Sawhorse Media

The Shorty Awards Blog

Shorty Awards Blog
  • Services
  • Design
  • Development
  • User experience
  • Technologies
  • JavaScript
Sawhorse Media is a technology company that produces two distinct products: Muck Rack, a web application that provides services to media professionals, and the Shorty Awards, which honor the best of social media every year. Little Weaver had already been working on Muck Rack for several months when the Shorty Awards' producer approached us about redesigning the Shorty Awards Blog.

The previous blog design had become stale as their primary website went through separate redesigns. Sawhorse was looking to bring their blog up-to-date with their recently overhauled branding. At the same time, they wanted to keep the design separate from their primary website design so they could continue to update the primary website independently without having to completely redesign the blog each time. And they threw one more challenge into the mix: the current blog was implemented on hosted blogging platform Tumblr and they wanted to keep it there.

The primary challenge of working with Tumblr is that—despite being used by professional brands—it does not serve professional web developers. Tumblr's template system is elegant, but rudimentary, and lacks many of the abilities modern web developers have come to expect from content management systems. It utilizes a single HTML template for all views, features no integration with version control or CSS preprocessors, minimal static asset support, and esoteric photo resizing control.

Over the course of a few weeks, Little Weaver worked around these limitations to design and build a professional-level Tumblr theme. Using JavaScript libraries such as Isotope and our own custom JavaScript, we built functionality that did not exist in Tumblr by default and created a theme that was beautiful, flexible, and responsive. We've continued to revise and maintain the theme with Sawhorse's feedback since its launch in October 2015.