As one of the magazine’s founding editors wrote in the first issue, the purpose of The Believer is to encourage readers and writers to “reach beyond their usual notions of what is accessible or possible,” and we took this message to heart in designing a new website for them that would capture their playful, passionate eccentricity.
Before engaging with CMYK, their online platform was a static HTML website where all content was hard coded—a process that is anything but playful and fun for the editors tasked with keeping the site up-to-date and visually exciting.
To ensure that their rich history of essays, interviews, comics, and poetry (and more!) would always be accessible, we created a custom online editorial platform for them that would showcase their entire archive of content and make it available to a much wider audience.
In order to achieve this, we built a proprietary import structure that crawled through over 5,000 pieces of HTML content in order to migrate it to the new CMS. This process was able to automatically standardize the articles’ various pre-existing structures into a few streamlined formats without the heavy lifting of editing each piece of content individually.
Additionally, we built a robust media library to allow the editorial team to create dynamic and visually compelling content directly on the site. The challenge here was to create a design that embraced the physical form of the print magazine, while also accounting for the particularities of interactive design.
We took a lot of inspiration from the magazine’s layout to create a reading experience that felt special and unique and gave the team the ability to change the entire color scheme of the website with the release of each new issue. Now, the site always matches the newest publication’s cover art and overall aesthetic and replicates in the user that feeling of excitement a reader would feel in opening their mailbox upon the release of each new issue and finding it waiting for them.