Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rotating Gallery Website Challenge

I have to say that I love at times having client projects that push me in a new direction and expand my comfort level as a designer with new skills.  I was taught to never say "no" to a client when they come up with a good idea but to be honest with them "I have never done that before but I will figure out how to do it".  This happened to me earlier this month once again and I am so pleased and happy with the end result.

I began working for a new client of mine Edie Chaska, Professional Interior Designer in Petaluma.  After our first round of designs for a landing page for her website she decided she wanted to incorporate a rotating gallery of images of her work.  Great idea but I have never had to create one of those in HTML format but sure let's do it.  After research, a bit of trial and error, and a lot of manipulation of JAV coding, I was able to create a rotating gallery on her website!!!  

We just got her website home landing page up and running last week and I thought you might want to check it out  http://echaskadesign.com  Below are some still shots of her webpage but it looks beautiful with her 8 slideshow images so view it live too.

I am think of incorporating this rotating gallery coding into some other websites for my clients that currently have Flash swf files in them.  The problem with Flash files are you can not get them to work on most mobile devices or your iPads.  So this rotating gallery code should be just the thing we need to get everyone up to date.  Enjoy the gallery.

Please keep Susan Searway Art & Design in mind for all your graphic and website design projects.  Referrals are always appreciated.  Thank you to Ed Roualdes, Contractor for this great referral to work with Edie.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Busy Weeks Are The Best!

I love my job.  Not only do I get to work with amazing clients and get the honor to promote their companies visually through the print and website world but I also get to be involved in a lot of projects at one time.  That is one thing I like about being a graphic designer and website designer.  I get to work on a variety of different projects in a high paced industry.

This week has been especially fun but very busy.  I thought I would share with you some samples of some projects I have worked on this week.  Now keep in mind some of these projects are complete while others are still in process but you can see a bit of the process I go through with projects.

Marymount Greenhills Retirement Center
These are some earlier proofs from this week of a Tri-Fold brochure I am creating for Marymount Greenhills Retirement Center.  The brochure is going now in a bit of a different direction due to the image I picked for the cover that they provided me is not actually their building but it can give you an idea of some great designs that never get to be seen by the public until now.

Tri Fold Brochure Designed by Susan Searway Art & Design

Tri Fold Brochure Designed by Susan Searway Art & Design
Edie Chaska Design

These are some preliminary website designs for a new client of mine Edie Chaska Design who does beautiful Interior Design work.  I am hopeful to hear comments and feedback next week.

Website Preliminary Designed by Susan Searway Art & Design

Catalyst - Terrie Burns
I have been working with Terrie Burns on a couple of projects recently: developing a Constant Contact newsletter template and a redesign of her website: www.TerrieBurns.com  We just uploaded the files to her website this week.  Feel free to play around and look at her site.  

Website Redesigned by Susan Searway Art & Design

Website Redesigned by Susan Searway Art & Design

 Constant Contact template is still in progress but you can see a sneak peak here...

Constant Contact Design by Susan Searway Art & Design

Simply Inspired
I have been working the past couple of months with Susan Berke of Simply Inspired.  We created a new header for her Constant Contact emailer and now we just finalized an updated look to her business cards that corresponds more with her website look and feel.  It was nice to get them off to the printers this week and I can not wait to see them in person.

Business Cards Redesigned by Susan Searway Art & DesignBusiness Cards Redesigned by Susan Searway Art & Design

Bay Model Visitor Center
I have worked for the Bay Model Visitor Center for over 8 years now being their graphic designer and website designer.  Every other month I am in charge of creating their Bi-Monthly Calendar of Events.  This proof is in progress but a project that I just love because their educational programs are so informative about the environment.  Once their calendar is approved I will create press releases and flyers for each event, update their website, and add the events on various online calendars.
Calendar of Events Designed by Susan Searway Art & Design

Calendar of Events Designed by Susan Searway Art & Design

Ross Valley Wellness Center
I got a surprise email this week to work on a flyer for the Ross Valley Wellness Center.  Connie provided the content and I was in charge of adding a bit of color and images to Connie's newest flyer about Energetic Flu Vaccines to make it pop.  Everyone should go and try this wonderful option for your health.

Flyer Designed by Susan Searway Art & Design

Continental Jewelers
One of my very first clients - Continental Jewelers - who I maintain their website asked me recently if I would also maintain their FaceBook Business Page.  I said sure and because of their weekly and monthly posts I am able to also update their website with new designs from the shop.

FaceBook Business Page  Maintained by Susan Searway Art & Design

Website Updates & Maintenance
Besides working on new projects I have also been maintaining some of my current client's websites.

