Time for the Designer to Become the Designee

23 03 2011

Dmtartistry.com is getting a facelift!Over a year ago, I posted a blog entry about remembering to treat yourself as a client first and foremost. How you integrate your products or services into your own life is a direct reflection on how strongly you believe in what you’re selling.

Imagine a Ford salesman tooling around in a Chevy. Or a nutritionist on a first-name basis with the donut shop clerk. It’s like saying – without actually saying – “My product/service isn’t important or valuable enough for me to use in my own life.”

Mm-hm. Well then, it’s obviously not good enough for me either!

And that is why I’m giving my website the facelift it has long deserved. Business has been terrific – thanks to all of my wonderful clients! – so it’s time to spend all spare moments on representing myself with a fresh, new, online image. Here’s what you can expect:

  • http://www.dmtartistry.com will take you to a fun, vibrant and informative website, while http://www.dmtartistry.wordpress.com will continue to be your online marketing tips resource. Each will be easily accessible from the other.
  • Feature clients and client links – they’re the ones who make it possible to do the graphic design that I love to do!
  • Fun graphics that will change frequently to keep the site fresh and exciting
  • DMT Artistry, LLC’s founding purpose and mission
  • Easy access to DMT design samples
  • And, by popular demand, DMT fine arts!

In the meantime, I appreciate your patience, as the DMT Artistry blogsite morphs over the coming days. Your suggestions are always welcome, and your readership is always appreciated!

Stay tuned for next week’s DMT blog post..

“Whatever good things we build end up building us.”  – Jim Rohn

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry, LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com

Faith Meets Web Design: UU@Home

16 03 2011

UU@HomeAmy Derrick is, among many things, a mother and wife, a writer, a religious educator, a Unitarian Universalist (UU) and a genuinely likable person. Combine all of these elements and you come up with an ideal blogger… which is precisely what Amy has become.

Tapping on day-to-day life experience, Amy captures her journey of faith and family in a warm, witty and interactive series of blog entries. Reading her reflections is like being invited in for a cup of coffee and lively conversation. You enjoy every minute!

Better still, Amy has designed a month-by-month faith development program – UU@Home – that she unveils on a (what else?) month-by-month basis.

All of this warmth and fun and faith was previously parked on a rather sterile, utilitarian blog site. Amy wanted something more welcoming, so she called in DMT Artistry.

The Challenge: UU@Home needed an online home that would capture the personality of its author, the tone of its content and the attention of Unitarian Universalist families everywhere. Additionally, it needed to act as a portfolio of Amy’s writing skills, and a resource for budding UUs.

The Solution: At DMT, we shifted her content from Blogspot to WordPress, to tap into WordPress’ powerful customization capabilities. We gave the template a complete makeover that reflects the crafty, creative, friendly, organic nature of Amy’s blog content. Amy’s logo was turned into a watermark as a “signature” for the end of every blog. Imagery, textures and layers were added. Pages were built. Coffee, a critical UU staple, was integrated into the design…

Success was achieved.

Please swing by UU@Home‘s new online home, and let us know what you think!

UU@Home website design by DMT Artistry, LLC

Bagels & Bites: A Foodie Favorite Gets a Website Makeover

9 02 2011

Ask just about any local and, guaranteed, they’ll have met a friend, cut a business deal, staved off post-exercise hunger, launched their morning or grabbed lunch-on-the-go at Bagels & Bites of Brighton, Michigan.

Talk about a local hot spot. This café/deli has everything a hungry patron could want: fresh, wholesome food; rich, gourmet coffees; and the friendliest staff you’d ever want to meet. And did I mention their bagels? Yum. Just yum.

In short, Bagels & Bites Café and Deli is a business that has built a fanatically devoted fan base (a few pointers on how to do this!) on the sheer excellence of their products and the way they make you feel like you’ve come home.

Bagels & Bites former website - sterile and unwelcomingThe Dilemma – Online / in-store disconnect

Bagels & Bites previous web presence (left) was limited to a bland, rigid website that the owners Roger and Marie Barrow described as “corporate”. It was built from a generic, sterile and unremarkable template – in fact, a polar opposite of the actual Bagels & Bites shop culture. Their website wasn’t the destination spot or online “hug” that it needed to be.

