Category: Featured Client

23
Jun

In Progress Case Study: Connection Festival

Typically we wait until a project is complete before featuring it as a case study but we are so excited to be a part of Connection Festival that we wanted to give a little sneak peek into the project. A few months back we had the honor of becoming a partner in the 1st Annual Connection Festival, a 3-day open air music, arts and commerce festival taking place in Downtown Jacksonville, FL September 12-14, 2014. The event features some really great music including Sugarhill Gang, Surfer Blood, Less Than Jake and 40+ other local, regional, and national acts. We at Sixth Gear were tasked with re-designing the brand and consulting on all marketing efforts, here is little insight into what we have accomplished so far.

Branding

When we first connected with the team at Connection Festival, we knew that with our branding skills and their amazing festival concept and impressive music lineup we could create something incredible. The idea behind the festival is to connect music, art and commerce through technology and making sure that the brand reflected that was our challenge. Their initial logo design represented each artist medium and we knew that our design needed the same collective pieces. We strived to create a logo that was able to connect all of those pieces without appearing busy and would also work in a variety of sizes and mediums. After sketching out numerous concepts we moved forward with the guitar pick shape as the primary mark accented by random paint splatters. From their we incorporated additional icons to represent the music, art, commerce and technology components of the festival. Lastly, we put together a color scheme with a rich yellow-orange hue synonymous with sunny Florida contrasted by an aqua hue that resonated with our coastal community.

Connection Festival Website Designed by Sixth Gear

Web Design

When we first came on board the project, the existing website for Connection Festival, although lacking in aesthetics, was fast and easy to navigate, two characteristics we also wanted the new site to possess. Our first step was to take all the available content, expand upon it and organize it into clearly identifiable sub-pages which included completely new artist and music profiles that allowed festival goers to learn more about the individuals and groups participating in the 2014 Connection Festival. The result of our efforts was a clean responsively designed website complete with a ticketing portal that was cohesively designed to match the rest of the new Connection Festival brand.

The new Connection Festival brand and first round of website enhancements is only the tip of the iceberg in respect to this project. Stay tuned as we work on developing a full line of festival merchandise and work with the Connection Festival to create new marketing initiatives. You check out the new Connection Festival website at www.connectionfestival.com!

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13
Jun

Case Study: The Confection Co-Op

THE CHALLENGE

Los Angeles, CA bakery The Confection Co-op came to us with their project while they were in the process of transitioning their cute cupcake shop to a modern bakery co-op. With a new menu, logo, sleek look and name, owners Simone and James Dole knew exactly what they wanted when it came to designing their new website. The challenge for Sixth Gear was taking their color palette of black, white, grey and red and incorporating that into a responsive design that reflected their new brand and menu items while encompassing the casual and friendly atmosphere that they were so well known for by their already booming customer base.

THE SOLUTION

In keeping with Jamie and Simone’s new brand we created a responsive website that upheld their casual and friendly atmosphere while infusing their new modern/rustic bakery elements. Using incredible product photography we created an interactive menu that laid out each individual product and encouraged their customer base to “like” their favorites. The design was constructed using their color palette of black, white, and grey with accents of red throughout, tying together the new shop design and decor. The result was a professional and modern website that worked with their old persona to create a new brand that had much more to offer without compromising its value.

19
May

Magazine Madness!

Magazines are everywhere you look. There are the gossip magazines, informational, fashion, health, food, cats, cars you name it and somewhere out there somebody has published it. Many individuals are interested in compiling their own magazine but don’t know where to start. So, this week we are going to take you through the important elements of a magazine and tips for an aesthetic and pleasing issue. We are going to use one of our clients 904 Fitness as an example for a great magazine layout to hopefully assist you in creating your own or finding a local graphic designer like Sixth Gear to take on your magazine venture with you.

Establish You Voice

Like every business establishing your brand is essential and a magazine is no different. First item on your list is to establish your magazine logo or better known as the masthead for your cover. This is the emblem that can be seen on the same place in every issue released and is the signature that represents your magazine. Once you have completed the task of solidifying your masthead, you can start thinking about the overall tone you wish to embody as well as drawing inspiration from magazines you enjoy to read. For Sixth Gear our client 904 Fitness releases a monthly health and fitness magazine for the locals of Jacksonville, FL. These issues are always consistent when it comes to the voice they wish to portray and how they want their brand perceived. Many health and fitness magazines are direct in their tone, however 904 was conscious of making their magazine feel inviting to all individuals who are either already strong in their health and fitness routines as well as those who are just beginning. The balance is a great example of a magazine that truly has a distinct voice.

