By now, you've surely noticed that SVA's website, sva.edu, received a significant glow-up over the holiday break. The new website—"4.0," as we call it—has been thoughtfully redesigned to be graphically bolder, easier to use, better-organized and more mobile-friendly.
It's been a herculean effort, to say the least—one that was three years in the making. And the heavy lifting of its cleaner design, architecture and construction was all prepared and completed by SVA's Visual Arts Press (VAP), the College's in-house creative studio.
An important part of the process was gathering input from stakeholders from across the College—namely, anyone with information on the site. That list numbered over 60 different departments and more than 100 different people and took a full year for the VAP team to work through. "The scale of this project was leaps and bounds larger than anything we’d ever tackled as a department," said VAP Digital Strategy Director Eric Corriel. "At the beginning, it felt like we had three people to move a mountain. But you have to start somewhere so we got shovels and started to dig."
In addition to improvements to its design and functionality, the site’s Content Management System (CMS) was rebuilt as well, to enable a more contemporary modular, block-based design. This approach allows members of the College to craft pages with a wide variety of editorial tools that make pages more visually engaging—and importantly, accessible to all audiences.
Here are some highlights of the behind-the-scenes process:
- The CMS was custom-built from scratch and architected by VAP based on a cumulative 17 years of SVA.edu experience.
- Website designs included over 70 unique templates and modules, allowing for hundreds of different possible page layouts.
- Dozens of SVA faculty members, department chairs, students and prospective students were consulted throughout the process.
- The site uses three different typefaces—Ringside, Sentinel and Obsidian—by world-renowned type foundry Hoefler&Co.
- VAP Creative Director, also the chair of the BFA Advertising and Design department, Gail Anderson created a multifaceted and multi-skilled design team by teaming web designers and print designers together.
- Ten SVA alumni, several faculty and staff members and one current student worked on the project: Gail Anderson, Digital Strategy Director Eric Corriel, (a faculty member in several different departments), VAP Design Director Brian E. Smith, (also a BFA Design faculty member and MFA 2006 Design alumnus), Web Designer and Developer Declan Van Welie, former VAP Senior Designer (and current BFA Illustration faculty member), Ryan Durinick (BFA 2009 Graphic Design), Multimedia Designer Linnea Taylor (BFA 2017 Design), Josh Weingart (BFA 2017 Design), Shannon Koh (former intern; BFA 2018 Design), Janina Quinn (former intern, BFA 2018 Design), Ifah Pantitanonta (former intern, BFA 2019 Design), and Aline Rubin (current intern and student). Additionally, MFA Interaction Design faculty member Keren McGrane, consulted on the site.
We hope you enjoy the new site, find it easy to use, and find everything you're looking for. Thanks to the Visual Arts Press for all their dedication and years of hard work and thanks for helping make sva.edu the best possible resource for our community that it can be.