Website Updates

Finally at a place where we can focus on feedback.

Welcome back one and all. This is Ben Brown Jr., the visual designer for the site you are currently visiting, 4elements Theatre Company, writing this from Beaverton, Oregon, USA. 

Even though it isn’t exactly where we would like everything to be, the structure, links and layout have been cast for this project. I will be working with Kate Harris further to tweak things here and there, including training for her, over the next few weeks. 

Most importantly, what she wanted was something visually bolder and mobile-friendly. There was nothing wrong with the previous site, I wish to go on the record as saying. However, as the means of the technology advances on how we access content on the world wide web, the site needed some much needed updating on being accessible to those primarily using mobile devices. 

By simply altering the elements in the logo, as well as borrowing from its color scheme, I have been able to bring life to the screen that previously wasn’t utilized. This also made for a great favicon, the little website icon that you see when you access the site.

The previous site didn’t have a great many photos. Additionally, with changes beyond anyone’s control, including Google updating their API recently and making some of the previous website’s functionality conflict and not operational, some changes had to be made, and fast. (API stands for application programming interface is a set of subroutine definitions, protocols, and tools for building application software, and if it sounds like a headache, it can be.) 

Using the color scheme in the logo, I was able to create a series of linked panels to show continuity.

One of the things you will notice is that all of the videos are now directly linked to a YouTube account. This is simply for ease of access, and it works well with the coding inherent in WordPress, which is the platform being used for this site. 

Not a great many images? Not a problem! By utilizing the logo in a manner not seen previously, I was able to create a space where important website content could be seen and accessed quickly.

Another thing that Ms. Harris requested was something more visually bold and bright. Using the color scheme in the 4elements logo, as well as the items in the logo itself, I was able to break up dead space and draw visual interest to each of the pages, much like what is done in a magazine layout. 

Just because you don’t have a lot on visual content for your site doesn’t mean it has to be dull. Using layout, subtle text changes and freebies, like this map from Google altered slightly, I have been able to draw interest without sacrificing written content.

Additionally, it seemed that there were not a lot of pics that we could fully make use of for some of the headers and banners. Again, using some simple color tricks in Photoshop and some archived images, I was able to bring the players to life on the screen in a manner that had not been utilized prior. 

Rehearsal for Daughters of the Revolution earlier this year. This image was originally in color, then brought down to grayscale in Photoshop, then duotones and slightly color modified.

There is still work to be done, and know that this, like any other good website, is always a work-in-progress. Your feedback in critical, and we look forward to what you have to say. 

This photo is by Paul Timon. He is obviously a pro, and this image worked well as a stand-alone piece for the “About Us” page.

I hope that everyone has an amazing time during the Daughters of the Revolution Tour this year. Working on this site has been a blast, and it has allowed me the opportunity to do some things for those in Ireland working on the Repeal the 8th Campaign and some other things to assist not just this site, but for other sites doing similar types of work. Thank you Kate, and thank you all. 

Screenshots from the mobile version of the website.

Love to you all.

Ben “Bear” Brown Jr., owner
www.aceofspadespdx.com

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