In short, Bagels & Bites website was just itching for a personality infusion.

The DMT Solution – A scrumptious website makeover

Bagels & Bites website

First on the list: scrap the generic, dead-pan template, and build a custom design from scratch. Their website needed to be warm and inviting – like a cup of Bagels & Bites steamy Café Mocha on a shivery, Michigan winter morning. It needed to be lively – like the cheerful banter of the Bagels & Bites staff. It needed to evoke hunger – we wanted stomachs to growl as visitors perused the site. Here’s how we made it happen:

  • Rich, caramely chocolate colors warm the site, while fresh white spaces represent the cleanliness that their customers expect and appreciate.
  • The straight, rigid boxiness of the former site was ditched for an organic,  round-edged design that exudes comfort and bonhomie.
  • A “life-size” background image sets the scene, and makes you feel like you’re actually there!
  • Blocky photos? Forget about it! The photos used in Bagels & Bites new website were designed to look like you can reach in, pluck them off the page and taste them.
  • Personality radiates from the fun graphics, charming verbage and image-rich pages.
  • A bit of HTML cleverness allows the owner to switch up his vast store of wonderful sayings on the Home Page “Chalkboard”.
  • Additionally, every page contains morsels of food to whet the appetite.
  • A blog page gives the owners a chance to keep the website fresh, and to post specials, food photos and other fun tidbits of information.
  • We also optimized their website with keyword integration for more effective searchability.

The Result

Whoa, nelly. We’re accustomed to a positive response, but this one takes the cake for sheer volume of responses! Bagels & Bites enjoyed a positive slew of fan commentary on Facebook, phone calls and emails of congratulations to the Roger and Marie, business to the shop, new customers, and fresh “fans” of the Bagels & Bites Facebook page.

We’d like to add our own accolades here: Congratulations, Bagels & Bites, for a successful launch and a well-earned spotlight on your business. We’ll be by for lunch!

We’d love to design personality-packed marketing materials for your business! Contact us:

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry, LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com

Living by the Lakes is Looking Good

9 12 2010

Christina Ehli is the type of person you would instantly describe as “genuine”. She’s warm, witty and quick to smile, and carries a work ethic a mile wide.

It’s the sort of personality you’d love to see in any industry, but it just so happens that Christina is in the real estate business.

Christina, along with her husband Jeff, launched Living by the Lakes, a Keller Williams Realty company. Living by the Lakes serves Commerce and a large diameter of surrounding communities in this lake-rich region of Southeast Michigan.

The Challenge
Christina’s existing websites were incomplete and stuck in a rigid “corporate” template. She wanted a site that would generate repeat visitor traffic, be a resource and show some vivacity. Most importantly, she wanted to be able to maintain the website herself.

The DMT Solution
We gave Living by the Lakes a customized, real-estate-specific blogsite. The lake theme is front and center, while rotating graphics and ever-changing blog posts keep the website lively.

Her pages are packed with bonus bytes of helpful information, links and calculators for buyers and sellers alike. Cool home/property search features are an additional resource that bring visitors back again and again.

Best of all, after a couple consultations, Christina was confidently posting and updating on her new blog! (Click the image below to visit her website.)

Living by the Lakes

Want to translate your professional passion into a website that spotlights your company’s “awesomeness”? Contact us today for a complimentary quote on your website design or redesign!

DMT Artistry, LLC  |  Dawn M. Bhajan  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com

DMT Logo Design Process… REVEALED!

24 09 2010

The biggest secret of my logo design process is really no secret at all… logo design is CHALLENGING. I sweat, and brain-strain, and second-guess and, ultimately, celebrate triumphantly every bit as much as the next business person.

But logo design is also an adventure, a creative outlet and a chance to set a company on the right track.

