Client site launch: J Compton Gallery


J Compton Gallery websiteJean Compton deals in folk art, Americana, and antique rags dolls and toys, and she needed a website that would show off the items she finds.

For each item, she wanted to be able to show a few views, along with a description. We worked with her to create a design and color palette for the site that would best complement a wide range of images. Working together, we also discovered the best types of photos.

Because Jean is a wonderful writer and able to share charming stories on the items she finds, we encouraged her to add a blog to the site as well. This has become a key attraction of the site: The stories keep the site fresh, and she can use the posts to talk about items that she has recently found, already sold, or simply felt to be of extra interest. Through her writing, visitors get a sense of her lively personality, which makes them that much more excited to seek her out at antique shows and fairs.

The gallery of the site uses the open source Gallery2 system, and the blog is in WordPress.

Check out the site, especially Jean’s blog and the beautiful photos in the galleries, at

Client site launch: EMC2


EMC2 Nutrition screenshotEMC2 Nutrition has a great product: protein powder they’ve specially created to provide clients with high-quality protein, using all-natural ingredients.

To sell it, they wanted a website that would explain what the product is, why it’s better than competing products, and how to use it in a healthy diet — all in a fun and friendly way.

We wanted the design of the site to be simple and clear. And we wanted to create visual interest throughout, to convey the essence of the product and to connect with a healthy audience. We felt it was important to avoid clichéd images of muscle-bound weight lifters.

We worked with ace illustrator Rachel Sager to create fun, light-hearted images for the key pages of the site. Julie Long wrote wonderful copy that conveys all the key information about the product and its benefits, and does it in an approachable and appealing style that’s perfect for the audience.

The shopping cart handles payments online seamlessly and securely, and shipping information connects to online shipping rate calculators at

Client site launch:


Screenshot of TheAtriumOnline.comSome years back, we designed a site for The Atrium, a unique wedding and banquet center in Butler, PA. That site served them well for a few years. Last year they decided they wanted to make greater use of the web in their marketing — blogs, more photo galleries, and so on.

We worked with them to design a new site that uses photos throughout, to give a terrific visual impression of what it’s like to attend a celebration at The Atrium. The new design allows for larger images, and includes several photo galleries of weddings, social events, and business events.

The design itself is simple and elegant, so the photos have great “pop.” And the blog is easy to update, so the site can always have fresh and fun content.

Client site launch: The Foxburg Inn


Screenshot of the Foxburg Inn websiteThe Foxburg Inn is a lovely and comfortable hotel in Foxburg, PA, near the junction of Butler, Armstrong, and Clarion Counties. It’s perched on the Allegheny River; the views from the river rooms and the outdoor deck are beautiful.

We were invited to redo the inn’s website, to make it easy for staff to manage and more useful to guests. We wanted to include lots of pictures of the inn and its amenities, as well as the surrounding environs and quaint Foxburg.

Foxburg and the inn are charming and quirky, and innkeeper Mike Vereb asked us to try to convey the aspect of serendipity through the site. In addition to creating the tagline “Where charm and chance meet,” we sought out a series of quotations about nature, relaxation, and luck, and set these up to appear in random on each page.

We worked with Mike to list the site on a range of websites, including travel sites and directories. Within a day of the site launch, they were already receiving traffic and phone calls.

Shortly we’ll be adding online reservations to the site as well.

Client site launch: Jonlor Developments


Home page of Jonlor Developments websiteJonlor Developments is a custom builder and architectural firm based in the Pittsburgh area. The president, John Rizzi, wanted a website that would showcase the beautiful homes they’ve built through a photo gallery.

John had a clear idea of how the homepage of the site should look: a full-page photo of a Jonlor home that’s styled like a French chalet, with brief text overlaying it.

We were able to design the page so that the text all remains available to search engines, and to create a layout and look for the rest of the site that shows the gallery in its best light.

Client site launch:


Screenshot of KShoop.comKathie Shoop’s blog Housewife Cafe was one of the first blogs we built, back in 2005. Kathie has been blogging ever since, as well as continuing to write fiction and publish articles in various places.

As her writing has taken a new direction, she felt her blog was ready for a new look and a new name. The new name would be

She tasked us with creating an open, friendly design that would incorporate an old black and white photo she had of bookshelves her grandfather used in college. We liked the thought of Kathie’s writing sitting on bookshelves, so we made the photo the background for the design. For the color palette, Kathie suggested the colors of a homey upholstery print she likes.

The two ideas seemed to work just fine, and why wouldn’t they? A comfy upholstered chair makes a great partner to sturdy bookshelves.

The overall look is modern, but it has a feeling of history as well, which suits the historical fiction on which Kathie is currently working. Just as importantly, behind the scenes WordPress offers key features that make blogging easy. We hooked up Kathie’s Flickr account too, so she can post and blog about photos she takes.

Client site launch: Christy Rippel


Screenshot of

Last week we launched the website of Christy Rippel, a talented copywriter and PR specialist.

This was a fun site to build — and not only because Christy is a fun person to work with. The visual look was intended to reflect Christy’s friendly personality, but still convey her professionalism. She suggested a slightly retro look, inspired by 70s color schemes. The design we created contrasts vibrant colors against a warm, dark background. (We call the look “Chocolate Candy.”)

The portfolio and collection of published work are the showpieces of the site. And Christy will use the blog to keep the site fresh and further convey her personal and business styles to prospective clients and editors.