My friend asked me to put together a ‘simple form’ for his website. It turned out to be far more. These are complex forms and took about 20 hours to build and set up the CGI (Computer Gateway Interface) and spam rejection scripting. The forms and coding on the backend are key to his music instruction business’ success and were worth every penny invested many times over!
A friend of mine is expanding upon his existing wedding entertainment services business by adding the ability to book the services of several photographers. Instead of diluting the marketing focus of his current website he is having me build him a new website to specifically cater to, explain and market this dimension of his existing business. Here are some design concepts I’m pitching as we start to mold this project.
My sister raises ‘old style’ Australian Shepherds on her ranch in Washington State. When I heard she wanted a website (I love my sister and miss her dearly) I of course wanted to drop everything and start to work on this:
I’ll be using HER animal photos instead of the one above but in the mean time I wanted an Aussie on the mock up so that when I add background and choose font colors they will compliment the dogs natural hues.
Or Maybe Black and White?
This is one of my pet projects since 2007 when my 4 year old cat ran away. It has seen many revisions but most of the effort has always been towards enhancing function with very little concern for looks. I’ve decided to put some effort into updating both look and function in addition to streamlining and pruning because it has become devided between a rescue web site and a recovery resource. Going forward all efforts in regard to rescue will be concentrated on the Feline Lifeline website so that lost and found pets and lost pet recovery information can be more focused and on topic. Here are the early redesign efforts. This is a ‘as time allows project’ and will not be completed any time soon, the fully functional ‘quick and ugly’ version still serves the public - and does a good job too.
This is my friends start up company. PSAG is coming out of its first year in business and is beginning to gain momentum. I have been tweaking and upgrading this website a little here and a little there for some time now, fighting a quick and dirty jpeg based design (by someone else) while at the same time trying to preserve the look that my friend worked so hard to perfect. The biggest issues where that the copy on the original website was invisible to ALL search engines because it was rendered as a jpeg image also there was NO css formatting at all used in its design so the site tended to jump around under your mouse pointer when navigating and sort of looked ‘old school html’.
Here’s the original 4 page web design (originally designed by: Scott Kirshner)
Hopefully in the near future we will be adding some animation and special effects to this site in addition to a loan calculator and more credit union partnership links. Another future page will have some customer testimonials I hope as well!
Reworking the logo concept by adding radiuses to corners a city skyline and using state of South Carolina instead of gray blob behind palmetto tree in the center trademark icon. Notice that the loan calculator page link is now present on footer menu – scroll down to see that page finished.
I was asked to come up with an advertising graphic to promote the partnership or PSAG and SCNGFCU. This was designed to be displayed on the front page of SCNGFCU’s web site. I’ll add a screen shot of that as soon as they get it published. Above is my ad layout concept for Palmetto State Auto Group:
This is the ad layout for SC National Guard Federal Credit Unions website:
This is the final published version (a little lighter compared to the concept but more appropriate to the clients tastes and website)
This is the ad on the SCNGFCU website:
Oh yeah, the loan calculator, almost forgot – here it is:
Month of May promotion:
Time for the June advertisement update:
July Advertising Graphics:
Went to work on this one right after I finished up the rehab site but got side tracked a little as it is both a web design and a poster layout as well. Naturally I started on the poster ideas first and was holding the website until after I finished but as usual I completed the web design first. So here is the before and after already on that website and moving forward on the posters this week.
I needed to convert the above .jpg logo to .ai logo vector graphic
Still looking for that weird font?
Poster Final Candidate (click to enlarge):
Well still working on server FTP access as the password seems to be harder to acquire than anticipated. But in the mean time I went ahead and started a new animated and improved version of AFishStore.com for our friends in Sumter. Added some animated bubbles coming up from below in addition to a ‘splash down’ beginning sequence. Really happy with the design so far, but of course there is a lot to polish before it is finished.
Here’s a png – ‘day-one’ check it out (the art and frame work took two days so far)
Here’s a png – ‘day-two’ check it out (this took two days so far)
Day Three of this design adds a second animated layer of larger bubbles in addition to a contact us page, a map and directions page and a customer review page. A Fish Store of Sumter regularly receives RAVE REVIEWS from it customers and I think this kind of thing belongs on their website for sure. (spent most of the day fixing IE compatibility bug).
