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New Site Launch Details: Mapping the Nation

By Erin  |   Client Projects

thumbnail of new website

In late June we launched for Susan Schulten, a University of Denver history professor, NY Times Guest Blogger, and Guggenheim Fellowship Award recipient.

The website is a companion resource for Susan's latest book, Mapping the Nation (for purchase on Amazon here).  

Site visitors are encouraged to zoom in on the rich details of the many maps featured and discussed in the book, read Susan's latest thoughts and insights in her blog, and browse through the site's large, well organized database of 18th, 19th, and 20th century U.S. maps.

Here's a glimpse at some of the behind the scenes work that went in to creating such a beautiful online resource.

Design Inspiration

This was the color palette chosen for the site's design:

color palette


The individual colors that make up this classic palette were actually pulled directly from the Mapping the Nation book cover as shown here:

book cover


Upon completing our design exploration process with the client, we created this design moodboard, which acted as the foundation for our actual design process and confirmed the colors, types of elements, and textures that we'd use in the design:

website design moodboard

In the beginning, there were wireframes...

After we helped Susan determine the best architecture and organization for her new website—yet before we began creating the actual site's design—we put together wireframes that mapped out the content and images that would be going on the site's main pages. (The wireframes we design for our clients can be thought of as "skeleton page layouts".  Just like sketches of stick-figure people, they're simple visual representations of complex concepts.)

Take a look at two of the five wireframes we created during this project, and compare them to how the final pages now look:

homepage wireframe


chapters page wireframe

A great success story...

After we presented the design to Susan, she wrote back to "I just looked at the site, and nearly started to cry. It is so beautiful..." and "All three of my editors at Chicago found it elegant and exciting."

This beautiful site is up and live right now.  

Have a look, won't you?  Visit

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