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The Life and Times of Wordpress

San Francisco — January 26, 2012

Jay Z’s Life+Times impresses Wordpress founder Matt Mullenweg.

As developers of bespoke software, we’ve always shied away from using Wordpress. However a few years back, a client required that we use it and ever since we’ve been thrilled with the flexibility and robustness of the platform. Best of all, it is always evolving and improving. Last year when Jay Z approached us to help him create Life+Times—a new editorial brand on today’s pop culture—it was a no-brainer for us to use Wordpress for the website.

AREA 17 was engaged to design and develop the logo, visual identity, website and mobile experience. The brief was straightforward, “I think it’s every human’s job to inspire others, to feed one another’s senses.” With that in mind, we set out to build a unique brand experience that pushed the boundaries of what a Wordpress theme could do. The grid approach offered its share of challenges, leading our team to find new ways of optimizing page loads in order to accomodate considerable user activity. But that of course is part of the fun and Wordpress allowed us to focus on the user experience.

Our efforts were rewarded when Life+Times caught the attention of Wordpress founder Matt Mullenweg. During his annual “State of the Word” address, he listed Lifeandtimes.com as one of his personal favorite Wordpress implementations (26:43). Well, we say bravo to Matt for giving us such a wonderful tool!

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