Getting it together

Organization is the key to creating a magazine issue that flows properly. So each month be sure to have a well thought out plan. Take a look at the articles and stories you have collected and create your own line up. The headlining stories will ultimately be showcased more, so make sure you know which stories those are. Which brings us to our second point of, creating a pace. In order to create a pace start off with a few light articles before your big story. If you start off on a high, then the remainder of the magazine will have no weight to it. Each month before we create a layout, the 904 Fitness team hands over their articles with a clear vision as to what article is the lead focus. Their articles are strategically placed, and are always working to build up the anticipation for their headlining story. This does wonders for the pace of their magazine and does for many others.

Filling in the space

Setting up a magazine is a task that requires a good eye. If you are the designer or the editor there a few rules and tips to keep in mind. There are a few different types of magazines out there; some are covered in content and images while others resort to a minimalist approach. Finding the balance for both is what will give your magazine the look it requires to be successful. First item on our list is the typography and text size. When creating the 904 Fitness Magazine we are always conscious of what types and sizes we use for which articles. If a smaller article has a large type readers might draw their eyes there instead of to the headlining article that should have the focus. Another element we use is a multi column layout. Not only is this easier to read it is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Which brings us to our final point. White space. It is a myth that there should never be white space on a magazine page. Too often we see photos and words covering every surface of the page, and although it gives the readers their moneys worth, it is difficult to look at. Having a clean page that is full but not packed is the right balance to create a readable layout. So say it with us, it is okay to have white space.

There you have it the elements and tips that will kick start your magazine and assist you when working with a designer or creating the layouts yourself. Sixth Gear would love to hear about your ideas and what magazine layouts inspire you!

28
Jan

Featured Client: Long Island Vein Care & Surgery

For our blog this week we’ve chosen to feature one of Sixth Gear’s newest clients, Long Island Vein Care & Surgery (Garden City, NY). We’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with a variety of vascular surgeons that have needed our help with branding, web design, and inbound marketing, however Dr. Rossenwasser and the staff at Long Island Vein Care had a different situation for us.

Long Island Vein Care & Surgery Website - Before Re-DesignWhen Dr. Rosenwasser first came to us he already had an established and professionally designed brand with a clean modern logo, beautiful color palette, and a fairly well designed website. As many of you know, the issue with web technology today is that a professionally designed website from five years ago does not provide the same quality user experience or search engine visibility in today’s environment. As we talked about in last week’s blog, responsive web design is a necessity for any business or medical practice, and their website was in need of that functionality along with updated content to reflect the current modalities used by Dr. Rosenwasser and the staff of Long Island Vein Care.

Working out of our Jacksonville, FL office, the Sixth Gear team took a detailed look into what we could do for Long Island Vein Care that would sustain their already respected brand but give them the edge to succeed in an abundant industry that is advancing digitally and responsively. As previously mentioned, we knew the website structure and code was dated utilizing a fixed non-responsive design that was not optimized for mobile. Furthermore, the website was in need of a Content Management System (CMS) to make the editing and addition of website content convenient for the Long Island Vein Care staff.

So we took our knowledge and set to work creating a responsively designed website that was not a huge departure from their existing website but offered larger imagery and content optimized for browsing on desktops, tablets and smartphones. In creating their responsive website we integrated WordPress as a CMS because of it’s ease of use, customizability, and SEO-friendliness. We constructed additional content that emphasized keywords and phrases relevant to their practice with the goal of ultimately increasing their website’s visibility on search engines like Google. Another focus of the new website was to streamline the way new patients interacted with Long Island Vein Care. By adding short contact forms on each page it was easier than ever for new patients to reach out to ask a question or request an appointment. New patients could also easily download PDFs of all new patient forms saving them valuable time on their first visit. The combination of aesthetic, functionality and content improvements led to a new website that still embodied their existing brand but brought their website up-to-date with today’s web standards.

Dr. Rosenwasser was pleased with the result and we look forward to working with him and the Long Island Vein Care & Surgery staff in the future as they add new blogs, before & after images, and more to keep filling their new website with great content. Now that the new Long Island Vein Care website has been up and running for a few weeks, we have already noticed some great search engine results with their practice located in one of the top three spots on the first page of Google when searching either “vein surgeons,” “vein doctors,” or “vascular surgeons” in “Long Island”. For us at Sixth Gear, we can proudly say that we came, we re-designed, we conquered.

We encourage you to visit the new Long Island Vein Care website at www.longislandveincare.com and contact us if you would like a complimentary evaluation of your existing website.

Long Island Vein Care - Responsive Website Design

Long Island Vein Care - Website Re-Design