Express Newark (EN), located in the historic Hahne & Company building in Newark NJ, is dedicated to a collaboration between community partners and Rutgers University-Newark in which community and university work together and communicate on equal footing in what has been called a "third space."
Level Group was asked to design and develop an appropriate platform that would invite further collaboration and participation with the Newark and university communities, and that could represent the organizations’ powerful mission.
For the last year we have been working closely with Express Newark leadership, program directors, and community partners to create expressnewark.org. The website design and user experience mirrors the ecosystem of Express Newark: one of inclusiveness, democratic dialogue, boundary-crossing networks, in which eleven partnerships and over eighty contributors spanning diverse disciplines, collaborate and engage in public work and creative practice.
The Express Newark website represents the collective work of its many community and university partnerships and collaborations. Each partnership has its own page that features contributors, and where it can express itself through digital media, advertise exhibits and events, and publish posts containing stories, videos, news, press, and opportunities. These posts appear not only on their partnership page, but elsewhere throughout the site.
The brand concept of expressing a "third space" through the overlapping of two colors to create a new third color is extended through the color-coding of the different types of posts on the website: magenta+cyan=violet for exhibits, yellow+magenta=red for events, cyan+yellow=green for stories, and grey for contributors and partnerships. Within each category – exhibits, events, and stories – posts are untied by one color palette. The concept of the “third space” is then enacted by the manner in which different post types/color palettes from different parts of the website come together and “become one community.”
A WCAG compliant website that, in the words of Anne Schaper Englot (one of the Co-Directors of Express Newark), “…is visually stunning, beautifully, skillfully designed, inventive and functional. It is a unique articulation and representation of Express Newark and the ideal of a ‘third space.’ ”