Our Work

A vibrant site evoking the rich visual history of Yiddish theatre’s golden age

Digital Yiddish Theatre Project Identity & Website
Dytp Mood@2X

The Digital Yiddish Theatre Project is a consortium of academics and researchers dedicated to exploring new approaches to historical scholarship made possible by digital analysis. Our goal on the project was to consciously call back to the visual history of Yiddish Theatre performances in ways that feel fresh and engaging and are only possible because of new technology on the web. 

Website
yiddishstage.org ↗

Identity

Our design for DYTP was organic, based on the concept of taking historical materials and reproducing their look digitally in ways that were only possible in the 21st century. Our intention was to clearly acknowledge our influences and make use of them. The identity we developed for DYTP was the first big step in developing the overall brand. 

Dytp Logo@2X
Using turn-of-the-century wood block printing as our inspiration, we developed a robust logo that could easily adapt to different contexts by subtracting, adding, or shifting different components.
Dytp Type@2X
Dytp Icons@2X

Turn of the Century Inspiration

Dytp Color@2X

In a nod to a technique often used for cheaply producing vibrant theatrical broadsides called “split fountain” printing (in which multiple ink colors are spread across the master and blend together), we’ve overlaid the whole site with a gradient. This was a great way to add visual interest and a historical flourish to the site without sacrificing legibility or functionality. This design flourish mirrors how DYTP participants are committed to using new digital approaches to better understand historical materials.

Dytp Posters@2X
Vintage Yiddish theatre posters served as visual reference
Dytp Home Mobile
Dytp Places
Dytp Styles@2X
We’ve also gone all out on the display typography of the site, just like turn of the century letterpress printers did when putting posters together with the contents of a few drawers of physical type. Industry standard web typography practices make this possible and easy. We’ve carefully tweaked the font stack on the site to keep download times minimal, while calling back to the broadsheet feel of vintage posters and programs.

Special Projects

While the backbone of the site is the scholarly blog reaching back several years, the site is also intended to serve as a clearinghouse for other DYTP projects. So far, we’ve worked with DYTP to launch two special projects: a digitized Encyclopedia of Yiddish Theatre—a flexible database for researchers and students based on the work of scholar Zalmen Zylbercweig, and Plotting Yiddish Drama, a searchable, continually expanding database of detailed plot synposes of Yiddish plays.

Pyd
Dytp Pyd Mobile
The visual vocabulary we developed for the site’s central blog was versatile enough to adapt to these additional projects, and fun enough that it helps liven up what might otherwise be information-dense pages.
Dytp Encyclopedia
Dytp Encyclopedia Mobile

These special projects exist within the same database as the rest of the site and are edited and managed through the same CMS, which makes it easy for blog posts, encyclopedia entries, plot synopses, and other data to be related to each other across the whole site. We were also able to build a sophisticated, cross-project search that lets site visitors find anything they might be interested in, no matter where on the site it’s published. 

Year
2016–2018
Sector
Non-Profit
Academic
Technology
Craft
Bootstrap

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