Today's launch of our new website marks the third major design for photoeye.com. We have come a long way since first launching the site in 1997 as one of the first e-commerce independent bookstores on the web.
In September of 2003 we changed the design to a lighter easier to navigate style. The goal for today's new design was to produce a site that branded each of the divisions clearly, while maintaining the ease-of-use functionality found in our previous version.
Apart from the great wealth of new features and a fresh new look for each of our divisions, today's launch also includes two exciting new additions to the website: photo-eye Magazine and the U.S.A. Photography Guide.
The photo-eye Magazine is now free of charge and published online only. Moving it online allows us to be more current with what's happening in the photography book world. Since magazine space is now virtually unlimited, reviews, features and event coverage can be expanded greatly and everything we publish can easily be archived. Plus, now there is room for discussion of all topics covered.
Daniel Espeset (our magazine's managing editor) and I thought long and hard about the design of the online magazine. We felt that it was important to keep the designed look of a printed magazine, yet we wanted the freedom to display advertising alongside content that could change almost daily. What we came up with is a bit of a hybrid of the two. As you can see from Richard Gordon's two-part feature on Robert Frank and The Americans, there is printed magazine quality to our features, while the remaining content—shorter articles, reviews and blog entries—are in a format more common to the internet.
Chris Pichler, the publisher of Nazraeli Press, and I began talking about an interactive online guide to photography several years ago. Chris had published various printed editions of the U.S.A. Photography Guide and it was time for an update. Moving the Guide online was a natural evolution of this important resource. And the Guide online is phenomenal! We've incorporated Google maps and Google street views to make otherwise plain textual information visual and fun to peruse. Later this year, we'll be releasing deluxe listings expanding on what you see here.
Launching a new website, particularly one that is so deep with information and imagery, takes a significant amount of time and creative energy. Programming the site demands enormous focus, skill and talent and I'm fortunate and grateful to have a staff that can help me pull this off. I especially want to thank Daniel Espeset who helped me immensely with the site design and its programming and for keeping good humor throughout it all. Thanks too to Sarah Bradley for her expert copy editing and feedback and to Ben Lerman who pounded the site day after day to help debug it (no more bugs please). Thanks to Melanie McWhorter, book division manager, for her insight, feedback and suggestions. And finally I want to thank the rest of the staff at photo-eye for their feedback and for bearing with me over the last six months during the site redesign and the development of the magazine and guide online. You guys rock!