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This fall I started working as a web design contractor at Simpson Strong-Tie Company, working on a total redesign of the investor-facing website for their parent company, Simpson Manufacturing. This new website features an entirely new section has been created to inform the public about the company’s commitment to social responsibility, whether through environmental efforts, social programs, or governance.

With the release of its annual report, a carousel was added on the home page, to display a series of images calling out how Simpson Strong-Tie products give the construction industry “the power to build”.

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Shoot A Selfie in Shades to Win Ray-Ban® Aviator Sunglasses

Woobox makes running a photo contest a snap across social media outlets.

Woobox makes running a photo contest a snap across social media outlets.

Photo contests are a terrific way to engage fans of your travel destination. For the next few weeks, folks who post a sunglasses selfie using the hashtag #GuamRays to Instagram, Twitter or through the Woobox app will be entered to win a cool pair of Ray-Ban® Aviator Flash Lenses, offered by the Guam Visitors Bureau. You can also enter on the contest tab on the Visit Guam USA Facebook page.

Good luck to all who enter, and I hope you have as much fun taking creative selfies in your shades as I did working on the design for the project for The Placemaking Group.

Post-contest update

The contest is over, and with 154 entries, Guam’s primary social media accounts got a collective boost in followers from the #GuamRays contest. Facebook followers climbed from 1241 to 1630, Twitter followers grew from 1347 to 1471, and Instagram followers increased from 268 to 339.

Site for real estate development firm in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The first part of this year has been busy with styling WordPress themes for a number of The Placemaking Group‘s clients. I’m also eyeball deep in social media management and am really looking forward to sharing best practices at Placemaking Group’s president, Dennis Erokan’s PR class at St. Mary’s next week. Read more…

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MicroscopeHub.com, an online store for high quality, brand name microscopes, is a recent e-commerce website launch by Placemaking Group. As senior designer on the project, I was involved in its design and website production.

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Microscope Hub homepage design

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Microscope Hub shopping page



From The Placemaking Group’s website:

Microscope Hub is an online store providing high quality, brand name microscopes at fair prices. We structured and designed their website to appeal to and educate buyers in three specific fields: medical device inspection, micro-electronic inspection and education. Comparison charts for each application provide detailed information to guide a customer to the right choice for their needs.

On the administrative (backend) side, a content management system (CMS) was added for easy updates to product descriptions, videos and cost by staff.

The Microscope Hub shopping experience includes a carousel of product images with optional zoom-in, videos demonstrating key features, and an easy-to-use shopping cart for its e-commerce sales.

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Kristin Thompson, a professional speaker and coach based in Portland, Oregon, has seen her popularity skyrocket in recent years as she’s gained recognition helping entrepreneurs, coaches, and consultants use public speaking opportunities to market their businesses. It was time to take her website’s look to the next level to match the growth of her business and its clientele.

Her site, “Speak. Serve. Grow.,” was already using WordPress as a content management system, allowing for the redesign to be applied by customizing a theme (GreenEarth, by GoodLayers) to support an updated, warmer color palette and new promotional materials.

Improvements included a more sophisticated, pretty design, with a bit of a rock-themed edge and cleaner typography; more emphasis on signing up for the Speak. Serve. Grow. newsletter using a freebie worksheet as a gift; key programs highlighted on the home page; and the ability to customize landing pages for bigger impact. The impact was seen within days:

“Thanks to my newly designed website… my home page opt in’s are going thru the roof! WOOT WOOT! The NEW speakSERVEgrow site is ROCKIN already and we haven’t even started telling anyone about it!” — Kristin Thompson

Visit Kristin’s website to learn more about how she can help you hone your public speaking plan to market your business and land more clients.

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As part of a digital archiving project on campus, I’m blogging on Holy Names University’s photo archives going back 140yrs+ on the new blog, Preserving Historical HNU. Today’s post is on Milton Pflueger, the mid-century Bay Area architect who designed the Holy Names campus and many other public buildings in the area.

His brother Tim, who started the family company, was better known for his San Francisco skyscrapers, theaters and later, bars, and worked with Diego Rivera and Ralph Stackpole.

Here’s a brief excerpt:

You might not recognize the name, but if you live in the Bay Area, you are likely familiar with the work of College of the Holy Names architect Milton T. Pflueger…

In the mid-fifties, Milton T. Pflueger and Associates was hired by the College of the Holy Names to design the new campus on Mountain Boulevard. Pflueger wrote fondly about the College of the Holy Names project in his book, Time and Tim Remembered (Pflueger Architects, June 1986, ISBN-10: 0961413301), noting his interaction with the sisters and the unique design challenge of envisioning an entire hillside campus, rather than the more common job of designing a singular building to fit into an existing campus.

I’d never heard of the Pfluegers before, so it was neat to learn of them and have so many aha! moments in the process. Lots of striking, notable buildings with much attention to detail, craft and artistry. The Holy Names interiors are bit more austere, I would think. I work on the second floor of one of the Pflueger buildings on campus, formerly a dorm for the nuns. Some offices still have built-in wardrobes and sinks for washing up.

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A fresh new look for the Holy Names University website has launched.

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Just launched — a redesigned site for cookbook author Vanessa Barrington. Vanessa had an older website as well as a blog hosted at TypePad; it was time to freshen her look and unify her web presence.

Check it out for her thoughts on cooking, food and culture, food policy and politics, sustainability and urban farming, travel, and trends — and learn more about the project here.

Here’s Vanessa in a super-cute promo video for her book D.I.Y. Delicious:

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Just launched: the official website for Joaquin Miller Elementary School.

Joaquin Miller’s website had outgrown its structure over the years, making its wealth of content difficult to navigate and find. I completely reorganized and redesigned the site to meet modern standards and reflect the school’s vibrant community.

Features include a Google Calendar, allowing the parent community to subscribe to events via mobile device, and a WordPress powered School News blog.

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Just launched: Mary and Sara – Cooking Thymes Two, a website and blog by Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford, identical twin sisters who write amazing cookbooks. They’ll be blogging yummy recipes weekly, starting with an amazing egg nog, so check them out.