Kind Words

Will Amato led me gently into the design of my first website, many moons ago, and I’ve never looked back. Over more than a decade we’ve serially re-designed it along the lines of a video arcade, an art gallery, a self-service copyleft rights-acquisition mall, and, when my publisher or vanity required it, a simple but alluring billboard for my then-most recent book. None of this is anything I could ever have done for myself, not even close, and all of it was a pleasure. My gratitude is everlasting.   — Jonathan Lethem

Will brought intelligence, professionalism, efficiency, and an eye for detail to everything he did. Going forward, I see him not just as a designer but a creative partner in a larger sense, someone whom I would look to for his sensibility and technical skill.   —Charles Yu

Will is so intuitive and sharp that he always comes to our first conversations about my site (which he’s redesigned for me several times) with a ton of ideas and visuals that are so in line with my books and my thoughts that it’s almost eerie. He works with speed and grace and makes the experience incredible easy for tech-ignorant writer like me.  —Attica Locke

Will is full of great ideas and web skills and animation sparks and he also is very fun to collaborate with– it was a treat bouncing ideas off him and seeing what he came up with. A flying colander! Filled me with delight.— Aimee Bender

Along with a great editor, a superb agent, and a supportive spouse, Will Amato is a writer’s best friend. He gets the essence of a writer and her work in a way that can only be called genius. And creates beautiful websites. He radically changed in the best ways how I reach my public online.  — Peter Heller

Will Amato is a web design genius — his animation of the cover of Quiet Dell should be on billboards across America. And he is relatively patient with cyber idiots who can only appreciate his immense skills from a certain Donna Reed distance (google her).”  — Jayne Anne Phillips

Will has a great aesthetic, and at the same time an uncanny sense for the right look and mood for whomever he is designing for. He’s great at leading the way with a bolt of inspiration, and equally great at allowing the design to unfold through collaboration — at gradually transforming (your) sketchy and half-formed ideas into (his) solid, beautiful, lucid design. Plus he’s fun to work with, too.  — Nicole Krauss

There are generic websites, and then there are websites built by Will Amato. Each one speaks in its own voice. Somehow Will distills the essence of a writer, a book, an authorial voice, and puts it on the screen. When I needed a site for myself and my novel, Will gave me what I wanted. But he also gave me what I didn’t yet know I wanted. He was patient with my bad ideas and always found a way to come up with a more excellent version of what I’d first envisioned. The end result is a site that not only represents what I am, but who I am, in a deeply insightful way. I’m not sure how he does it. I’m not sure I want to know. But I am sure that were I ever to need this kind of work again, I’d knock on Will’s door, and not go away until he answered.  —Howard Rodman

Anyone can create a website. (Well, not anyone: mine looked like a fifth-grade science project before Will got his hands on it.) What very few people can do is what Will does, which is to bring to the nuts and bolts of website creation an uncanny aesthetic intuition–partly literary, partly psychological, wholly artistic–that allows him to come up with the perfect visual equivalent for an author’s words and style. He is also insanely easy-going, in that John Wayne-ish way he has; totally cool; and incredibly good at replying to desperate emails at sometimes-crazy hours. I already miss working with him and am racing to finish my new book just so I can have an excuse to keep emailing him.  — Daniel Mendelsohn

Will Amato is a visionary, an alchemist, an artist and a really great therapist, too. He goes above and beyond; he actually listens, transmutes the gooblygock into a coherent, elegant world. In my case, in less than three minutes, he envisioned the cover art for my book. A one-of-a-kind experience I will never forget. He is dynamic and empathetic, and goes above and beyond the making of a website. Way beyond.  — Deborah Henry

I love collaboration, but when it comes to website design, I also appreciate the opinion of a seasoned pro. I got what I needed from Will, who is equal parts art director and author’s best friend. He is elegant, efficient, and easygoing—and clearly a lover of words as well as images. He’s also a perfectionist who cares as much about the little details as he does the big picture. Maybe he’s actually a writer himself. Does anyone know if he has a pen name?  — Brooke Hauser

