Illustrations by the Modicum team

How we built Salem an electronic press kit without witchcraft

Witches and the latest technology

Salem is a historical fantasy drama series inspired by the 17th century Salem witch trials. It’s the first original-scripted series by WGN America, and for them, it’s a seriously big deal. Before the show hit the air, WGN needed a fancy sales tool with electronic press kit (EPK) features for their salespeople to use on the go to impress and excite prospective advertisers. Because of the project’s high-visibility, WGN wanted to take full advantage of the latest technology to find an innovative solution.

Witches on iPads

We proposed an EPK app specifically designed for mobile tablets (both iOS and Android). WGN was on board with this idea and liked how video and pre-production photography could be incorporated. Because Salem was deep into pre-production during the app development phase, the only materials the client could provide was a logo treatment (appropriately set in a haunting landscape). Because of the nature of the project, we were able to incorporate historical materials and use all that as inspiration for the look and feel.

Password-protected witches

Since the app was for the exclusive use of the WGN sales team, we suggested bypassing the Apple and Android app stores and deploying it behind the scenes to each of their team members. Since the show was still hush-hush and the producers wanted to keep many details from the general public to create an air of mystery, we added hardcore password protection to the EPK. This also assured that the details of the show would not land in the hands of competitors.

Witches renewed

In the end, the Salem press kit app looked great and was appropriately creepy. After a successful first season, Salem was renewed for a second. Whether that was the based on the merits of the show itself, the power of our app, or straight-up witchcraft, we will never know.

Need interactive sales tools for your organization?

View samples of mobile apps we’ve designed for our clients.

Originally published at on April 8, 2016.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.