frictionless. The end result came together quickly and got the client into the admin to craft content much more quickly than expected.

Jamie Perez
Partner at Threespot

  • What we did: Web design, Wordpress web development, Front-end web development
  • Project features: Modular design system, Responsive web design
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    The Challenges

    • website that is able to grow and evolve with the organization
    • developing a robust & flexible storytelling tool, placing focus on content
    • design consistent with the client’s branding
    • easy-to-use WordPress back-end for content updates

    The Solutions

    This project was completed in collaboration with Threespot who developed Poetry in America’s branding. They also devised the content strategy to create a number of interstitials modules, ready to be dropped into major content areas, to allow for flexible storytelling and content evolution. Sasha Endoh Code & Design developed a custom drag & drop system using Advanced Custom Fields Pro. This system is much easier to use than traditional page builder plugins and focuses on content rather than design or layout.

    Poetry in America WordPress website screenshot

    In extending the branding to the web our goals were to maintain a playful tone with focus on colour. The configuration of the logo is designed to change thereby creating a “living logo”. To start off, we brought fluidity to the brand presentation in the website header where a random logo configuration is loaded on each page and transformed further on mouse hover.

    Throughout the website we used brand colours to highlight blocks of content which are set either against a solid background or outlined, creating a connection with the brand’s logo. Furthermore, areas such as the single staff pages load one of a set number of colour combinations to extend the versatile tone set by the “living logo”.

    Poetry in America staff bio animated gif

    While Poetry in America is a tech-savvy video production team their familiarity and comfort level using WordPress varied. Along with devising a simplified page-builder system we also placed a lot of focus on optimizing the overall usability throughout their website’s admin back-end. We were pleased to see the team adding and revising the content on their new website following just a 30 minute tutorial, performed remotely with help of screenshare over a conference call.