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I got a nice surprise in my inbox a few weeks back—an email from Communication Arts letting me know that they had chosen the Western Massachusetts Scenic Byways site as their “Web pick of the week”. Their interview captured some of my design intent nicely:

“I hope visitors almost lose track of time as they peruse the images and read the text—the same sense you might get as you are driving slowly on the back roads of the region on a relaxing weekend.”

I had planned on submitting this project to a few awards sites once I was done building out the full list of features for the “2.0” release (there are some more cool maps features coming soon), but the CommArts folks beat me to it. This early surprise gives me a bit more confidence in the site design—especially coming from CommArts, a publication whose many well-thumbed design annuals have a special spot on my shelf.

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I’m excited that this site is getting good reviews and clicks—it’s been a lot of work for everyone involved, and I’m thankful that the client and the rest of the creative team trusted me to push the design past their initial comfort zone. Thanks to Rae Francoeur at New Arts Collaborative for bringing me on on such a great project, George Courage for the awesome illustrative logos throughout the site, Elaine Palmer for getting the word out and eyes on the site, and Kris Bierfelt for the great copywriting throughout.

Also thanks to the entire Western Massachusetts Scenic Byways Marketing Committee—the site wouldn’t be engaging without your love for the area and the great content that’s generated.

You can read their full writeup here and check out the site at