So, today, let me take you on a Grand Tour of an actual DMT client’s logo design project – one of my most challenging to date. If you’d like to first understand the process behind a typical logo design, please check out my blog from last week. If you want to skip straight to behind-the-scenes dirt on an actual design, read on…

MY DOG ROX is the enormously fun brainchild of Howellite, Frank Bruni. Frank came to me with a creative logo design vision for his “coming soon”, web-based pet products store. And so the adventure began…

THE MEETING We started with a comprehensive discussion about his company aspirations and intended logo useMy Dog Rox logo sketches; it needed to be t-shirt worthy, vibrant, a little edgy, and a lot rock-and-roll. He also wanted to incorporate a cool canine illustration, accompanied by guitars and serious “stage presence”.

THE SKETCHES With all this in mind, I worked up a sketchpad of ideas. The ones that made the cut – my cut – were emailed to Frank for consideration. The sketch you are looking at here is straight from the drawing board, scribbles and all. Frank and his wife Cherie, who received a cleaned up version for easy review, opted for the vertical design. Game on!

THE DRAWING From the photos Frank sent of the logo’s canine model, their dog Milo, I sketched a basic caricature.
My Dog Rox Milo sketch from photos

From there, I used my graphic tablet (a computer drawing pad) to “paint” Milo’s likeness. (In case you were wondering… yes, I do have an artistic background!) When I arrived at the leather-jacketed Milo below, I knew we were ready for the next step.
My Dog Rox Milo "painting"

My Dog Rox font sheetTHE FONT Fonts can make or break a logo design. Think of them as a personality. The wrong personality on an otherwise beautiful person detracts from their appearance, right? Same with fonts.

My Dog Rox designs that went in the scrap heapAs the design progressed, I customized a font (something I do for most logo designs) to really create that unique, rock-and-roll-band feel!

THE LOGO DESIGN Dog illustration – check. Font – check. Time to put it all together. I had a couple false starts, sudden exits, and tense moments, but ultimately, success!

Frank wrote: “… great work Dawn! Like you said, this was going to be a fun project and I think you have knocked it out of the ballpark.”

THE EDITS After a few minor adjustments, we were ready to let this baby fly!

THE FINAL PRODUCT From the final product, I created multiple versions to address all of Frank’s potential logo needs. I presented him with the final files, and called this project completed!
My Dog Rox final logos

This design was a first-rate adventure… and it’s not over yet! MyDogRox.com retail site will be launching soon, with a little design help from DMT Artistry, LLC. Stay tuned for the official announcement!

For logo design or other graphic design work, please feel free to contact me at any time:

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry, LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com

(NOTE 1: All logo design imagery Copyright © 2010 My Dog Rox. Remaining images Copyright © 2010 DMT Artistry, LLC.

To clarify, this means that they may not be copied, shared, sold or distributed in any form or fashion without the express permission of the owner.

NOTE 2: All logo designs are not created equal. The process does vary depending on the project.)

Simplicity Sells: An Elegant New Website for Greens Consignment

2 07 2010

Bargain hunters, welcome to Paradise!

Greens Consignment is a cornucopia of clean consignment pieces and elegant antiques. A 6,000-square-foot shop houses everything from gently-used furniture and housewares to vintage architecture and collectibles. There’s always something new, and always a good deal to be found.

I’m a customer myself… visiting to feed my salt-and-pepper shaker collecting addiction – er, hobby.

The Challenge: Owner, Donna Melzer, recently relocated Greens Consignment to a roomier store, where her consignment trade is taking off. With questions pouring in about directions, consignment policies and hours, Donna needed an online presence that could act as a customer resource.

The DMT Solution: Greens’ website, therefore, had to be simple and informational… but without forgoing personality! I built up a feminine and elegant, but contemporary and fun web design, playing off of Donna’s favorite color. It’s simple to navigate, and all information is “above the fold”, eliminating the need to scroll. Clean lines and rounded edges make the design both orderly and organic. (Click below to visit their site.)

DMT Website Logo Design for Greens Consignment

DMT Logo Design for Greens Consignment

DMT Website Design for Greens Consignment

DMT Website Design for Greens Consignment

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry, LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com