Well done is better than well said.

Benjamin Franklin#

“Success is not counted by how high you have climbed but by how many people you brought with you.”


Perseverance or Passivity

Perseverance and Passivity

Perseverance, I’ve been thinking about this subject a lot lately, it and passivity. I’m just going to write my raw thoughts, please forgive me if it seems all over the place.

We recently watched the Discovery series called “When We Left Earth” (links to iTunes) about the NASA program of visiting the moon. It was amazing how these scientists and engineers were able to put men into a completely unknown and keep pressing further until they sent astronauts who spent over three days on the moon! Incredible.

But, NASA got passive, TWICE. They had two horrible accidents where astronauts lost their lives. NASA had become so successful they felt they could do no wrong and they became sloppy. Where they normally would’ve triple-checked wiring, alarms, etc. they became permissive. Both accidents were easily preventable.

I’ve heard it said that: “You are always in one of three situations in your life, Coming out of a storm, Going into a storm, or Standing in the middle of a storm.” How easy it is to slip into a mode of normalcy, comfort. Storms are difficult and when we finally come out of them, we just want to bunker down and say “no more” – we forget to look ahead, we forget to prepare, we become permissive. My favorite quote from Balboa is when Rocky is talking to his son and he says: “This life will beat you to your knees. It’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”

When I was setting up my business I was always looking ahead. Trying to gauge where the company would be, where it was headed, trying to sell website and graphic design services, set up systems, etc. Now, these actions are not as consistent and only thought about every once in a while, things are changing after this. Perseverance. I am choosing to be diligent in all aspects of my company and hope to revisit this post several times a year as a reminder.

I guess what I’m trying to say in this post is, don’t forget to look ahead and prepare. Life comes at you fast and it ain’t fair, it will beat you to your knees but perseverance is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

What aspects of your business/life/family/health have lost your attention?

Website Design Inspiration

Website Design Inspiration or how-to solve problems

As a website designer and graphic designer, I’m always looking for inspiration. Designing anything really, whether a logo, website or building, is about problem solving. The first thought for me is always: this item I’m designing has a purpose, what is it and how do I design so this item fulfills it’s purpose to it’s fullest.

Currently I’m designing a logo for an electrical company and I’m going through the process of answering those questions with the owner of the company but, let’s take a website for this example. A website’s purpose for this electrical company would be two-fold: Informative / trust building and Viewer becoming a customer.

So while designing the website, the primary goal will be for the viewer to contact the electrical company for services. The secondary / building block goal is for the viewer to trust the electrical company and it’s employees.

This is now where I would visit the inspiration sites and view “Call Out” buttons. What “call outs” are the most effective? Also, what builds trust? What sites do I see that seem trustworthy? What colors do they use? What style photography? etc.

I go to two different sites mainly for my inspiration:

site inspire

Site Inspire

Pattern Tap


Pattern Tap


Website Development for Faith Seminary

Website Development for educational facility

Website Development for higher education can be difficult, luckily working with Faith Seminary was a joy. This project I will term, Operation Clarity. The Seminary is an amazing facility, I know because I’m an alumni of Faith Seminary. I’m still waiting for my honorary Doctorate of Awesomeness from them though (hint, hint Alison).

Within two days of launching this site, it was picked up on several CSS galleries (this is a case study for those of you who are interested in that kind of thing). A new website design brought in an average of 300 unique visitors per day from a previous average of 8, this in turn raised their registration rate to the point of overflowing. Check out the website we developed and if you’re looking to get your Master’s or Doctorate, I highly recommend Faith Evangelical Seminary.

Graphic Design firm for First Western Properties

Graphic Designer Firm for First Western Properties

The guys over at First Western Properties asked the Graphic Design Firm – Ainsworth Studio to build an online interactive map for a piece of land in Poulsbo, WA called “College Marketplace.” This interactive map would help customers examine the square-footage and price of the land, just by doing a mouse rollover on the map.

If the customer wants more information, they can click on the plot of land, or just skim over all the available info on the pop-up windows. If they do decide they want more info each plot has plenty of pictures for them to examine. The new website has been praised for being uncomplicated and highly functional.

First Western Properties loved the website we built for them so much, they became a regular cutomer using us on multiple graphic design and website projects.

Website Designer for Appliance Store

Website Designer for Couch’s Appliance

Couch’s Appliance in Fife, WA located just outside of Tacoma was needing a redevelopment of their website. They were referred to Ainsworth Studio as a freelance website designer but got far more than they expected. We were able to drastically change the look of their site and bring it to a more contemporary feel that matches the store.

Don Couch hired Ainsworth Studio to develop a new internet web presence for his appliance store. If you need a new appliance or mattress check out their amazing showroom. Also, don’t forget to check their website for their clearance and sales section that we built for them.

UPDATE: Couch’s Appliance shut down in a baffling way, it surprised us all: Couch’s Appliance is closed?

First Logo we designed

The First Logo we designed as a logo designer

While still in college, learning to be a logo designer/graphic designer, I was approached by a non-profit organization that supports families by providing supervision and direction for youth through after-school, holiday and summer enrichment programs in the area. This organization, Community Partners with Youth, had just started and was looking for some direction. I took the project very seriously as I was in my junior year of college and I was getting paid for this job, a whole $50!

I sketched probably 40 different ideas and brought them all to the office to present. The sketch for this logo was the decided winner. I then spent what seemed like forever converting it into a vector format file, probably around 5 hours. I think I was using Photoshop version 2 and Illustrator 3? back on Mac OS 7!!! Good times.

To give you an idea of doing this now, because I don’t have the logo in my files, I re-created this logo in Illustrator in under 10 minutes.

Community Partners with Youth

leadership, doing the right thing

Leadership as a graphic design firm

Leadership is just a series of moments where you do the right thing. As a graphic design firm who is focused on integrity, doing the right thing in every situation is our goal. The below article is a great challenge and reminder of how a great company and it’s leadership should function. If you or your company function like this, contact us – we’d love to work with you.

Leadership is comprised of a series of moments, and it can be difficult to sort out individual moments over time.  A continual leadership challenge is to be aware of which moments matter and what to do about them.

Read more here


How to add an Apple Icon

Apple Icon – how-to add one to your website

An Apple Icon shows up on an iPhone or iPad when your website is saved as a shortcut or quick link. If you are viewing this site on an iOS device, try clicking the shortcut button (bottom center icon looks like a square with an arrow shooting out the upper right corner) and clicking “save to home screen”.

This will place a quick-link to ainsworthstudio.com and our custom apple icon will appear. If there is no apple icon embedded on a website, the device takes a snapshot of that website and creates an icon from the snapshot – meaning: no branding, missed opportunity.

How-To place an apple icon on your site:

  1. Design an image to use as your apple icon. Open Photoshop or something similar and create your icon at 57px by 57px wide. Remember that simplicity is key.
  2. Now upload your image to your own website or a free photo hosting website like Google’s Picasa. Once uploaded, copy the URL for the icon and paste it into a blank microsoft word document or textedit.
  3. Copy the code below and place it into the <head> section of your website just before the </head> tag.
    <link href=”[Image URL]” rel=”apple-touch-icon” />
  4. Replace [Image URL] with the URL that you copied from step 2.