For my case study I decided to analyze “ILLUSTRATION ART” by David Apatoff. The topic of the blog is illustration and cartooning. The aim of the blog is to appreciate the value of this style, which is often compared to realism. The posts provide commentary on the effectiveness of illustration and interesting information behind the concepts of pieces and the artists who created them.
The layout of David Apatoff’s blog is fairly simple. The header consists of the title, Illustration Art, and a short description that reads:
“Celebrating great art in humble places: The glorious talents of the artists who illustrate stories, comics, and advertisements”
The header is within a brown and checkerboard graphic which is against a green paint background. Along the very top of the page are social media widgets that allow you to search blogger.com and share to Google+
The sidebar does not include much more biographical or topical information about the blog itself. It does include the author’s name and a short sentence describing him. The description reads, “David Apatoff really likes great pictures.” There is a link that reads “View my complete profile” however, the blogger profile also only includes that short description. Other than that, there are no other social media buttons or widgets along the sidebar.
Included in the sidebar is a chronological menu of all blog posts written by the author. The menu is titled “blog archive” and seems to be well organized and easily navigable.
Below this menu in the sidebar, is a list of most popular posts. One of which is in memorial of a dear friend of the authors, Nick Meglin, a famous illustrator for MAD magazine. While this post is very sentimental, the author’s appreciation for illustration and artists is apparent in this post and throughout the blog.
The Footer does not contain any information aside from the theme of the blog which is “simple”.
Every post the author has written includes pictures. Moreover, the pictures are engaging as they are captioned with careful questions and and comparisons of work. The titles of the posts are engaging as well. For example, one of the most recent post is entitled “Art, Truth, and Accuracy” which I find pretty intriguing!
Aside from the main content, the author does not provide much more information. I think that the author’s content is timeless and lovable, but he could really benefit readers by being more accessible. By this I mean, if Apatoff shared a bit more of his personal story he would develop a deeper relationship with his readers. For first-time users, like myself, it would be easier to get an idea for the concept of the blog if he included more personal information. At the least, I think he should include an “about me” section.
The author’s menu is also well organized and easily navigable. Apatoff writes amazing and engaging content. I think his commentary and his selection of artists is tasteful and interesting. Here is an example of some of his words that caught my eye:
Apatoff does a lot well, but there is room for improvement. For example, the overall layout of the blog could be simplified. In this way, it could allow readers to more easily focus on his content and the illustrations he is writing about. The menu is well organized, but should be more apparent upon first glance of the web page. I would suggest the author move it to under his header to readers can find the way to navigate posts. While Apatoff provides a search blogger.com widget, I think he should also include a widget that allows readers to search his site alone. I also think Apatoff could benefit from creating a social media account other than blogger. If not for promoting his blogging, he could use it as a means to keep in contact with readers who have a question or even potential sponsors.
Apatoff’s blog has been alive for quite some time. The blog is about thirteen years old. In blog archives, his first post dates back to December of 2005! While David might have some structural flaws, he is consistent and maintains his following.
Apatoff has about 160 followers on WordPress. While it may not seem like much, the consistency of his engagement suggests he has developed a lasting relationship with his readers. In his most recent posts, there were about 5-10 comments on a typical post. For a popular post, this could go up to about 15 comments. This also may look like a small number. However, even in the posts ten years ago, the engagement remains the same.
David Apatoff’s blog may not be the most marketing-saavy, or the best designed, but his popularity seems to be timeless. When I read his posts, the style of his writing seem intelligent, but also genuine and warm. His appreciation and knowledge about the medium truly shines through. I can understand why readers continue to come back to read his thoughts and discover new interesting art or artists. However simple, his blog is well-written and consistent, which is why it has withstood despite its flaws.