Five Chapters Redesign

Five Chapters logo by Magnetic State

I am pleased to announce my redesign of literary website Five Chapters! I was asked to design the logo (shown above) and redesign the site, and the results went live at www.fivechapters.com over the weekend. Five Chapters is an online magazine that publishes a new short story in five parts each week. As a fledgling fiction writer myself as well as a fan of many of the authors featured on Five Chapters (including John Cheever and Jay McInerney), I found this project to be an exciting challenge. I am quite happy with the results, and in the spirit of President Obama's fondness for transparency, I thought I'd discuss some of the work and share a few of the logo designs that didn't make the cut.

I began the project with the logo design; below are two of my favorites from the rejected concepts (I especially like the 'bookmark' concept). Five Chapters editor David Daley gave me his initial brief on the nature of the site's identity: it combines a 19th century reading format (serialized fiction) with a modern one (online publishing). This was an inspiring starting point that led to lots of research and some interesting results (like the old-style printer's ornament adorning the second logo below), but eventually, we began to feel hampered by it, and chose our final logo, whose primary functions are aesthetic and visual rather than conceptual.

Two unused logo designs.

The previous version of the website (see below), was abrasively colored, contained the site's name in the header but had no logo, and contained only one way to access the site's archives.

Old site.

To power the new site, I chose the extraordinarily powerful content management system Wordpress and designed a custom theme to control the appearance of the site. I modernized the site by equipping it with access to the Five Chapters RSS feed, and added alphabetized menus for the archives, which are now categorized by story and author. Finally, I extended the Five Chapters brand by revising the 'about' blurb, making it the first thing visitors see in the sidebar, and then embedding the new logo in the header and background. The 'bookmark' concept from our rejected logos can now be seen in the favicon.

New site!

So visit Five Chapters and read today's chapter or a full story. There's enough free fiction on this site to entertain us all until the next century. There's even a story about my 'hood Greenpoint!

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