Client Description

Functioning as a digital humanities project since 1996, the William Blake Archive supplies digital reproductions of the various works of William Blake, a prominent Romantic-period poet, artist, and engraver. The project is sponsored by the Library of Congress and supported by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The archive provides high-quality digital copies of the facsimiles and provides scholars and students an opportunity to see the complexity of William Blake’s published works, which are often not viewable via any available scholarly print editions.

The Challenge

The Archive’s existing website was originally designed in 1996 to provide scholars and the general public access to high-quality, color-corrected images of William Blake’s art, as well as the text of Blake’s works, commentary, and research tools.

The website was created for scholars who want to study Blake as a professionally edited site, and not for the purpose of making the Blake Archive accessible to the lay-user and amateur scholar. The Archive wanted to maintain this prestigious status, but also present more contemporary, and user-friendly images to non-scholars.

The Solution

DesignHammer created a slick, uncluttered user interface to make all of the image information readily available. We then streamlined the navigation across the archive. To create this desired user interface, we engaged in several stages of web design: Wireframes, Design Concepts, and HTML/JS/CSS build-out. The new site has a modern, easy to use interface, which brings forward the well-crafted artwork William Blake had created.

The Results

The designs have been successfully converted from DesignHammer’s static HTML/JS templates over to AngularJS by the client. Since the launch, the client continues to add new features that, for the most part, remain in line with the designs DesignHammer originally provided. Since launching in 2015, the William Blake Archive site has won a variety of awards. In 2017 the site earned a Gold Davey Award, Silver W3 Award, and Summit Creative Finalist Award, in addition to a Gold dotCOMM Award and Platinum Hermes Creative Award in 2018. nbsp;

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The William Blake Archive Awards