'Texas Observer' Redesigns Site, Branding

Nonprofit newsroom The Texas Observer has redesigned its website following redesign of its print product earlier this summer. 

“We’ve moved away from the scrappy journal vibe that the observer was known for in the past,” says Tristan Ahtone, editor in chief of the reader-supported product, in an editor’s note on the redesign. 

Ahtone said: “Today, we think of our work as a tool that allows us to interrogate the origins of politics, correct narratives that whitewash exploitation and genocide and think critically about the idea of Texas, its roots, and its influence.”

The digital redesign was led by art director Michael Patti and digital editor Danielle Lopex, under Ahtone’s guidance. It features:

*New branding, with animation, a timed scroll and improved zoom-in capabilities. 



*Design with accessibility in mind, allow visitors to alternate between font shades (black on white/white on black).

*Migrated archives with improved searchability. 

*Opportunities for syndication with partner organizations. 

*Designated photo galleries for premium artistic displays.  

 *Regularly refreshed color schemes.  

 *A reorganized and reimagined navigation bar. 


“My first goal was to be respectful," states art director Patti. “If I couldn’t do something that was authentic, I didn’t want to do it.”

This entailed “talking to the staff to see what their wishes for the Texas Observer were — what needed to change, what needed to be updated. And I incorporated lessons from reader surveys over the last few years.”
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