Field Notes Blog
News and thoughts on UI/UX, web design, and more.
Meet Seymour Sea Dragon and Santiago Sea Turtle! You can see Santiago brightly swimming around town on the 3rd t-shirt illustration in the San Diego Blood Bank's 70th anniversary series. After the Dulce, Diego and Duke Dolphin "Celebrated the Past" and Octavia Octopus "Embraced the Present", we needed a cheerful representative to "Improve the Future". Sea Dragons are amazing creatures that have a cool connection to San Diego. While they are native only to Australian waters, our own Birch Aquarium has a world-renown sea dragon breeding program and from the first time I saw them there, I was mesmerized. Although I had already started a sea turtle design, when Michael at the Blood Bank suggested a sea dragon, I was hooked. So how did the third t-shirt design turn out to be Santiago the Sea Turtle then? And where is Seymour now?
For my second San Diego Blood Bank t-shirt illustration I was tasked with creating a fun new design that would carry on the local sea life theme while communicating the second part of the campaign slogan of "Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Present and Improving Life Tomorrow". Who would be better at "embracing the present" than an octopus?!? Whereas the dolphins (our first design) had retro styling to reference the past, we wanted a contemporary look for this one. Armed (yuk yuk!) with these concepts and inspired by action sports logos and my love of cephalopods, I set to work, however, it took a bit of Disney magic to bring it all together.
As many of you know, I am an avid supporter of the work blood banks do in communities around the world. As a blood drive host I'm proud to contribute to that mission and it's a great way to stay on track since I'm working to earn my own 5 gallon donor badge. So, imagine my excitement when I got the opportunity to create some original artwork to help celebrate the 70th anniversary of the San Diego Blood Bank! 2020 has been a tough year but it hasn't been all bad. For this design I wanted to create something that would be oh-so-San Diego while helping people feel hopeful and inspired. I immediately remembered one of the high points of the year for me, a very special day in February at La Jolla Shores Beach when I saw bottlenose dolphins surfing with pure delight in the sparkling morning surf.
Seaport San Diego is a wildly creative and ambitious new downtown development that will add an array of amenities to the waterfront area. With world renown architects and public relations by the talented crew at MNM Advertising & PR, we’ll no doubt be hearing a lot about this over the coming months. This website upgrade project consisted entirely of one key objective - replicating the look and feel of a technically-problematic Wordpress build on the much more user-friendly Weebly platform. As I often find with Wordpress, the site was originally created to be maintained solely by the developer, so the site owner did not have the ability to add additional features over time. Additionally, the site owner wanted to escape the tedious security hassles of maintaining an aging Wordpress site.
The renowned science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." This month I've blended science, fiction, film lore, myth, legend and popular culture to bring you my Cabinet of Curiosities. This custom Illustration is stocked with magical objects, rare specimens, ancient artifacts, odd instruments and a sprinkling of balderdash. Over the course of October 2018 I unveiled a new item on Instagram every few days counting down to Halloween - each with a fun trivia question and weekly prizes.
Be sure to visit my Instagram feed in the app or just stop by on your computer (no instagram account needed) to see all the fun. Fly over to Instagram!
Website redesign for LymphaStrip
Working closely with the business owner we created a streamlined, vibrant, upbeat site to speak to her primarily female audience of breast cancer survivors and mastectomy clinicians. The site features an excellent video by Chris Neighbors of Blue Wheel Productions that does a great job of artfully telling the story behind the product. Visit the site at lymphastrip.com.
New website for PhysicalYogaTherapy.com
Experienced therapist and yoga instructor Donna Chisholm combines physical therapy and yoga to help people recover from injuries, stay well as they age, and improve overall wellness. She even offers in-home visits for seniors. Too bad she's in Bend, OR. and not San Diego! Visit her new website at physicalyogatherapy.com.
I'm proud to highlight a few new projects that I've wrapped up recently:
Redesign and tech upgrade for PoseidonWater.com
Poseidon had a nice site but it was very hard to work with and didn't perform well on mobile. In the overhaul we kept the basic design but upgraded the technology to be much more user friendly and mobile optimized. In the process we did a site-wide content refresh to feature their newest project, the Claude "Bud" Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant.
New website, Facebook tune up, Instagram and Kickstarter Campaign for FoundationForWomen.org
I'm really proud of the recent work accomplished with FFW staff as we've overhauled their entire online presence AND planned and conducted a Kickstarter Campaign, which included a 3 minute campaign trailer, a press release, and a month of social media. We raised almost $5000 towards their goal of producing their new documentary.
About the author
As the owner of Pixel Lava Interactive I've helped hundreds of small businesses and nonprofits with websites, graphic design and more. I hope you'll find this blog full of useful information.
~ Ame Stanko