One summer. Over 25 website LAUNCHES!

WOW.  We had an AMAZING summer at ArtistUpgrade.  An amazingly BUSY summer!  (Yay!)

Just in a few short months, we crafted nearly 30 new brand strategies and launched over 25 new websites.  Not to mention, our existing clients kept us busy with continuing website updates and upgrades (which means YOU were busy, too!).

Busy is good and we couldn’t be happier.  Sadly, our dear old blog was a little neglected during the summer months.  (Sorry blog and avid blog readers!)  We finally had some time to catch our blog back up to speed!  When you get a chance, take your time and have a look through our most recent website launches.

Website LAUNCH! www.BillFrobergVoice.com

Bill Froberg is passionate about voiceovers. With 30 years of communicating in the service industry, Bill had the daily opportunity to listen to, learn from, and speak with people of all ages and all walks of life, telling stories, relaying information, ceaselessly engaged. He believes all of the listening and speaking is in part some of the best training he could have asked for.  His goal was to start marketing his vocal skills more effectively with a new brand image and One Page Voiceover Website.

Designer, Mick collaborated with Bill in crafting his sleek brand imagery and designing his wide One Page Voiceover website.  Bill’s site features his commercial demo, vocal profile, biography, professional training and more.  With a brand image and new website, Bill is now set to take his voiceover career to the next level.  To learn more, visit :

www.BillFrobergVoice.com

 

Website LAUNCH! www.LovingHandsEurope.com

Anna Kogut of Loving Hands Europe is an Advanced Esthetician based in Chicago, Illinois.  She is committed to her clients by combining a European touch with American training to bring superior in-home personal spa treatments.

Prior to coming to ArtistUpgrade, Anna had no online presence or marketing materials.  She needed our help in reaching new clients and providing her current clients with information about her services.    Our designer, Katie, collaborated with Anna to craft her logo, branding imagery, and custom WordPress website design.  Now Anna has a design that matches her personal touch and a website to showcase her many spa services.

www.LovingHandsEurope.com

What Cooking Shows Teach us about Good Web Design

As a graphic and web designer at ArtistUpgrade,  my favorite TV shows are actually… all food related (to name a few : Bravo’s Top Chef, Fox’s Master Chef, Food Network’s Chopped, etc.)  Do I cook? Nope, not really.  Nevertheless, in an effort to justify my expensive cable subscription, I have compiled a list of lessons from cooking shows that I apply daily as a graphic and web designer :

Always start with good ingredients.

Hello! How many times have chefs been eliminated because they used frozen scallops instead of fresh ones? Canned corn instead of off the cob? SO many times. The most successful dishes are those that allow the highest-quality ingredients to shine.

The same goes for web design! There’s only so much “photoshopping” that can be done to a poor-quality actor headshot.  Even the slickest of HTML5 demo players can’t disguise a junky demo. We highly recommend that artists use a professional for their “ingredients” (headshots, voice demos, video reels) before investing in a professional website.

Less is more.

Oh, goodness. This lesson can be applied to both the dish “concept” and the dish “execution.” Remember Marcel Vigneron’s Cherry Tart with Cherry Gelee and Cherry Foam dish that almost got him eliminated from Top Chef Season 2? From start to finish, there was TOO MUCH going on with that dish.

As a designer, sure, I could “bevel and emboss” and “drop shadow” that text til the cows come home. We could also add every photograph taken of you ever to your actor website. But just because we can does not mean we should. The best designs (in my opinion) exercise focus, clarity, and restraint.

Presentation is key.

The judges always say “You eat with your eyes first.” The plating of a dish makes the first impression and can often make or break the dining experience.  It may be the tastiest filet mignon ever imagined… but if it looks more like Puppy Chow, the diner may think otherwise.

This is a no-brainer for web design. You may have the greatest content in the world, but if the web layout is sloppy and convoluted, the visitor will probably get frustrated and leave immediately…then write terrible Yelp reviews about your website.  The best websites have intuitive layout and navigation.  🙂

When in doubt, add bacon.

Okay, not really. But bacon does make everything taste better, right?

And that, my friends, is my analogy between cooking shows and good web design.  If you can think of any parallels, please add them in the comment section below!

— Katie

Website LAUNCH! www.TeszMillan.com

There’s a phrase “write what you know.” And in the case of Tesz Millan, it’s pretty clear, she knows how to be bold and creative. Tesz offers copywriting services spanning all industries and mediums.

