Kate Spade

Kate Spade New York

Bringing the brand's 'playful sophistication' to life on Tumblr


With its millions of young and creative users, and its emphasis on highly visual posts and lively graphics, Tumblr provides the perfect space for a fashion brand to engage its audience with beautiful content.

When Kate Spade New York approached us, they already had a successful Tumblr presence, but their primary blog was on WordPress, meaning content had to be created and shared on multiple platforms – extra work for an already busy team. Kate Spade wanted to have just one blog; a blog that reflected their original, eye-catching content and allowed for easy engagement with their fans and followers.

So they contacted Storyware to help them transform their Tumblr into their official blog, to build out a custom theme, and to migrate their WordPress content over to the new site.

We began the project working with Kate Spade New York’s brand creative, editorial and digital marketing teams. Through weekly phone calls and several meetings at their corporate headquarters in New York, we helped curate their design ideas from a UX perspective, ensuring a high-quality user experience and a clean design across all devices.

What We Did

  • Information Architecture
  • UX Consulting
  • Custom Tumblr Theme Development
  • Tumblr Training
  • Support Documentation
  • Content Migration
What Can We Do For You?
Kate Spade

Content is King

Creating simple tools to help Kate Spade New York put content front and center

Content is always the backbone of design on Tumblr, and Kate Spade’s blog is no exception. Their clean layout allows their content to take center stage. But it’s what’s happening behind the scenes that really sets Kate Spade New York’s Tumblr apart. We worked closely with Kate Spade New York’s designers to develop custom layouts for everything from headings and posts, to buttons and photo-sets.

In order to create custom visual experiences for different content types, Kate Spade New York asked us to build several different variations of photo posts. While all Tumblr themes support Tumblr’s seven standard post types (text, photos, links, quotes, chat, audio, and video), very few themes allow for any variation in terms of photo layouts.

To accommodate Kate Spade New York’s request, we built six different layout options for individual photo posts. The layout options provide Kate Spade New York the ability to change how images display on the home page and within individual posts, as well as to display the photo caption in different spots, truncate the caption to specific lengths, and hide the likes and reblog buttons. These changes can be made easily by the Kate Spade New York team by adding custom tags (#) that are only visible to blog editors.

We also built a custom photoset (photo gallery) layout that allows visitors to view all images individually or together in one screen. Users can scroll through each photo or select one from a presentation of image thumbnails. This gives the user more options to engage with a photo gallery than the standard Tumblr photoset. By enhancing the Pinterest sharing experience, we allowed users to pin all, or a subset, of the photos presented within a post or photoset, rather than the traditional first photo only.

Kate Spade

Working with Kate Spade New York’s designers, we also focused heavily on typography, providing specific styles for certain elements, such as headlines, excerpts, post leads, buttons, photo credits, and specific call-to-actions.

Finally, we built a custom search experience that shows users realtime results as they type their search query.

This attention to detail turned a good design into a great one – and provided the Kate Spade New York team the flexibility they needed to present fun, creative and diverse content.

To ensure the Kate Spade New York team could keep track of customizations and theme changes, we built a custom support site with how-to gifs and step by step instructions and examples. We also provided in-depth training with the Kate Spade New York team – a process we include for all our custom Tumblr clients.

As time goes on, Kate Spade New York continues to enhance their Tumblr blog with new feature requests – including a custom e-commerce integration that allow’s users to select their Kate Spade online store preference by clicking the Kate Spade logo.  The selected destination is then stored locally in the user’s browser for return visits, allowing quick access to their Kate Spade e-shopping destination.

The ongoing enhancement of their digital marketing efforts demonstrates Kate Spade New York’s strong commitment to their blog and consumers, and we are thankful to be able to serve those needs.

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