Empowering everyone to write their story

CHALLENGE

Gotham Writers Workshop has helped a generation of New Yorkers express themselves. The school offers rigorous academics and invites people from all walks of life into its community. In recent years, however, the creative writing school found that its outward identity did not reflect its true vibrancy — this was having an impact on class enrollment. Hyperakt was asked to evolve the Gotham Writers Workshop brand and turn around its web presence in order to broaden its reach. The new voice of Gotham Writers Workshop needed to inspire younger writers to join the community, while leveraging the school’s proud reputation and preserving its NYC heritage.

APPROACH

After conducting in-depth research and workshops we arrived at the essence of Gotham Writers Workshop’s brand: “craft igniting creativity.” We repositioned the name of the brand from Gotham Writer’s Workshop to Gotham Writers, a shift that better represents the school’s community of writers and promotes a sense of belonging. We created a brand language that expresses itself as a harmonious balance between the vibrant muddle of the writing process and the sharp precision of a finely crafted piece. The tone of the imagery is introspective, thoughtful and intimate – evoking the perfect environment for creative writing.

A seal of authenticity

Gotham Writers' new mark says more with less. The interlocking "G" and "W" reveal the tip of a pencil, suggesting the craft and meditation at the heart of good writing. The emblem projects the confidence and maturity of an institution that has been honing its craft for 20 years. The geometric purity of the forms are an homage to the art deco heritage of the city we call Gotham – New York City.

Craft ignites creativity

Against the precision of the monogram we contrast the inherent vibrancy of the creative process with myriad handwriting styles that reflect the unique voice of each writer. The brand includes highlighter marks to illuminate key ideas, alluding to the process of editing and iterating involved in perfecting a well-crafted piece of writing.

Reinventing Gotham online

Hyperakt worked closely with Gotham Writers to radically rethink their information architecture and build a beautifully navigable, brand-relevant website. Gotham Writers' website needed to clearly guide readers through a lot of information: online classes, course catalogs, event calendars, faculty bios, writing tips, and book promotions from the Gotham Community.

What class is best for you?

The new site guides each student to find a class that’s right for them. To facilitate browsing, we created clear entry points to online and NYC classes and Gotham Writers' community-driven or specific offerings, like one-on-one classes or events. We also categorized Gotham Writers' 50+ classes into six types, each with a custom icon: fiction, non-fiction, scriptwriting, humor & poetry, professional writing and essentials.

Reaching new demographics

Gotham Writers is best known around New York for the bright yellow boxes that stand on street corners all over town and contain the school's quarterly course catalog. We revamped the monochrome catalogue into a colorful newsprint magazine appealing to pedestrians. Besides up-to-date class information, lush photography and expressive illustration, the new publication also features the original voices of students and teachers in the community – the Gotham Writers.