Here’s a pic linked to the site in progress on my server:
Spent part of the day working on a pearl v5 script ‘email.cgi’ that authenticates form fields and then sends their contents to selected email boxes. Then I built a nice looking, simple and semi transparent email form for A Fish Stores contact us page. I added a little more facial expression to the logo fish in the banner and some bubbles. Expanded the background to stretch across up to 3000px wide screens (covers my giant iMac and then some) and ran into problems with iPhone rendering the background properly. I added additional instructions to the head of each page filtering out smart phones by screen resolution and directing them to a different css style sheet for proper rendering (similar to what you do with Microsofts buggy IE browsers -we all hate – to get things to work but applied in reverse).
A long day – here are the results:
Okay day five here and we’re pretty much wrapping it up. There may be some photo’s from the store to add in later but they will have to be added when they are available as yet they are not so we will publish what we have. 10 pages total including a form sent successfully redirect and an incomplete form ‘go back and fill in empty fields’ redirect. My last day on this project included finishing touches on the graphics, adding a favicon.ico and some testing.
All ten pages are optimized for their topic where relevant to the sites them or ‘nofollow’ where there was no relevance in order to prevent dilution of the websites focus from a search engines point of view. (redirects = nofollow)
Here’s a last look at the graphics that went into this fun little website design:
first this was built in Illustrator
then in Photoshop real sky added above and real water below (w/ added details)
fold and expand so that it wraps around infinitely in a browser
back to Illustrator again for the banner and fishy the mascot fish
more illustrator for moving bubbles small and big
Google Earth rocks!
I photoshopped the center pic on this one adding some extra fish
theres more – go to their web site if you want to see the rest. Here’s some stuff you wont see incorporated into the fishy design but experimented with…
This was a really fun project and turned out pretty much just like I wanted it too. I tried some very realistic background fish and animals in the visual theme but they just distracted from the desired focal point and basically stole the show. The cartoon fish works well as a branding icon and logo in addition to NOT stealing the show. This theme reminds me of a children’s book by Helen Palmer about a fish that ate too much and grew too big.
on to Saluda BHS for now…
Welcome to the sdwebcraft design blog. This is my first of many posts logging in my web and graphic design projects in progress.
I’ll be doing a major overhaul and upgrade of the SaludaBHS.com alcohol and drug counseling and rehab website next. Saluda Behavioral Health System is located in Saluda SC on 204 N Ramage St.
This web design upgrade will take about a week and a half. but I’m budgeting two weeks to be on the safe side.
Here is the ‘before’ work begins picture:
So far I’m on schedule with Saluda BHS although server access is going to be a problem as the CMS for this one requires I set up a mysql database and manipulate and test the php intensive build with ‘live’ access to my database. I have begun the graphic design portion of the program and the site file structure and content creation are already underway. I’m optimizing for drug and alcohol dependency and counseling solutions and intend for this one to rank well in multiple search engines for my targeted keywords. I really should be putting all of those steps on the SEO blog and probably will as soon as the project takes on some momentum. I’m all stop and wait now on that FTP password.
Back to work on Saluda BHS with a nice photo of the Pearson Falls for a banner and a WordPress powered CMS setup. I’m concentrating on the content right now the graphics are being roughed in a little at a time so you’ll see this one morph into it’s final form slowly over the next few days.
I started with the basic ‘twenty-ten’ theme:
Then after editing some php files and the style.css file comments are turned off and all references removed from the visible pages. Next I drafted a new background image with rounded corners and gradient shading (this will be added too a great deal later) and customized the banner image and menu.
Step two completed here:
Adding search engine optimized copy and basic facts:
A Google Earth maps plugin for ‘our location’ page:
Contact form with spam filter and blocker:
I’ll be building content for the next day or so and to break up the tedium I’ll do some graphic enhancement along the way. This is NOT a big budget project so the time I spend on graphics will be free of charge and done strictly to satisfy my own artistic interest in the design.
More to come on this over the next few days.
I’m getting close to finished on this one. Just a few photo’s of the staff to add once available and some minor graphics tweaks here and there. I love WordPress for rapid deployment, functionality and of course the content management system is great. For jobs where function, utility and CMS are the priority this is the the way to go. Limitations are mostly in the artistic appeal and unusual one of a kind look area. Even this can be overcome and with some patient reverse engineering.
Lastly I added a nice drop shadow to the background to finish it up: