An interview with Trollwood’s new website designer

Trollwood Performing Arts School is set to announce the 2013 Mainstage Musical through the launch of an all-new website for the organization. Over the years, Trollwood has been fortunate to partner with some awesome companies, like Sundog. They have designed all three of Trollwood’s websites, including this new one about to launch!

Sundog’s creative team assigned to the Trollwood website redesign: L to R, Jodi McGregor, Annika Nynas, Dirk Monson, and Heidi Haaven.

Sundog assigned an amazing creative team to work on our new website for the past several months, including Project Manager Jodi McGregor, Web Developer Dirk Monson, Marketing Coordinator Heidi Haaven, and Annika Nynas, an Associate Creative, all pictured above.

Annika has worked at Sundog for a year and a half, and she’s the creative genius behind Trollwood’s new website design. We were able to talk with her recently about her work on our project, and thought you’d like to understand how our new design became reality, and get to know Annika a bit, too:

Q: You obviously design websites, but do you have other job duties at Sundog?

A: I feel fortunate I get to work on a wide variety of projects at Sundog. Online ads, event invites, box wrap decals, Facebook tabs, info-graphics and signage are some examples of graphic design work I’ve had the opportunity to work on. But as my job title states, I’m a “creative,” meaning my role can extend beyond graphic design. Examples of a few odd-jobs I’ve done would be making decorations for events I’ve helped plan, baking cupcakes for interns, photographing internal events and being in a TV commercial. It’s a lot of fun to have such a range of projects. 

Q: What was your inspiration for creating Trollwood’s new website design?

A: Pulling off a musical like Legally Blonde or Music Man requires far more than what you see as an audience member. In addition to cast members memorizing lines and dances, a lot of hard work and preparation goes into things like lighting, sound, set design and costuming. For the new Trollwood website, I wanted to give visitors the opportunity to learn and engage with these less obvious roles.

By using textures and colors reminiscent of set building and costume materials, my hope was to create a well-rounded view of Trollwood Performing Arts School and all it offers. Other artistic elements and treatments also reflect the location of Trollwood’s facilities, most specifically the outdoor Imagine Amphitheater. (Fun fact: The footer of the website was created from a photo of the actual wood of the amphitheater arches.)

There is a large amount of content for users to explore on the Trollwood website, so I wanted to make things clear, yet also fun to interact with. I tried to achieve this by creating things such as colored paintbrush strokes to differentiate main program content, and “buy now” ticket graphics to visually highlight action items. Key information such as dates, times and tickets are featured prominently on the site, as well as positive alumni quotes, which allow viewers to get a more personal experience visiting the site.

Q: Will you share your special connection to Trollwood?

A: This project was particularly enjoyable for me because I am a dancer of 20 years, and I’ve been a dance teacher for four years at a studio that works closely with Trollwood’s summer dance programs. I was eager to work on this redesign because I felt a personal connection to the organization and the performing arts, as well as the materials and visual elements nostalgic to my own performing days.

Thanks, Annika, for putting your he-“art” and soul into creating Trollwood’s exciting new website design! See Annika’s creative site design at – which launches live at 4:00 PM on December 10th, 2012!


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