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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
I don't usually give people perfect scores, but this company outshined all others by a margin that deserves the review. They were affordable, accurate, detailed and timely. Best of all, they imagined a great design for our marketing push. Thank you Ainsworth!
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:
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.
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.
Copy the code below and place it into the <head> section of your website just before the </head> tag.
There are all sorts of roundups for “Best Design Firm” or “Most Inspiring Designers” and maybe to gain some “street cred” in the blogosphere you have to post your own. Maybe? Maybe not. Either way, I just wanted to write a post and thank these guys. The only two I don’t know much about are Paul Lee and Kyle Steed, but the others I’ve been following for quite a while. I know most of the guys on this list are fathers which is why I like them that much more – they’re just like me, balancing a self-employed career while maintaining Father/Husband of the year. Anyhow, here are 5 graphic designers that inspire me: