Deep Kure website in English

Deep Kure – Bilingual Multisite, Photography, Writing, Editing, and Content Strategy

“Kure is a port and major shipbuilding city located on the Seto Inland Sea in Hiroshima Prefecture. However, much of Kure’s rich history and unique culture lies hidden below the surface of its maritime image.”

Client: Deep Kure, an online guide to Kure City in Hiroshima, Japan.

Project Description: Build a bilingual website (English and Japanese) via WordPress Multisite, complete with a logo, easy navigation, and a photo-focused, magazine style design, and then help fill the site with descriptions and photos of the places featured in the guide.

A Quote

“Kure is a port and major shipbuilding city located on the Seto Inland Sea in Hiroshima Prefecture. However, much of Kure’s rich history and unique culture lies hidden below the surface of its maritime image.”

The Inside Scoop

This was a fun project. Design challenges and fancy photo-ops galore. Who could ask for more?

It was also my first shot at a WordPress Multisite installation, so there was a bit of a learning curve, but nothing too wild.

Design and Implementation

I approached the site as a magazine-style online travel guide. We knew we wanted lots of pretty photos and easy navigation between different post categories — outdoor recreation, food and drink, history and culture, etc.

I’m particularly proud of the custom design work I pulled off for the header and footer. The blue wave graphic at the top of the screen is pure CSS, and the sunset silhouette of cranes at the bottom (one of Kure’s symbols) is one of the 25 photos I provided for the site.

There was actually a mess of telephone wires crisscrossing the shot and intersecting the crane silhouettes, the removal of which involved some serious to do. But since the image was part of the site’s footer, and hence would appear on every page, I felt it warranted the time investment.

Unedited photo of cranes in Kure City
Photo as shot
Deep Kure crane silhouette footer image
After editing and retouching
(Note: the sky fades to white in order to blend with the website)

The biggest technical challenges involved the Multisite setup. Not so much Multisite installation — since that’s a reasonably straightforward affair — but setting up the infrastructure of the site so that it would work smoothly with mirrored content in multiple languages (English and Japanese). For this, I relied on two plugins, MultilingualPress to create a content management user interface mirrored content, and Multisite Shared Media to link the media library between the two sites. Both are great solutions that I strongly recommend.

MultilingualPress also links mirrored content, so clicking the language change link in the menu takes you to the corresponding translation. Very slick.

Deep Kure website in Japanese
Japanese mirror site

One other technical challenge involved post authorship. Deep Kure would sometimes feature multiple authors for a given post, or an author and a separate photographer. And the author(s) would sometimes be contributors who won’t have a site login. So the bylines for the posts needed to be flexible. I achieved this with a combination of two plugins (Advanced Custom Fields and Co-Authors Plus) along with some custom coding I added to the child theme.

Writing & Editing

Most of the text for Deep Kure amounted to short descriptions of places — museums, historical landmarks, viewspots and the like — which others wrote and I edited. Many of the short descriptions were based on a guidebook put out by LEK (Let’s Enjoy Kure), the group behind this project.

I did write the About page, however, and approached it as a sales page selling readers on the idea of coming to Kure.


So many gorgeous places to photograph for this project.

Most of the shots were landscapes or other large subjects like buildings and ships and submarines, so my wide angle lens saw a lot of action. In many cases, I combined 3-5 exposures (exposure blending) in order to capture maximum detail from bright and dark areas of the composition.

Here’s an example before and after…

Interior of Irifuneyama Memorial Museum
Photo as shot
Interior of Irifuneyama Memorial Museum
After exposure blending, editing, and retouching

All in all, I shot, edited, retouched, and/or exposure blended 25 deliverable photos for the site.

Site Name and Logo

Deep Kure logo

For the logo, my client wanted something that captured Kure’s maritime image in a friendly way while skirting around any militaristic connotations. After settling on the name “Deep Kure,” we ping-ponged ideas until at last arriving at the submarine as best befitting the site’s concept and title.

I did up the submarine in a cartoon style, gave it a shape reminiscent of a deep sea explorer, and set it in pink to really drive home that “this ain’t a war vessel” vibe. Plus I happened to learn that pink is my client’s favorite color, so I figured it’d be a win. And a win it was.

On a related point, for the link to the About page in the sidebar, I used a circular frame on the image as a periscope tie in.

Business Card

Not to toot my own horn, but I like the playful aspect of these cards with the submarine logo on the front and the periscope concept on the back. Pretty fun, and a big hit with the client.

Deep Kure business card
Front of card
Deep Kure business card
Back of card
(Note: contact info changed to protect privacy)

Anyway, I think it’ll make a splash. (sorry, couldn’t resist…)

My Favorite Part

Hopping around Kure City with my camera in hand, learning about and photographing some two dozen fascinating places, and then editing/blending the shots back home with my Wacom Tablet and a cup of tea. My kind of gig.

See the results: