London, United Kingdom
Since its establishment in 2012, HEMNA (HEM News Agency) has gone through a number of changes, tweaks and revamps to keep it fresh, current and user-friendly. The site’s last major overhaul occurred in April of 2017, shortly before our move from Plaistow in east London to Ilford, in time for the blog’s fifth founding anniversary. However, as the editor and blogger of HEMNA, I felt that another fresh look for the blog was now due and many of you may have noticed the splendid new redesign which has been live now for the past two weeks.
While still hosted by the popular blog hosting platform WordPress, we have now switched layout themes from ‘Plane’ (developed by Automattic, Inc., the proprietor behind WordPress) to the ‘Gazette’ theme, also by the same company.
Gazette is described by its design team as a ‘clean and flexible theme perfectly suited for minimalist magazine-style sites, personal blogs, or any content-rich site’. This theme allows for the use of ‘featured images’ and tagging, which helps not only make our news articles more attention-grabbing and increases the dominance of individual articles’ visual content, but also enables HEMNA to show you our latest posts, right there, right now, with less effort on your part. We of course still retain the intuitive search function for site users looking for archived posts or certain subjects.
HEMNA has also gone for a complete rebrand of our social media platforms, while retaining some of our traditional livery, such as the use of blues and greens and the distinctive ‘London street sign’ logo, which now acts as the official logo for the agency/blog. The logo was developed with the help of MyFunStudio.com and Marijn Kampf, and is inspired by our London heritage and the street signs found in the tourist hotspots of the City of Westminster. The sign also acknowledges our new location in the borderlands of London proper and Essex, where we have been based since May of 2017. Most of the design work for the header and social network accounts was designed by myself using the online design site Canva, utilising a selection of stock gradient PNGs and imagery.
The new theme, appearance and logo respectfully maintains the blog’s heritage and history of its online presence – we have been growing here for seven years now, but also is up-to-date when compared with more established and larger news sites, which increasingly place an emphasis on image-rich content, contrasted text and telling the ‘visual story’ as opposed to just displaying blocks of written information. This is increasingly the standard format that news readers have come to expect, and we felt that it was time we got ahead with this new concept.
To mark the relaunch of this site, I have produced a special free-to-download poster below to mark the occasion. I may well one day get it printed and framed for my future ‘blogging headquarters’, you never know!
From myself and HEMNA’s regular contributors, we hope you like the new look and format and that it makes your time here more comfortable and pleasurable. If you would like to comment on the changes, please leave a comment below or contact us via the details on the ‘About’ page.
“Gazette” – Automattic, WordPress.com/Automattic, Inc. https://wordpress.com/theme/gazette
“London Street Sign” – Marijn Kampf, MyFunStudio.com/My Fun Studio http://www.myfunstudio.com/designs/lss/