The Herb Ritts Foundation Redesigns

Written By Alla Levin
August 30, 2005

The Herb Ritts Foundation Redesigns

The Herb Ritts Foundation redesigned to better promote their main two objectives: to continue Mr. Ritts’ longstanding support of HIV/AIDS research, and to support his great passion for photography and other forms of art.

Erik Asla, Ritts’ former photo assistant and creative consultant to The Herb Ritts Foundation, knew launching a site of this capacity would be a major undertaking. “The challenge was in finding a design/development firm that properly understood our vision as far as imagery, content, and design was concerned,” said Asla. “I find too many web sites reflect the tools of the web designer rather than concentrate on the message and content of the web site owner.”  It was important to find a firm with this understanding before beginning the redesign. “era//404 got in touch with me and, as we discussed web design, we found each other to be on the same wavelength.”

“When Mr. Asla and I spoke last year, he’d mentioned the proposals he was receiving,” said era//404 Creative Director, Don Citarella. “They were filled with Flashy animations and sounds. Other designers were losing sight of the simple elegance of Mr. Ritts’ work.”

“When we signed up era//404 we were already aware of the high quality of the design team,” said Asla. “Our expectations when it came to interaction and communication were more than fulfilled.”

The site itself incorporates a variety of features about the foundation and the late photography icon. Users can view a selection of Ritts’ work, a video about his career and resources on his books, articles, exhibitions and related materials. era//404 incorporated their Content Management System, era//404 CMS, to allow the foundation complete control over editing the site.

“We strive to be a conduit for the client’s vision,” said Chris Citarella of era//404. “If the site isn’t representative of our client and they’re not satisfied with the quality, design, and functionality, we haven’t done our job.”

Asla stated, “I found that the quality was outstanding. The timelines and the cost were within our parameters. I have already recommended era//404 to others and we will continue to work with them for the foreseeable future.”

Herb Ritts enthusiasts may view the Foundation’s new site by visiting

era//404 is best known for their work with Jonathan Safran Foer’s The Project Museum, the exploratory site for Everything is Illuminated, Who is Augustine, and Sanrio’s Hello Kitty’s 30th Anniversary at the Rockefeller Center (11/04).

era//404 is currently working with Projekt2 to develop the intranet for The Museum of Modern Art.

About era//404
Established in August 2000, era//404 Creative Group, Inc. is a New York-based design, development and marketing agency which shoulders an impressive list of clients ranging from not-for-profit organizations to Fortune-1000 companies nationwide. They are the co-founders of the Star-U Suite (

For further information, please contact:
Don Citarella, era//404

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