Visual Concepts is a true Humboldt gem. If you’ve ever walked around the Arcata Plaza you’ll have seen some fantastic examples of their signage design. Or just by driving around town you're going to see some of the amazing vehicle wraps that they’ve done for local businesses. Next time you leave the local grocery store you might just be leaving with a bag of coffee that had its packaging design done by Visual Concepts. They are truly a phenomenal and versatile creative design and print studio. So naturally, when their owner Noah Samson called us up and asked for some help presenting his teams beautiful work on the web, we jumped on the opportunity to help.
We needed a quick method for presenting Visual Concepts four distinct services. In addition, the website needed the ability to automatically update with new images of their work. All of this was required to fit Visual Concepts uniquely beautiful design language while keeping to budget.
- We chose to streamline the design process to help reduce costs, which was only made possible through a strong relationship with Noah and a good understanding of his design style and brand.
- We utilized his logo's CYMK color scheme to break his site and business into the four distinct colors.
- Noah's regular usage of Instagram allowed us to incorporate Instagram's API into his website which automatically pulls images from his account and uploads them directly to his website.
We were able to design a site with the unique style of Visual Concepts and their owner Noah Samson, while presenting clear, clean, and captivating avenues for visitors to explore their amazing work and learn more about each. In addition, the automated Instagram feed frees the company from constantly updating their site, while still providing visitors fresh images of their latest and greatest work.
Designing for Design firm:
the value of strong relationships
Noah and his staff have tons of design experience, with Noah himself being a world class graphic designer and illustrator. But they knew when they started looking into a new website that they would be in over their heads. It took guts and a lot of faith for Noah to hand over a portion of his businesses design & branding to an outside firm. This could’ve only been done through a strong relationship with the team who was going to build their website and help promote their brand.
It took guts and a lot of faith for Noah to hand over a portion of his businesses design & branding to an outside firm.
At the start of the project, we knew that the website needed to seamlessly integrate into his brand. We didn't want someone to look at the website and see a completely different design language or style. Because of our pre-existing relationship with Visual Concepts, we were familiar enough with their style that we could replicate parts of it. Now if you visit their new site, it would be hard tell that they didn’t design it in-house. It’s like nothing else on the web - it perfectly fits with their brand’s value of being uniquely empowering.
The Four-Part business:
One fundamental drawback of the clients old site, was it's failure to present visitors with all four distinct parts of the business and how they join together to provide a cohesive one-stop shop for all branding and print needs. To solve this issue, we crafted a multi-purpose display to not only show off their work, but to also provide clear pathways for people to visit and learn more about the different parts of the business.
Upon visiting the site, the first thing people now see is a larger-than-life display highlighting the four services provided: "Logos/Branding, Signage, Vehicle Graphics, Packaging & Labels." The display itself is easy to update, and presents users with a fun and engaging method for exploration of the site. Furthermore, each of the four distinct parts are color coded to CYMK, matching the mark found in Visual Concept’s logo. Not only are the menu links and the front image display color coded, but internal pages also received similar flourishes of color to provide a more cohesive look.
The Automated Instagram Feed:
Noah’s old site had fallen years out of date because it was just another thing requiring effort for him to maintain. In comparison, his Instagram account had became an amazing archive of his work because of it's simplicity and speed. To paraphrase his words: “it became a bit embarrassing to direct people to my personal Instagram rather than my website, because the work on my website was so old, whereas my Instagram was brimmed to the top with amazing and new stuff.”
Playing off this, we created a live feed system for his website by using Instagram’s API, which links his Instagram account and allows him to post directly to his site using Instagram tags. This means he can maintain his one Instagram account without having to worry about having his personal pictures being pulled into the website. Fruthermore, Noah can use tags like #logos or #signage to filter images into different categories on his site.
How the Instagram filter on Visual Concepts website works.
Step 1: Take a Picture
Step 2: Tag the Picture
Step 3: Post Picture to Instagram
Tags (#...) are picked up from Noah Samson’s Instagram Account. Images pulled to VC707 are displayed on the homepage and then they're filtered to their respective category pages.
Putting the website to work for them
While the Instagram feed allowed for quick flash updates, Noah also wanted a more permanent means of displaying his work to visitors. We created a tiled portfolio system that allows him to quickly upload a picture of his work and provides a more in-depth backstory on how the project was a success. This not only provides him with a huge SEO boast, but a stellar display for his company's ever-growing work.
Now when people fill out the contact form on Visual Concept's website they are asked to select a subject. Dependent upon what subject they select the form can automatically forward submissions to the appropriate staff. For example: the subject “Logo” directs messages to Noah’s inbox while the subject “Vehicle Graphics” can have its messages sent to Josh, the Shop Operations Manager.
The new site’s image fields all provide room for Alt Text and Title text. Alt text allows for images to be read by Screen Readers, and Title text is what appears when someone hovers over the image. This incredibly simple addition dramatically helps to boost his SEO, or overall ranking on Google. This means when someone Google’s “Humboldt vehicle wrap” Visual Concepts now appears on the top of the Google search results.
Helping Visual Concepts with Content:
After a site has been made, often clients struggle to populate the website with rich and informative content that can help convert a prospective client to someone picking up the phone to call. For Noah, we helped by providing the extra nudge required to sit down and write out the content for the site. In addition, our trained staff members help guide him in the direction the text should take to maximizes its usefulness to visitors and prospective clients who would explore his site. For instance, on the logo page we find three key sections: Services, Implementation, Process. By helping guide Noah in the content process we were able to help him maximize the effectiveness of each page and provide the most value to visitors.
Furthermore, we were able to supply basic photography support by sending one of our trained staff members to his shop to snap a couple high quality images for the large banners found on each page. The Company and Logo pages now feature photography supplied by our team that helps inform the visitor of which page they are on, and what to expect when they explore further.
"I knew building a website that would work flawlessly and look good doing it was outside of our area of expertise. Working with Evenvision and Josh Nelson was an obvious choice. As a graphic arts and printing business, the site had to showcase our designs and products well, and had to do it in a unique way. I gave the gang at Evenvision a rough idea of what I wanted and they totally exceeded expectations. I love the new site... "
Go Experience Visual Concepts New Site For Yourself!