To coincide with the US release of Tracy Chapman’s 8th album, the Tracy team has launched her official website. Very original, the possibility is given to color your world. It features Lyrics, Discography (including official Videos), Tour Dates. It promises some updates and an upcoming US tour for January 2009!
Read on the agency’s website: “Tracy’s site launched to coincide with the release of her new album “Our Bright Future”. Browse the discography and see your colorable impact on the world. This interactivity combined with the juxtaposition of positive and negative elements throughout the site reinforce the message in Tracy’s title track.
Ultimately, the coloring book concept is a metaphor for the album title which conveys our ability and duty as individuals to envision the future and impact the world—what we paint today is what we will live in tomorrow.”
The webmaster is writting on his website: “The site leverages a simple painting engine that I wrote which lets you paint the elements onscreen as you cruise around the site. I think a great addition in V2 would be to add functionality to save your creation to a gallery or maybe write a cookie that saves your painting for next time you return.”
[January 16, 2009 update: Since launch the site’s received about 50,000 unique sessions.]
* The next version of the site will hopefully include the ability to screen shot colored pages and add them to a public gallery.
Tracy Chapman is evoking her new website to a german newspaper: Simpleness / reduction has always been the secret of Tracy Chapman. Until recently, she has had a more rudimentary homepage, which had only the tour dates on it. With “Our Bright Future” comes an ambitious new website, on which you can read through all her lyrics. “I’m persuaded that I do need something like that. My fans pay attention to the lyrics. It’s the message of the songs that is important to them. They don’t care about my image.” Chapman says.
From Communication Arts:
“A truly lovely experience with an innocence that is captivating. Even for those unfamiliar with Tracy Chapman’s music, it’s hard not to get caught up in her world. The illustrations are surprisingly rich with minimal effort and lend themselves to endless combinations and play.” —Ranee Chung
“The pure focus of this piece is mesmerizing. It gets to the essence of the artist’s work and invites visitors to express themselves in a very simple and satisfying way.” —Jason Ring
Overview: Launched to coincide with the release of her Our Bright Future album—and first solo tour in over a decade—this site hosts Tracy Chapman’s music, videos and lyrics. The interactivity combined with the juxtaposition of positive and negative elements throughout the site reinforce the message in Tracy’s title track. A beautifully simple and playful coloring-book interface takes a paint-by-numbers approach. The coloring-book concept is a metaphor for the album title, which conveys our ability and duty as individuals to envision the future and impact the world—what we paint today is what we will live in tomorrow.
* • Since launch the site’s received about 200,000 unique sessions.
* • Every video and every song ever released by Tracy Chapman is on the site.
* • The next version of the site will include the ability to take screenshots of colored pages and add them to a public gallery.
Comments by Jason Herring
- How did time constraints affect your final solution? “For this project, like others that are tied to the release date of an album, staying on schedule was critical. As we were designing and developing the site, Tracy was still in the studio completing her album and we were sensitive to give her the creative space to work there. Ultimately, we had to sneak in meetings between her promo tour on TV and radio talk shows. We launched on time, the day the album was released in Europe.”
- What would you do differently if you could start the project over? “If we were to start the project over, we would’ve pushed sooner to build in a way for the community to share paintings with each other. It fell out of scope and the timeline didn’t allow us to pull it in. We also created lots of darker animations (soldiers fighting, school boys with flame throwers), wanting to design a scene that would at first appear beautiful and nice, but on closer scrutiny, the user would see a much darker vision. Tracy wasn’t opposed to the concept, but she adamantly opposed having guns or any type of violence displayed on the site. In hindsight, if we had refined the darker metaphors earlier, we might have been able to keep that edge on the site.”
- Adam Weiss, art director
- Jason Herring, creative director
- Stephen Braitsch, interactive developer
- Dina Herring, database programmer
- Scott Smith/Madeleine Ward, graphic designers
- Hampus Lideborg, animator
- Sanaz Ebriani, project manager
- OrdinaryKids (San Francisco, CA), project design and development
- Tracy Chapman, client