Wu-Way Landscape: Fine Garden Building
Wu-Way Landscape is a garden building and garden design firm specializing in custom landscape development. In business since 1972 and based in Grass Valley, California, Wu-Way Landscape is owned by Jim Pyle and Susan Pyle. Jim and Susan reached out to Studio Nuñez to create a website that would accurately communicate the essence of their work: making outdoor spaces that bring joy into people's lives.
This would not seem a tall order, but five minutes into a meeting with Jim at Jim and Susan’s own beautifully landscaped home, it became obvious that Wu-Way Landscape would be an unusual client. My first question to Jim: “Are you an English professor, as well as a landscape designer?”
I asked because as I listened to Jim narrate the scope and nature of his work, I immediately heard the voice of a writer. So the process of developing a website would need to include an added and delightful dimension: developmental editing. Meaning, artfully editing Jim’s beautiful and multi-layered essays about garden planning and construction, along with his texts describing the philosophy that animates and informs all of Wu-Way’s work. Editing in a way that amplifies, encourages, and shepherds the writer’s voice without blocking or disrespecting it.
Here, check this page to get a feeling for striking this balance, in this fascinating but not facile definition of “wu-way.”
There were additional challenges. Jim had a huge digital and hard copy library of photos capturing portfolio projects, but many shots needed to be cropped and edited to correct exposure and create effective responsive compositions for a mobile-friendly website. Studio Nuñez went to work organizing the vast collection; scanning hard copy images, editing and optimizing digital images, and importing images from the company’s brochure. Studio Nuñez also created a custom favicon to personalize the site in browser windows, and at Jim’s request, developed digital versions of ancient Japanese crests as illustrative accents for the site.
With content and graphics in hand, Studio Nuñez went to work designing page layouts, developing mobile-friendly banners that change from page to page, and adding internal SEO tags and links so the site would be easily found on search. On launch day, we connected the site to the domain name and a few hours later Wu-Way Landscape got down to business in the digital age.
And how is business now for Wu-Way Landscape? As Jim describes, “When people call us now about design or garden building, they feel they already know us. They understand not only what we do but the how and why behind our work. Because whether they’ve found us through the site or through word of mouth, they’ve taken the time to peruse the site. When we sit down with them to discuss a project, there is a sense that we have already moved beyond the audition and we are able to now simply clarify how to proceed with their project."
I could not have said it better. Here, step into one of Wu-Way Landscape’s gardens and experience the joy.