I’ve got a new addition to the portfolio—and a cool story of how it got there. First of all, the project is a new website for Gustafer Yellowgold, a fictional character created by Morgan Taylor. Here’s a screenshot of the site:
Let me say up front—the gorgeous illustrations were not done by me. They were done by Morgan. I just framed them with a nice new site. The illustrations come from the Gustafer Yellowgold DVDs. They are “moving books” (lightly animated illustrations) set to music recorded by Morgan and his band.
And it’s fantastic.
So, how did I become the new web guy for Gustafer Yellowgold? I was already a huge fan when I recorded my kids singing and dancing to the classic Gustafer track “Getting in a Treetop”. Of course, I YouTubed it:
Who happened to find this little movie on the internet? Why, Gustafer, of course! Actually, it was found by Rachel Loshak, who does booking and management for Gustafer (and also happens to be Morgan’s wife and an amazing singer/songwriter/bassist herself). From my YouTube profile, she ended up on my site, saw that I did web work, and asked me to give Gustafer a hand. It couldn’t have been easier. My kiddos are lead generation machines!
So, what did I do?
- Axe the Flash. This was priority #1. The old site was done completely in Flash, which made it very difficult to maintain.
- Better popups. The Flash pages triggered new windows when you clicked on items in the artwork. I opted for a jQuery-powered lighbox instead. Now you don’t have to leave the page or worry about window management to watch a video/see an image/etc.
- New layout. The old site was optimized for 800×600. I instead optimized for 1024×768, and the stats show that even that is conservative.
- Lots of updated content. With everything now done with HTML/CSS/images, we were able to do a big content overhaul on the site. There are new places to explore (like the Pterodactyl’s cave!), more videos, more music, more games, and more… everything!
There’s plenty more to come, too.
This coming Sunday (October 24), I’ll finally get to meet Morgan and Rachel in person, as they’ll be performing at Club Passim in Cambridge, MA. You should come! (or at least try to win free tickets!)
Lastly, here are a few of our favorite songs:
Getting in a Treetop, the original…
Butterpond Lake, a great one from the most recent album…
Pinecone Lovely, I love hearing my little guy sing this…
And finally, Your Eel, the one we sing before bedtime…
Check out the site, and come on Sunday if you’re nearby!