With visual elegance and a sly surprise of wit, Will Amato could be forgiven if he cloaked himself in some foul brocade of ego and blowhard vanity. Instead, he is a perfectionist possessed of a sophisticated spirit of play. Will’s brain does not “work” on designing a website – it stilt walks, unicycles, juggles imaginary planets, pedals Beckett’s bicycle backwards, his whole design-circus illumined by a voracious passion for music, art, philosophy, literature and the labyrinthine, self-devouring history of the odd. I imagine if Will Amato were to design an alternate world to this one, a great many of us would be clamoring to strap ourselves into winged champagne bottles and disguised as books, paintings, opera divas or some old, honking trombone, fly there.  – Melissa Pritchard

The beauty, ease of navigation, and joie de vivre of websites designed by Will Amato are plainly evident. It’s also obvious that this talented designer eschews the cookie-cutter approach. Each site he creates is unique—possessed of its own style and designed to meet its own singular purposes. But what casual visitors to those sites cannot know is Will’s ability, during each site’s creation, to listen to his clients and to ask the right questions about their needs, and, in the end, build the perfect site for each client. Whether you are, like me, launching your first web-site or are an old hand at such matters, I highly recommend, without reservations, the splendid work of Will Amato.   — Tom Chaffin

Will Amato is the Van Gogh of web design. He has the soul of a poet, the mind of a mad genius, the fascinations of a savant, and the drive and execution of of a man who not only knows exactly what he wants to achieve but how he will achieve it. I never felt adrift or frustrated or belittled working with him. To the contrary: I was sad when our collaboration came to a close. I missed his deep, calming voice on the other end of the line. I missed all those tiny moments of grace when I’d say, “Wait, how are we going to deal with x?”, and he’d suggest an idea, and I’d think to myself, Oh my god, that’s fucking brilliant.  — Deborah Copaken Kogan
Will Amato has the eyes and intuitive powers of an artist and the skills of the website wizard he is, in a league all by himself. Working with him is a joy and an adventure–the kind of adventure where you, the one who needs a website, might think you know what’s going to happen, and then he wows you with the one thing it really had to be. I’m in awe of the little touches he puts in that seem so minor and yet make a huge difference, like the shadows he added to his figures on my home page. I mean, how many other designers make light and shadow on a home page?  — Ellen Cooney

Will is uncannily — and perhaps even psychically — astute. An artist who happens to have a shrink’s listening skills and a bartender’s wry humor, he is a delight to collaborate with. Creating a website together provided all the joy of creating without the anguish that usually comes with it. Will generated great idea after great idea, and somehow managed to figure out how they all went together. The end result was….wow!  — Daphne Beal

Will translated my work into a visual form that is more beautiful, smarter, and more original than anything I ever could have imagined, while also making a site that really works. It’s all so elegant and gorgeous that I kind of want to move into it and live there. He’s the best.  — Stacey D’Erasmo

I’ve never met Will. He’s a deep voice on a phone in California, possibly not even human. He listens, he interprets, he reacts and you end up with a website that’s much more than all those half-baked ideas you threw in his direction. He expresses what you were trying to express, only better.  — Nicholas Griffin

With Will Amato as your web designer you get a person with some pretty great technical chops. But big deal. There are a million punks out there who can slap together some whizbang HTML. The difference is with Will, you’re getting an artist. Not just an artist in the sense that his work is really good, or even really creative (though it is)… But a person who elevates the task, adapting and condensing that essence of yourself that you’re trying to convey into a succinct, logical, intuitive, and fun analog. And probably the most flattering portraiture you could ever commission. Will is, in fact, brilliant, and one of the most culturally literate people I know. He’s obsessively observant and his nature is to see the connectivity between all avenues of contemporary life. And he’ll see the bigger picture in your work as well.
All that… and a guy you’d like to have a cup of coffee with.  — Mitchell Rose