The designers at Mannix came right back today with a wonderful second draft for the website re-design. I have some minor suggestions – eliminating a box or two, rounding the box corners, perhaps eliminating all the clutter on the right – but basically, I think it's just wonderful, and I love it.
I have gotten a ton of feedback, ranging from joyous acceptance to suggestions and comments to angry demands for this or that (people who know me know that the best way to get me to do something is to demand that I not do it. I told the angry messengers to take their refund, and so long and may they find a blog they love). Many of the comments – most, by far – were positive, useful and helpful, and I am grateful for them. Mostly I am grateful to Chris and Brendan and Toby at Mannix Marketing for the wonderful job they have done at being so creative, listening to me and challenging me as well.
The Second Draft eliminates the cursive "All Things Jon Katz" and makes the main photo much larger. Clears out the graphic background and selects one of the best colors – white. I have to admit I have been influenced by Steve Job's mostly European notions of simple and clean design, which I have always loved -less is more – and that is reflected here. A number of people pleaded for the Izzy-based graphic to stay, but I am clear on it's going: doesn't fit the current site, way too many changes since then. And it's too cute.
At heart, I am passionately committed to thoughtful change. It is, for me, the essence of creativity. Moving forward. I think this design keeps the heart of the old site – The Farm Journal – unchanged, and yet reflects the new environment in which my work life, and media and creativity exist – writing, photo, video, social media. Media is dynamic, and I want the new site to reflect that. All elements together, visible and accessible. One or two people argued that it looks too commercial, but I disagree. I would challenge anyone to find a commercial site this clean and content-driven. There is nothing for sale on the page. The site also reflects what is now one of the core elements of my work, the daily photo, which will often be dogs, often something else. And my writing, which is sometimes secondary to the images on the blog, I am coming to understand. It also reflects the rising importance of the videos, moving images, heading past 300,00 You Tube views in just six months. So this is my life, and the blog reflects my life. Wonderful experience collaborating with you all on it, and if there is a Third Draft, I'll share it. Otherwise, look for the new bedlamfarm.com to pop up any day.
I'm thrilled with the re-design and hope to get it up shortly. See what you think. Second Draft is right here.