During November/December 2012 Will spent time researching the factors that make up a Christmas hit single. Having spent several days listening to and analyzing some festive favourites he drew up his list of vital ingredients.
Then, applying some Yuletide illustrations and a dollop of Photoshop magic, he brought that journey (and his findings) to life in an infographic for the production music library Audio Network.
An infographic by Will Strauss and the team at Audionetwork
Will Strauss has designed and built a new website for London-based cake maker and decorator Rania Masri who works under the moniker The Cake Fairy.
Cakefairyness.com is a site that showcases Rania’s Hand Decorated Cakes and Hand Decorated Cup Cakes. It includes a large gallery of both Cakes and Cup Cakes, some background about Rania and a price list. Importantly, it also provides visitors with lots of opportunities to get in touch with Rania should they require more information.
The design is based around a logo supplied by Rania. Although Will had to recreate the logo from scratch in the absence of a high resolution version, he remained faithful to the original, cute colour scheme of pinks and yellows.
Font choice was particularly tricky as the original logo was created using the over-used Curlz MT font, an option unavailable as a web font. Instead Will opted for the Google font Mystery Quest which has similar properties but is a little sharper and angular and marginally less flouncy.
Site furniture plays an important role with Cakefairyness.com. The contact form is constant and the footer has been used to raise awareness of various cake options that are available including flavours and types. The appearance of certain signposting elements varies depending on the page you visit. This was done using the ‘Dynamic Widgets’ plug-in in order to increase stickiness and to help direct people around the site easily and point them in the direction of the things that The Cake Fairy wanted to emphasize.
Custom CSS is used for hover states that attract the eye and add emphasis, tooltips are used to highlight vital information and tabs are used to add visual interest to the price list.
The site is built using the Catalyst Framework. This gives the site a WordPress back-end, allowing the client to add her own content as and when required without the need for developer or web editor intervention.
Finally, custom graphics were created, including delivery truck signs, chalkboard calls to action and the like. For this work Will used Photoshop.
In addition to the design and build of the website Will also wrote the on-page copy (including calls to action) and the metadata, provided Google with an XML sitemap and linked the site to Google Analytics.
Will Strauss recently put together a marketing campaign for the broadcast equipment hire company HotCam.
Devised to promote the use of the Sony F800 and encourage the move from tape-based production to tapeless workflows, the main aesthetic was based around the idea that some producers consider file-based technology to be somewhat alien. With this as a starting point – and keen to create a campaign that was both eye-catching and humorous – Will then used 1950s Sci-Fi B-movies as his inspiration to create a composite design using Photoshop that shows tapeless technology invading earth, specifically London and New York, the two cities in which HotCam has offices.
You can see examples below.
With the major design element completed, Will then re-purposed it for animated leader-board banners and general print adverts. Again, please see below.
With the ads in place, an online landing page was required to give interested parties further information and prompt them to contact HotCam. With HotCam’s own site unsuitable for the job, Will designed and built a simple six-page WordPress microsite at www.filebasedproduction.com. Again, the Alien attack motif was used heavily alongside images of aliens holdings camcorders to reinforce the message. On-page copy was written very specifically to tease people into learning more about the subject and to explore the site.
Calls-to-Action were included, although not in a very in-your-face way as it was important to maintain some semblance of impartiality as the site had been set up as a general file-based production guide, not just a site about HotCam.
The campaign will be kicked of with an email newsletter to HotCam’s existing and potential clients and will be rolled out across Twitter and Facebook, supported by some Google PPC advertising. Banner advertising will used as appropriate.
Some basic SEO will be done in an effort to get the site on page 1 of Google for terms like ‘tapeless workflows’ and ‘tapeless cameras.’
Will Strauss has built a new website for Absolute Music Management (AMM), a music management company based near Sligo in the West of Ireland.
Designed to showcase both the company’s services and the talents of its main client, the Irish singer songwriter Hugh O’Neill, the site features streamed music, video clips, exclusive photography latest news and contact details. Will was also responsible for the new company log, for some of the on-page copy and for populating the site.
AMM asked for a clean and professional look and a structure that was intuitive and easy to navigate. To achieve this Will stuck to a simple colour scheme of black, white and dark red and followed an established pattern for the homepage that includes everything being available in one place. Soundcloud plug-ins provide the audio tracks while Youtube embeds are there for video clips. Although it is not responsive, the site has been designed with the iPad in mind and *should* provide a decent tablet experience.
Devised and built in just under a week, the AMM site has a WordPress back-end to enable AMM to quickly and easily update any element.
The new AMM logo uses a target motif to reflect the company’s single minded approach to music management and its efforts to carefully and accurately promote its clients.
Will Strauss is currently designing and building a website for the Leeds-based ‘Hindi Indie’ band Maggie8. The site is still work-in-progress but you can see where he is with it by going here: Maggie8.
The design has been put together to reflect the mix-and-match nature of the band’s sound, which fuses Western sensibilities with Eastern harmonies. You could describe them as a Bhangra Belle and Sebastian. Others might call them a Hindi Housemartins. Either way, there is a certain ‘patched together’ feel to the way different influences have come together to make-up the band’s unique sound.
With that in mind, the concept is simple: it is a deliberately ‘cobbled together’ site. Built from brown paper and old cardboard, it is stuck together with masking tape and gaffer tape and elements are held up by drawing pins. It’s not so much grungy as ‘homemade.’ I think it works well.
As you’ll see, the site focuses on the main elements that the band want to emphasize: their upcoming live shows, their latest releases and news and their most recent videos. It also acts as a hub for all their social media feeds and links to (and from) any blogging or other online activities they undertake.
I’m still deciding on how to incorporate a ‘call to action’ though, as it’s all quite subtle at the moment. This may have to be looked at in more detail when I get some feedback from the band.
Along with some handcoding and html, Photoshop was used for the majority of the imaging work.
Once the build is done I will do some basic SEO, ensuring metadata meets best practice, submitting sitemaps to Google and doing a bit of inbound link building.
As the site does not have a CMS, I will also offer to update the site on behalf of the band.
Will Strauss is not a designer by trade but he does do a bit of design work from time-to-time. Usually this is web based but as you can see from the examples below, some work is html (like the Soho Square Studios newsletter), some is for printed flyers (eg HotCam’s MBS) and there’s even the odd t-shirt (ie Huawei Symantec.
[button size="medium" color="teal" url="http://willstrauss.co.uk" icon="email"] Content [/button]
Click on the thumbnail to see the whole thing.