Vehicle graphic detail

Vehicle graphic detail

After 40+ years Chapman’s Dog Grooming of Antioch is going mobile! Here is a closeup of part of the graphics I am doing for the mobile grooming vehicle.

The image of the dog is high resolution so it’s enough for printing on the door of the vehicle and the grass and bubbles were created in Adobe Illustrator so they could be scaled at various sizes. It’s not complete yet but I will be posting updates as the project moves along. I have to credit tutsplus for the wonderful tutorial on how to create realistic bubbles!.

2012 EPS Adobe Illustrator Calendar

I thought I would share this 2012 calendar template I did for my parents dog grooming buisiness. After 40+ years they are now taking the business on the road and going mobile. This calendar was a handout in december and a way to alert existing customers of the change.

If you have Adobe Illustrator or another program that reads EPS files feel free to download and reuse.



[button link=”” color=”silver” newwindow=”yes”] 2012 EPS Calendar[/button]




My review of the SF 2011 An Event Apart

My review of the SF 2011 An Event Apart

My random thoughts on the 2011 San Francisco An Event Apart that took place on December 12 – 14 

First I have to say this is one of the best conferences I have ever been to but I am told from other attendees that the other An Event Apart conferences are always good. I guess this one was no exception.

The conference was held at the Palace Hotel on Montgomery Street. December is such a lovely time to be in the city. Not only does the Palace Hotel have a gorgeous dining room when you first walk in but it currently has a very large Christmas tree that draws your eyes upward to their gorgeous ceiling.

Christmas Tree at the Palace Hotel

The theme for this conference was all about three days of design, code and content. If I were to rename the event the title would be “Keep it Simple!”.

The subject of content on the web and how we manage content  was the common thread running through all the presentations. How can we use new technologies and strip it down to just the content we seek? The reason we want to do this is to increase conversion rates by getting that consumer the product they want or getting that student the information they need on a university website.

Can the web user and get that content fast and without confusion. This was especially hammered home in the workshop on mobile web design the 3rd day. “Think mobile first” when designing a website and then use progressive enhancement and flexible grids that will scale for larger devices.

Why they hammered mobile first is we need to get that most important content down to 80% of the real estate we had before on the desktop. There is no way to do that except to make that user interface just plain simpler.

There was scads of statistics backing why we should care about mobile. In a nutshell mobile devices will surpass desktop devices by next couple of years in term of how we access web content. If we don’t adapt then they won’t be able to get people to our content.

Keeping an eye on our goal as web content creators

The web is a constantly changing beast of new technologies but the back bone is the old idea that it’s a collective of content we seek. Isn’t that what a library is – a place to seek information?  It is yet now we can buy stuff there as well so it’s a repository for anything and everything.

If I had to sum up the conference with just one slide it would be from Kristina Halvorson presentation on A Content Strategy Roadmap that is of a lighthouse in a storm. A symbolic photo representing our clearly defined goals that is shining brightly in this chaotic storm of stuff that we must sift through. A clear definition of that lighthouse goal can create a quicker path for everyone.

This may seem like common sense but so often we as developers and designers we get so bogged down in the details. This conference was a reminder that yes it is hard to see the forest through the trees but we need to be nimble and rise above the land to see the scale of what we are dealing with.

The Event Apart Conference took three days to tell us what we already know but we get so lost in the minutia of technological complexities that we forget. We’ve forgotten as large organization of individual departments what our ultimate goal is. It’s the content and how to get it.

Following the scent

Through-out the three days the phrase “the scent of information” and the analogies to a fox following the scent trails to find the rabbit. If we lead the web user to a dead end then they’re ultimately a lost sale or a frustrated customer relationship. By cleaning up CSS code, examining form UI and other best practices we can dramatically increase conversion rates. We can keep the customers happy and deliver the content people seek with the least amount of clicks.

Exploring the why this frustration happens was explored in detail as to how our agendas and lack of clear end goals get in the way of production of good content and what to do about.


Notes on each session

Did I mention how good the food was?

I took copious notes during the presentation but so did one of the presenters and the facilitator of the 3rd day mobile workshop, Luke Wroblewski. Here are the links to his summation of each of the presentations as well as his website that houses content to much of what he spoke about at his workshop. His understanding and grasp of each presenters knowledge was better than my own so I thought I would share them instead.

Poodle in black

Poodle in black

I just couldn’t pick a favorite so here they all are. I got a chance to photograph a pup of a different color this weekend and I have to say it was a little bit of a challenge. Her fur is inky black so I chose to photograph her against black and let the light from the window create highlights on her fur that would define her shape. For the most part I think it worked. Help me pick a favorite?