Window is the University Magazine, with a physical and digital distribution to Alumni and friends of the university. The magazine highlights stories of interest for students, faculty, and staff, and alumni.
Previously, Window's content was being managed in Drupal in conjunction with Western Today. The front end was a decoupled Angular app. The app was on an outdated version of angular, and was becoming difficult to maintain. It was an inflexible platform with template layouts. Stories were only published on a quarterly basis. The editors of Window wanted more flexibility in designing custom story layouts. They also wanted to move towards a digital first publishing model, publishing stories on a rolling basis before the print issue is sent out.
Window also needed a graphic design refresh. It had its own branding that did not immediately read as "Western." But, the University's Drupal theme, Ashlar, wasn't quite the right fit for the project. The needed to both come under the brand system, while continuing to feel like a unique entity. It also needed components more tailored towards a publication platform.
In Drupal, we separated Window's data from Western Today's. The stories were all migrated from the Western Today Drupal instance into a new one for Window.
We also moved from a decoupled front end into a Drupal theme. The window theme is NOT a sub theme of Ashlar, but it does share the base variables stylesheet and the same atomic structure. Because the theme relies on modern CSS variables, this creates a branded look, in a light weight and flexible package. Components were adapted to the specific needs of Window, without needing to worry how they function in a more general way across other sites. Only the components used on the site are contained in the theme, so there is no unnecessary code to maintain.