A little over two years ago I joined Manifest Digital and my first task out of the gate was to rebuild the website. With the designs of my longtime mentor Christine Bridger, and the very talented Laureen Feeney I was able to recreate a gorgeous, classy, interactive Flash-based version of Manifest Digital which remained in place for over two years.
Throughout those years the company has gone through much growth, including the acquisition of Kerosene Creative, leadership changes, and an ever changing landscape of web technologies. The brand got many praises and jeers along the way. The choice of a Flash-based site did as well, which in my opinion is justified, but is only a part of the story.
The original intent of the site was to also have an html-based version of the site which would literally work as the data feed for Flash to read its content. This was always such an exciting concept because it removes Flash from the ‘this vs that’ arguments, and it puts it on a layer, literally above, all the other technologies. Not above in a pretentious way, but above in that it is, and should almost always be, used as a layer on top of a solid html structure, and hopefully a CMS. I am not a Flash evangelist; I am an evangelist for whichever technology can make the most impact (and is the most fun for me personally), and at the current moment in time I still can not be convinced that even the best HTML5 site can compare to the capabilities of a well developed site using Flash technologies (speaking strictly to the interactive aesthetics of the technologies).
Maybe with some more advances in WebGL, and classes to make animation easier and more fluid in HTML, things may change, and I am open to changing my opinion as soon as they do.
As with most internal projects, as soon as something is done enough, it is easy to move onto other projects and billable work. So unfortunately this HTML backbone was never created, putting more pressure on the site as devices like iPhones, iPads, and technologies like HTML5 became heated debate topics.
This, combined with some shifts in our identity and goals over the past couple years, have pushed the company to a point where it was time for a new brand, and website to follow. I was approached to see if I had interest in being a part of the rebrand/rebuild, but chose to stay out of it this time around for a couple reasons; lack of availability, and I felt like it was time to let other people have the chance. I was looking forward to being a spectator and watching what could come out of a (mostly) new group of creatives to the company.
Without further ado (i.e. rambling), here is the latest version of Manifest Digital