The Smart Set

Bringing a digital-native magazine into a new era

THE CLIENT

The Smart Set is an independent arts and culture publication published by Drexel University. As the flagship publication of the Center for Cultural Outreach, a publishing think tank and student writing incubator, The Smart Set focuses on high-quality non-fiction writing, from reported travel essays to musings on culture.

When the site launched in 2007, the internet was a very different place. The Smart Set was among the first, if not the first, digital-native publishing projects put out by a university, and the site layout had changed very little since then. A redesign was long overdue, both to take advantage of new technical capabilities and make for a more comfortable reading experience.

WHAT I DID:

  • Web design
  • Logo design
  • Project management
  • Secondary front-end and Wordpress development  
  • Ongoing art direction and illustration

WITH HELP FROM:

  • Chester Cunanan, primary web development
  • ProfProjects, content migration

SEE IT LIVE ON THESMARTSET.COM


BEFORE & AFTER

  • Not responsive – uncomfortable to read on mobile, especially long content
  • Not flexible – 1 homepage layout, 1 story layout
  • Tied to an out-of-date, obscure, and proprietary content management system
  • Limited interlinkability between posts
  • No social media integration
  • Responsive and fully mobile-friendly
  • Flexible element hierarchy for homepage elements, 2 distinct page layouts, and a more versatile grid
  • Built on Wordpress – open source, well documented, and easy to modify
  • Stories linked by categories, tags, and related posts
  • Social page links and frequent sharing opportunities
 

SITE DETAILS

 

MARKETING: SOCIAL, E-MAIL, PRINT

NEXT STEPS:

  • Integrating advertising
  • Planning the official launch (party included) for Fall 2015
  • Keep on publishing, slowly moving to daily. Keep an eye on the site or my Behance page for new illustrations.