A vibrant site evoking the rich visual history of Yiddish theatre’s golden age
Digital Yiddish Theatre Project Identity & Website
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.
- yiddishstage.org ↗
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.
Turn of the Century Inspiration
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.
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.
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.