Indigo Image is Back in Chicago

You never really know where life is going to take you. When I relocated to Lancaster PA in January 2017 I never in a million years thought, that just a short 20 months later, I would be faced with the massive upheaval of relocating back to the Chicago area. To say I was sad to leave the tranquility and beauty of Lancaster, to the non stop hustle and bustle of the greater Chicago area, is an understatement. I was sad, really sad. But here I am, Indigo Image, the Chicago web and graphic design company is back in town, unpacked and ready for business!

Here is a quick recap of the services we offer

Web Services

Graphic Design Services

  • Complete Corporate Branding
  • Logo Design
  • Business Cards
  • Corporate Stationery
  • Custom Presentations
  • Brochures
  • Flyers
  • Newsletters
  • Advertisements
  • Book Cover Design
  • Posters
  • Greeting Cards
  • Vehicle Decals
  • Signage
  • Folders
  • Trade Show Booths
  • …and much more

Internet Marketing Services

  • Key Word Analysis
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Site submission
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing

We strive to be the comprehensive Creative Partner for your small to medium sized business.

 

Food Photographers Website

The last few weeks I have been working on a new website for a A-Yo Kitchen, a York PA recipe developer and food photographer. This startup business is the brain child of Alysha Yoder, who has such talent when it comes to preparing, styling and photographing food. I was literally slobbering as each photograph got uploaded to my dropbox.

Alysha wanted a very minimalist look to her web site, where her photographs have the staring role. She had actually picked out a WordPress template before we connected and had dabbled with it on WordPress.com. However as with a lot of templates and the limitations faced when running a website though WordPress.com, she was unable to make it do exactly she wanted to achieve her vision. It needed the magic touch from a professional web designer!

The first thing I did was to get it off WordPress.com and set it up as a self hosted site. If you need multiple plugins and are after a particular functionality it is actually more cost effective to take this route.

Working from Alysha’s sketches,

I brought the site to life. It is actually really useful when a client can provide sketches as it really helps clarify exactly what they are after.

ayokitchen website

ayokitchen

Take a look at it at ayokitchen.com, it will have you slobbering too!

Re-Coding a Site to be Mobile Friendly

Having an outdated website can harm your business and potentially drive clients away, particularly if they are using a mobile device to visit a site that is not mobile friendly. Why go to all the effort of trying to read tiny text or battling with horizontal scroll bars when maybe your competitors offer a flawless mobile experience. Search engines like Google will always give preference to sites that are mobile friendly over those that are not, so search engines rankings and equity are also affected.

Many small business owners think that making a website mobile friendly requires a complete redesign and are put off by the costs of doing so. However with a careful “under the hood” re-code the look and feel of a site can often remain intact, with the coding giving it the functionality to respond to whatever device is being used to view it.

This is exactly the approach we took to updating the website for a Whytegate Farms, a Chicago based  supplier of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies. They were perfectly happy with the look and feel of the site but were looking to make it mobile friendly

Here is the site before

not mobile freindly website

Not mobile friendly – desktop view

Not mobile friendly – Mobile view with horizontal scroll bars

And here is the site after it was re coded so that is responds to what ever device being used to view it.

Mobile Friendly Website- Desktop and Mobile View

We had to make a few minor design tweaks but overall the look and feel of the site when viewed on a desk top or laptop is the same.

Before and After St Louis Financial Advisor Web Site

Hands up if you like looking at before and after projects? Me!

Here is a mini redesign project I did for St Louis financial advisors, Mark and Jason. The site before

and after

I added a new logo, tweaked the colors, reworked the header and used a more modern font for the copy.

The result a much cleaner and inviting site… mobile friendly too!

Google Chrome and the Not Secure Warning

Google rolled out version 62 of the Chrome browser last month and with it came the promised “Not Secure” warning on pages of websites that have input fields and are not protected by a SSL certificate. These fields can be as innocent as a comments box on a blog or a simple contact form.

The warning is not as “in your face” as many imagined, the “Not Secure” warning only appears in the address bar when a user starts to type in an input field. However it is the first step of Google Chromes bigger plan to discourage the use of HTTP and encourage all web sites to be protected with a SSL certificate and use HTTPS.

chrome ssl warning

Eventually Google Chrome will label all non HTTPS pages with a red NOT SECURE warning even if there are no input fields.

chrome ssl warning not secure

 

With Chrome now dominating the browser market with a 44% share, the implications of these warnings are obvious. The last thing you want is to scare any site visitors away by thinking your site is unsafe.The only solution to this problem is to install a SSL certificate and get the coveted green padlock and secure message in your browser window.

Need help getting a SSL certificate installed and configured for your web site? Gives us a call at 636.795 7988

google chrome secure message

 

Need Help with a Wix Website?

I market myself as “A Creative Partner for your Small Business” and if your small business website is built using Wix, I can help by making it not only look wonderful but perform seamlessly too.

The Wix platform offers a drag and drop interface and is described on their site as “easy for any person to create websites – no design skills needed”. While it certainly offers plenty of tools to make a site look pretty, you really do need an understanding of how best to present your content to engage your users and encourage them down certain paths. This is where tapping in on the experience of a professional web designer can help take your Wix website to the next level.

This was exactly what Malorie Blake,a registered dietitian based in York PA, was looking for her website Wholesome365.com

The re-working of her Wix site involved re branding with her new logo and complimentary color palette and font choices.

We also

  • Reorganized navigation for better content flow and usability and built out footer elements
  • Re-worked home page for improved information and call to action. e.g. Detailing major services and lead generation via a free phone consultation
  • Improved the design and added better call to action on inner pages of site e.g. Booking appointments or purchasing packages
  • Ensured design elements were consistent throughout site
  • Optimized pages and file names for SEO purposes

Here is the finished home page

wholesome nutrition wix website

 

Compared to where we started from

As you can see the site is now far more focused on the user and how they can be directed to specific areas easily without having to think. The eye is effortlessly drawn in to the Call to actions

If you need help with a Wix website I am here to help. Give me a call at 636 795 7988 or contact me via email

WordPress Template Customization for Labor Ad Network

I have been in business a long time and have built hundreds of websites. Websites come and go, they get redesigned or disappear altogether but a site I built for Labor Advertising Network in 2005 was still in use. As you can imagine it was looking rather dated and lacked modern day functionality.

I have kept in contact with the client and last month got a call from them saying they were ready to bring their website to present day standards but were on a very tight budget. They wanted it converted to a WordPress website so they would be able to edit it themselves and also ensure the new site offered mobile friendliness to their users.

Recognizing their budget considerations, the most cost effective approach for them was to use a ready made WordPress template.

After installing and configuring WordPress on their server I selected the Twenty Seventeen template to customize. It is a very clean template, lends itself to small uncomplicated sites and is of course, beautifully mobile friendly.

The Labor Advertising Network is a network is designed to help advertisers get their story across to the Labor community. This distribution network is conveyed in three custom designed graphics which feature in the huge banner area on the home page. Each banner features a different professional and they are randomized so a different one displays each time the home page is visited.

 

twenty seventeen larger banner

twenty seventeen larger banner

Here is the home page in action

labor ad network wordpress website

and the inner pages of the site were configured to display a custom header

abor ad network twenty seventeen

A few lines of custom CSS added a color to the navigation bar and footer.

It’s always fun to take a look back, here is the old static site.

labor ad network old site

Their new site certainly brings them up to date.

labor ad network wordpress websiteVisit LaborAdNetwork.com