How to open .RAR files

A client recently sent me a .RAR file which I was unable to open. A little internet research revealed that .RAR files are compressed archives similar to .Zip files. RAR has the benefit of creating an archived file which is 8 to 30% smaller than Zip archives.

Like .zip files, .rar files require a piece of software to extract or uncompress the data. There are lots of free solutions out there but this one from worked very well for me.

Corporate outsourcing of graphic and web design work

Over the last few years there has been a distinct trend for corporations to outsource elements of their businesses, everything from IT to payroll services. Graphic and web design services are no exception and we now have a number of these corporate outsource accounts in our client mix.

With these clients we provide the same creative services as if they had a full time employee and once we are up to speed with their brand and product offerings are able to respond to requests promptly.

Quite a bit of work this past month has been for our corporate clients and includes a logo redesign, business card design, the creation of a set of web banners, label creation, navigational improvements on a web site, web site updates and generation of a the look feel for web interfaces.

Our work is billed hourly and the clients are given weekly status reports on hours spent.

If you are a corporation looking to outsource your web and graphic design services we would welcome an opportunity to talk with you.

Feedback from i google theme designs

I took a look recently at how popular the themes I have created for i Google are and got a pleasant suprise.

Perfect Petals has had rave reviews and proves to be the most popular:

Perfectly Brilliant Elizabeth Deal – Jul 18, 2008 – Thank you for such a beautious theme. I love the brilliant color on a black background. I truely love it!

Breathtaking Anonymous – Sep 10, 2008 – I love coming in everyday and opening my google site to this beautifully displayed flowers–it starts the day off right.

Color Punch also has some fabulous comments:

Brava Brava – Aug 2, 2008 – Thank you, Zoe Feast, for creating this truly unique, beautifully colored and visually pleasing accent for an iGoogle homepage. It’s not just the colors that I like, it’s the design that accents them. Well done!

Outstanding! – Anonymous – Jul 5, 2008 – Very impressive..and easily worth a 5 star rating. Hope to see more of your stuff! Well done.

Thanks you to everyone who has taken the time to rate and comment on the themes.

Four web lingo terms explained

When talking to our customers or potential customers about web design we try and keep the techno speak to a minimum. After all they are after an end product and generally it is not helpful to bombard with geek speak. The following phrases come up quite often so here is a brief desciption

HTML – Hyper Text markup Language
The programming language used to create documents for display on the Web.

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets
CSS provides the ability to separate the layout and styles of a web page giving more control on the way a web site can look.

CMS – Content Management System
CMS is a computer application used to create, edit, manage, and publish copy within a web site

SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Creating and improving a website so that it will rank high in the search engines and help potential customers or clients find the website.

Web design project in progress

We are pretty busy at the moment with a total of 12 active projects on the go, everything from web sites, logos, banner design, stationery design. The majority of clients we work are based in the St Louis metro area although we do have few further a field.

One of the web sites we are currently working on is the design of a e commerce interface for Express Medical Supply inc.

We are working closely with the client to provide an interface that will make using the site as easy and intuatively as possible.

New development in The Central West End St Louis

I have updated one of our clients web sites, today with some photographs of a recently completed construction project in the Central West End. The project included the renovation of an old building into condos and the building new Townhomes.

Check them out at 4449 Olive StreetCentral West End, St Louis.

For this project we created the logo, building banners, web site and brochure.

The power of Adobe Photoshop Filters

One of the main tools of my trade is Adobe Photoshop.
I encountered a little creative block while trying to think of something to write on my blog today and sat there doodling with photoshop. In less than 2 minutes this is what I had created …all done with standard abode filters. I used a smudge stick, accented the edges, applied a difference cloud and added some grain .. the only way I know this now is beacuse is by checked the history on the file I created.
Below this photo you will see the one I started with.