The site was a collaboration, highly influenced by the shapes and stylings of a magazine layout. Bold and creative, the site is built around some fantastic professional images provided by the client, that help take the site from simply creative to almost dream-like.

It was a blast working with Tesz, and if you ever need copy written, you’ll get a first-hand taste of her “boldacious-ness”. Check it out at TeszMillan.com!

Website LAUNCH! www.ChristianRosselli.com

Christian Rosselli has the kind of voice that’s fun to listen to, cuts through with the message, and always sounds strangely familiar (maybe because you’ve heard it before). For his design, we needed something modern, fresh, and cool … but simplified.

A logo was provided for the project, so part of the puzzle was how to implement and harmonize the design of the website, with an existing element. We decided to go riff off the simplified nature of the logo, while giving the site a modern twist with subtle animations to what are usually static elements.

The result is a slick, modern, user-friendly website, that after a few seconds of exploration, becomes noticeably more interactive and “cool”. Just like Christian “Cool” Rosselli (that’s his middle name … no it’s not … but it could be). Be sure to check it out!

Website LAUNCH! www.ClaireWilkes.com

Claire Wilkes is a voice talent with a love of nature: the clarity and groundedness, the honesty and peacefulness of the great outdoors. All the qualities she enjoys bringing to her voice over work.

This site went through a few initial design concepts. And while the first results of our collaboration were “good” and “close” … all it took was one step back, a walk around the lake, and revisiting it with fresh eyes. At that point, the right choices seemed obvious, and we went from “good” to “great!”, from “close” to “perfect!”.

Be sure to visit Claire’s new voiceover website and enjoy the clean “Claire-ity” of her voice (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

 

Website LAUNCH! www.JTIjove.com

JTI is a technology-based consulting and manufacturing firm. Specializing in unique Architectural driven, commercial, and industrial projects using fiberglass and other nonmetallic products, JTI has been in business for over two decades.

In order to better compete in the modern market, they needed a website that was as professional as their reputation.

The goal of this redesign was to show visitors what they needed, nothing more. So a clean, modern, and easy-to-navigate interface was needed. The combination of “trimming the fat” (in terms of content) and a sleek and simple design, gives the user the most efficient and productive viewing experience.

JTI is going to be around for quite some time, and ArtistUpgrade is proud to a part of their digital foundation. Go check it out at jtijove.com.

Website LAUNCH! www.JevonsVoice.com

Jevon W. Spencer is a Detroit native and voiceover extraordinaire with a smooth, deep, and commanding voice.  His past voiceover credits include spots for Ford Motors, Lincoln, Landrover, and various radio stations.  Jevon is also an actor and has appeared in various commercials, short films, and stage plays in the Greater Detroit area.  Jevon came to ArtistUpgrade to showcase his awesome demos with his very own One Page Voiceover Site (which will help take his career to the next level).

Jevon’s web design balances masculine industrialism with playful serenity.  The dark concrete elements play into Jevon’s powerful and confident vocal qualities while the fun splashes of water play into his friendly and warm side.  This website features our latest HTML5 demo player which operates perfectly on desktop computers as well as mobile devices.  The site also links up with PayPal so that Jevon can easily get paid for his voiceover work.

What a treat to collaborate with Jevon on his website!  His energy and enthusiasm is contagious.  We wish him all the best with his voiceover and acting endeavors!

To learn more about Jevon, please visit:

www.JevonsVoice.com 

 

Website LAUNCH! www.LeahWool.com

Leah Wool is a professional mezzo-soprano opera singer based in New York City.  She has been hailed as one of the shining stars of her generation by opera critics around the nation (from the New York Times to Back Stage to the Herald Tribune).  From the San Francisco Symphony to the Gotham Chamber Opera, Leah performs all over the country and is making quite the name for herself in the opera world.  With such an impressive and ever-growing resume, Leah came to ArtistUpgrade to bring her website to the next level as well.

Our first ever opera singer to have the Signature Site,  Leah’s design incorporates a lovely color palette of chocolate browns, golden yellows, and soft lavender.  As a newlywed, the design also incorporates a lovely damask pattern (which referenced Leah’s beloved wedding invitations).  Her website includes a biography page, “Listen” page, events page, press page, and contact page.  What a pleasure to work with such a talented singer!  We wish Leah all the best in her opera endeavors.

To learn more about Leah, please visit:

www.LeahWool.com