Hyperinteractive adds colour to ethnic portal

A new portal website catering for the UK’s black community is launched tomorrow, designed and built by digital media specialist Hyperinteractive.

Blackserve.co.uk will go live with two channels – news and entertainment – and is developing several others, including travel, sport, education and business over the next few weeks. The news section is split into four areas – UK, US, Caribbean and Africa, while the entertainment channel features books, theatre, exhibitions, movies and music.

Blackserve managing director Paul Castro says he “aims to redress the balance and offer news, views and information to the growing on-line ethnic community”, having become aware of the “lack of good quality black and ethnic media in the UK” while working at Internet advertising agency DoubleClick.

“It will be the most authoritative and comprehensive black news service in the UK. No other black media has over 40 news stories daily from the US, Caribbean, Africa and the UK,” he adds.

Castro says informal creative presentations were made by several design consultancies during development stages, with Hyperinteractive the only group not to suggest a colour palette of red, yellow and green.

“It was the only group that could interpret my vision of what a site aimed at the black community should be like. We don’t want to alienate people,” he explains.

Hyperinteractive creative director Richard Mellor explains he was conscious of avoiding clichés associated with the target audience, and has used black and white as the base colours for the logo and website.

“Black related graphic clichés and overstated ethnic assumptions play no part on the Blackserve website. Instead, its look and feel comes from a heritage of cool sophistication and European design values. The design policy was not just applied to the website, but is integrated throughout all marketing material.

“Sophistication, intelligence and coolness are coupled with bright, fresh and contemporary [values] to create a look specific to Blackserve,” adds Mellor.

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