What I have been up to lately…

I have been busy working on a variety of different projects. These projects have been both web design and graphic design related projects. I have fallen behind in posting these projects for people to see. I thought I would post a little update as a review of what I have done this year.

First let me show you some of the Graphic Design projects I have done so far this year. Since we still have a little more time left in this year, I am sure I will turn out a few more things. Not going to hatch those eggs yet, though. I am not going to go all the way back to the beginning of the year here, but I will give you a few highlights.

At the beginning of this year, I turned out a magazine ad for JJ Smith and WinnerViews that was featured in many Pageantry Magazines. He was delighted with the results.

In January, the ad was on this version. I have to state this because the ad has undergone a few changes over the past couple of years. Some of these changes have been subtle, others a bit more extreme. Overall the ad carries the same message.

By April, we had made a few more of the subtle changes. Like I said, they were subtle. Many of the changes the ad undertake reflect the new “title holders” and or regulations with using said “titles” in ads with particular magazines and program books. Evidently it is not kosher to use certain “titles” in certain pageant program books. I am not 100% clear on all the details on this. I just do what I am told when I am told to make the changes. I just know that there are 3-4 versions of the ad when I am done in the end.

By October, we were up to the third revision for the year. Changes to reflect some of the changes in his business line-up – Think Twice Fashions. Kind of exciting since I am now looking at creating ads for the dress boutique as well. These will be a two page spread of ads. I am pretty excited about that.

This summer I was wrapping up some work for a couple of food storage reps/distributors. This was a project a long time in the making.

The first thing finished was the primary logo early this year. It took many revisions and evolutions to get to what we have. It was not what we started with. I am really pleased with the final results.

They wanted some more elaborate branding images to go with it. While I am not completely sure why they wanted these, I do understand that sometimes you need other images to help market your business and products. The products themselves were not in need of marketing, but their business was.

By March we had finally agreed on this. There are multiple color combinations of this, but this is the one they favored most. I have to say that it was not necessarily my first choice, but it is still one of the more attractive combinations. This is still a representation of their logo concept. While I personally would have favored it using the same font as the “primary logo” it works. They wanted to use this on their clothing and banners they were having made up for events. I think this would look nice on an apron. Completely appropriate.

We took this same branding image and turned it into a “share us” icon image/banner/button on their website. This is a nice way for other people to share their like of the products and the website on their website. Nice marketing tactic.

Overall, I am happy with the look and feel of both of these logo and/or branding images.

 In April they had decided that they needed a clean Facebook image. I am more than happy to create Facebook cover images for people. They are actually fun to make and implement. They wanted their logo but also something that indicated what they did. They did not want to state specifically what they were selling. I think there were some specification on what they could and could not do with the name of the products in certain media forums. They could brand themselves, but not themselves with that product.

In May, we had finished the website. Initial launch was not without issues and we almost immediately took the site down. It went back up by the first part of June.

Of course, by July they had decided that it was not going to meet their needs or wants after all. I am not entirely sure at this point. I am still trying to figure out which it is. You have to figure this out or any redesign is futile. I am waiting for them to come to me with a solid plan for the redesign, something that will indicate that they know what they want and which direction they want to take it. The reason I am insisting on this is because I do not want to waste my time on futility.

In August, I finished a logo for a Texas Custom Home Builder that was relocating and was needing something for his new business he was taking to Port Aransas, Texas. If anyone is in the area, you should look him up. He has some interesting concepts for home building.

We are currently working on the website. A few setbacks in the schedule with their move and some server issues at Stacey Sansom Designs, but we should be back to work on the website soon. Hopefully we will have a progress shot of the website soon. I am excited to showcase the homes he will be building in Gulf Coast Texas.

November brought an change of plans due to some server issues at Stacey Sansom Designs, forcing me into a much needed server upgrade decision and a site redesign. It also motivated me to get moving on a project that I just needed to get done. I cannot show you one of those yet as it is not quite ready to show yet, but it is moving forward. I am waiting to put some content in and it should be moving forward soon.

The exciting news is that we have a new server with much newer technology to replace the two aging servers we had been renting. I am really excited about this. While it increased the upfront cost of one server, the overall monthly operating costs should stay fairly consistent. The newer technology means that I can scale the server to fit my needs as I need it. I am not stuck as I grow. As I need more I can just scale it up. If I have a website that needs more server computing power, I can give it more without sacrificing performance to my other websites. I am really excited about this because I do host a couple of larger websites that do take a bit of bandwidth.

With this change, however, forced a complete redesign of a website that has needed it for a very long time. This was a complete overhaul. It was a very fast and total overhaul in order to efficiently move the website.

First it was the logo. I was never overly thrilled with the original logo that was done for the website originally. It was a rush job to get the website up and running many years ago. It never got redone and there never really seemed to be any rush to redo it. No pressing need and no one ever seemed to be in a hurry to have it redone. Hence while I was never thrilled with it, it was not something that was rated real high on my priorities list. It was one of those things labeled, “if I ever get around to it.” Unfortunately (or fortunately, whichever way you look at it), in November I was forced to get around to it. This was mainly due to the fact that I was not doing a rush job to do a complete website redesign and put this logo that I was completely unhappy with on it.

I am very happy with the new results of the new Texas Sport Karate logo. This has not even gone live to the public as of today’s date (December 6, 2013). You are the very first to see it. I have decided that I really like designing logos for Texas based companies that incorporate Texas in the name and want to incorporate the Texas “feel” into the logo. There is a lot of similarity between the logos, but there is only so much you can do with the Texas Flag and the state of Texas. They go perfectly inside each other.

The website is ready to go live – again. It is currently live in its old state. I am ready to take the newly designed website live. I am thrilled with the results. I am hopeful that people will enjoy the new format and find it much easier to use. I am also thrilled that it is in a much more user-friendlier platform so it will be easier to update and maintain. I am sure this will encourage faster article turn around and thus more karate editorials and tournament news. If you are interested in this, stay tuned for more.

I will be managing the advertising on the website so if anyone is interested in an advertising spot, please make sure you get in at the introductory rates. These are sure to fill up quickly. This is a great place to advertise your martial arts based companies, products, and events. These spots are not limited to these businesses or events, of course, but we have kept the prices low to encourage these types of entities to advertise. This is the target audience obviously.

So far that is what is new and exciting right now. I have a few more projects I am working on. A couple of logo designs and a couple more websites. I just cannot share those yet as they are not near the completion stages. I will share them as I get them completed or near a stage that they can be shared. Hope that you have enjoyed seeing some of the stuff that I have been up to this year.

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