So that is a little glimpse into the life of me right now and my client's projects.  Besides the above I also have been meeting with potential clients and have been sending out estimates for a future projects.  Please keep Susan Searway Art & Design in mind if you have any print or website needs. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Creating A Logo - True Colors Painting & Decorating, Inc.

A lot of clients and people I know ask me what is the process of creating a logo?

To illustrate a little bit of what I do here is one of my new client's True Colors Painting & Decorating, Inc.  They hired me to create a new logo for their company and to update their business cards for them.

They were great that they already had an idea in mind for their company - using a color wheel that they found online.  Unfortunately the color wheel they had was not in vector art form but was a simple jpg.  This means we had to recreate the color wheel by hand.  So what does that entail - using Illustrator  (one of my favorite design programs).

Above is an illustration of the steps I had to take to recreate their color wheel.  I had to create the circles (White Circles) and scale them to the correct size.  Then I had to create the section lines for each color section (White Lines).  Combine the two elements and then it is the creation of the actual color squares, which once started I discovered that they are not exactly the same so I had to adjust each color square by hand on each of their 4 corners to fit correctly into the color wheel.  There is a total of 468 individual colors squares.  Then I needed to color match the squares to the original color wheel and voila you have a new color wheel that can be reduced in size to be used on a 3.5" x 2" business card or can be expanded to go on signage or a billboard.

Next I take the new color wheel and design 3 different looks and feels for business cards for my client.  It is always fun for me to design and use my creativity while designing any project.  I always like to give my clients at least 2-3 different layouts so that they can decide what visually represents their company the best.  Finally you hear feedback, make adjustments, and finally the client is pleased with the final design.

I hope this helps illustrate a bit of what a graphic designer does for their clients.  I love working on a variety of projects from logo design, advertisements, brochures, educational pieces, exhibits, flyers, posters, identity packages, business cards, mailers, or websites.  Mainly if you need it printed or put on the web Susan Searway Art & Design can help you get it there.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Petaluma Well-Being Center Website

It is wonderful how some clients come into your life from previous work.  One of the nursing teachers from Sonoma State University contacted me about 3 months ago with a possible projects that turned into a new website for the Community For Spiritual Living, Petaluma Well-Being Center.

This project was a bit of a different kind of project.  My client knew upfront that they wanted to make future changes and additions to the website themselves rather then hire a designer to make maintenance updates: additions to their calendar, add in specials, post new blog/newsletter information, etc.

This meant for me looking at creating not a customize website in my favorite programs as Dreamweaver and Fireworks but going to a template website... WordPress was the template program chosen.  Now I have to say that WordPress has some unusual settings and functions that makes working in the program a bit of a pain in the neck for a designer.

Yet after some trial and errors -  readjustments to layout and design, customizing the theme, connecting the domain to hosting servers, correspondence with tech support about a URL redirect, creating menus, setting up Blog page not on the home page, add Plugins of All-in-One Calendar and All-in-One SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by setting up basic SEO, keywords, descriptions, alt tags, and set up a calendar with repeating events throughout the year...

The Petaluma Well-Being Center has an online presence that functions well for both educating people about their facility and services as well as gives them the flexibility to make additions to the website in the future.

It was a pleasure working with them and we are in discussions on a future website project and some graphic design projects.

Check out their entire website at http://petalumawellbeingcenter.org

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Getting Settled

After 4 years of sharing art studio space with my dear friend, Shari Byrnes, I have finally moved into a studio all my own. Located still in Art Works Downtown I have just moved down the hallway from my beloved Studio #24 to my new space Studio #18.

Thought stressful to pack up everything, let some old compositions go, make the big "move" into the new space, find hiding spaces for everything, and then making the new space into my space has taken a lot of time and effort. I could not have done it without the continued support and physical help from my parents, Mark, & my artists friends.

So I am fully moved in, have even painted a couple of days, and I am getting use to my new home. There is an Art Walk this Friday, April 13 5pm-8pm. I'd love to have you visit then or sometime soon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pro-Bono Brochure & Flier for Zephyr Experience

Throughout the year lots of companies and organizations ask graphic designers and website designers to do pro-bono work for them. Sometimes you can afford to volunteer and other times you can't.

For the past four years I have been a member of the Zephyr Experience Committee. Zephyr Experience is a week long spiritual retreat held right on the shorelines of Lake Tahoe in Zephyr Cove. It is a wonderful week full of great classes, relaxing afternoons, fellowship and worship in the evenings.

For the past three years I have donated my services to design their marketing brochure and registration form both for print and email version. Below are images of this years designs. Enjoy and if you want to learn more about Zephyr Experience please let me know.