Friday Client Sugar

It’s always invigorating when working with great clients and a few weeks back, I had the pleasure of launching the redesigned Kansas City Repertory Theatre website: Everyone inside the organization was just wonderful to work with from the initial inquiry call to checking off the final punch list item.

And because we operate on an annual license fee-based system that includes unlimited training and support, I get to interact with them on a regular basis. Every project has something special going on and this was no exception but what really stood out was the very natural “yes, and…” approach.

Since we design inside a live environment, it means clients begin discovering all the cool, new features at their disposal and I have yet to encounter a situation where that doesn’t change their outlook.

As a result, it’s common for designs to evolve and thanks to a team member with some serious web skills, Digital Marketing Manager Dayna Meyer, they managed to take one of our most versatile design elements and run with it. Case in point, this image grid based interactive component they used to increase engagement at one of their event pages:

You’ll find all sorts of sections throughout the site that use the same tool to build a variety interactive elements. But really, what helped make the project special were the people involved so if you’re in the mood for a little design inspiration sugar this Friday, head over to

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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