Pop Matters

Project Type

Creative Direction

Pop Matters


PopMatters is an online digest of media, culture, and commentary founded in 1993. In 2014, owners Sarah and Karen approached me with the challenge of updating their brand and digital experience. Their goal was to leverage design to improve ad performance, site engagement, mobile experience and mesh tightly with social media. My job began with UX and information architecture.

I worked closely with my development team and with product owner and president, Sarah Zupko to retool the presentation of PopMatters legacy content. Together, we developed new functionality and features like the Pop Ten list and PM Picks that gave their audience more than just a different layout.

The completed site, built on a fully responsive framework, created measured improvements in the time users spent reading content. It also succeeded by bringing in advertisers like Vice, Apple, and Vimeo.

Updating a brand with a 20-year history meant creating a mark that spoke to new audiences while feeling intuitive to existing users. Maintaining PopMatters signature orange was identified early on as a key emotional touchpoint. I designed a new brand mark and series of lockups to represent PopMatters identity with clarity and a spirit of visual poetry. Stationery and other collateral reinforce the new identity in print, e‑books and in‑person.