Much consideration was given to the visual design of this website. The chief objective was to make it as simple and free of needless distractions as possible while keeping it predominantly informative, analytical and honest. The challenge, from a graphic design perspective, was how to achieve these objectives and at the same time keep the site visually engaging and unique. Nothing on the internet exactly conveyed the anxiety and distress that BC leaseholders were currently feeling under the tyranny of the May 1st 1974 Lease. Staged, colourful photos of confident post-millennial college graduates gathered around their laptops complacently discussing their own optimistic concerns in spacious, brightly-lit offices did not really convey who BC leaseholders were, nor what they were actually contending with. The underlying conviction that BC leaseholders were caught up in a harrowing confrontation with their adversaries was ultimately a motivating factor in determining the central aesthetic motif of the website. There was from the beginning a strong predilection to use photographs in the style of Depression Era photographers like Walker Evans & Dorothea Lange, whose imagery had made such a strong social impact in the 1930’s. Because this style of photography was nowhere prevalent on the web—nor would seem sincere if revived in modern dress—it became evident that the only way to achieve the aesthetic of the past would be to draw heavily on the archival photography of the past. In other words to utilize images largely already in the public domain. This would not distract from the serious intent of the site yet make it interesting enough to hold a visitor’s attention. More to the point, it would be a constant reminder that the present struggles of BC leaseholders are fully in accord with the historic social struggles against oppression and exploitation of the past. Consequently, this website has assumed the somewhat unique and curious visual design you see before you. If such a website could have been conceived and realized in the aesthetics of the early decades of the 20th Century, it might well have looked something this.
Irrespective of its appearance, however, the real value of this site must consist predominantly in the extensive body of information and critical analysis that it will convey not only to other leaseholders (who have been forcibly kept in the dark by their landlords,) but also to the legislature and judiciary who have likewise been too long unaware of either the cause or the enormity of the injustice that thousands of BC leaseholders are being forced to endure under the sanction of the courts.