The Mickle Street Review, a journal first published out of Walt Whitman’s house on Mickle Street in Camden, needed to update their website after being acquired by the Walt Whitman Program in American Studies.
The old version of the website was beautifully coded, but it had a dated aesthetic, and it was in want of support for modern browsers. The bright greens and yellows were reminiscent of late 90s web design.
The client wanted a more modern look — a different color scheme to match each issue of the prestigious journal. He also wanted a multimedia archive, social media integration, responsive mobile elements, lightboxing, and interactive, digital editions of the journal.
It was important that the backend Mickle Street was both accessible and easy to use for non-techies. I installed WordPress on their server, adopted and made modifications to a basic template, then added some slideshow elements. I also wrote simple CSS which could be readily adapted to the aesthetics of new issues.
Each Mickle Street issue now follows the same design architecture — the backgrounds and colors can be swapped out with a click. I wrote walkthroughs and technical documentation to make the process easier for future admins.
In edition to print and digital journals, The Mickle Street Review tasked me to create a multimedia archive. Specifically, Mickle Street wanted interactive sheet music alongside audio streaming of the music collection.
Print & Cover
Because each issue of The Mickle Street Review focuses on a different theme or design, the editors asked for unique wallpapers and journal covers on every page. They also needed a quick and easy way to change the headers, colors, and icons on the fly. I injected a few lines of CSS into a plugin and wrote documentation that future editors could follow. So far as their covers were concerned, they asked for a classic, retro feel to reflect the long history of the journal. I modeled the below covers on journals from early 20th century.
I had to assume that future editors of the journal wouldn't be very tech savvy. I provided links to some excellent resources for beginners: colour lovers, subtle patterns, pexels, and a host of other copyleft, royalty-free archives.
Finally, I set up Mickle Street's social media presence: their Facebook Group, Google Plus Business Account, Twitter, and YouTube pages. The main site uses Google Analytics to track who comes from what corner of the internet.
I am happy to have brought The Mickle Street Review into the modern era. I hope the journal lasts another half century. ♡