by Sue Dawson
THIS HAS BEEN a labor of love. As some of you know, I’m an art director, and have been doing our marketing and identity design for years. When it came to redesigning our website, though, I wanted to work with an expert in web design – someone who would feel comfortable working with Alison and me as a team. I know from experience that it’s really hard to design for other artists. REALLY hard. They (we) usually have an idea of what they want, and it can be exasperating trying to create what only they can see, in their mind’s eye. So it was crucial to find someone we clicked with, someone who’d get what we’re doing. I went to a seminar on website marketing led by a local designer, Kathleen Forsythe, and programmer, Heather Goff. Bingo. I asked Kathleen to put us in line (she’s very busy, and has a backlog of people wanting her to design their sites), and in January 2012, we had our first meeting. From day one, it was clear that Kathleen was the perfect designer for us. We’ve worked beautifully together all the way through. Her vision exceeded our expectations – the first time we went to her backyard studio, drank wine, and looked at her comps, we loved her designs. And Heather has been an expert programmer, and incredibly patient with all the little tweaks that designers like to do (she had TWO designers to deal with!). I went to her office the other day to work with her, in her big, comfy home that’s bursting at the seams with creativity everywhere you look. I’m so visual, I get bleary-eyed looking at the wall of code on her computer screen, but Heather clicks in just the right spot, makes a teeny little change, and boom – problem solved. Just for the record, they don’t take a year and a half to create websites! The uploading (and therefore control) of all the images and copy, are up to the client. So blame us for how long it’s taken. Heather programmed a custom content management setup for us, so we can put in new photos when we want, and update things when we want. Heaven.
I’ve said from the beginning that if someone in China is looking at the site (say, at 3am Vineyard time), that they should be able to get all of the information they need. We’ve loaded ALL of Alison’s fine art photography, tons of information on the diverse things we offer, and hopefully are presenting it all in a clear, accessible way. This is a resource you can use to access all we have to offer. Soon we’ll start on yet another site, for licensing, which will have lots more of Alison’s photographs.
We’re very proud of the site, and so thankful for Kathleen and Heather. Not to mention Kelsey and Donna, who uploaded a lot of the images and copy, and navigated their way through the maze of stuff we kept tossing at them; Eli, who took our photos and made us look like rock stars; and Claire, who is always the most crucial member of our team (she lives up to our complete trust in her, without fail). I can’t recommend all of these folks highly enough. Thank you from both Alison and me, for your fantastic work, dedication, and patience with a couple of picky women who want things to be just right.