Our portfolio of web and print design

Sun 23
April
2017

Flash is a true child of the 90s: Excessive, unwieldy and self-indulgent.

Seemingly overnight, otherwise normal sites were suddenly bristling with motion effects, even those that had resisted the previous onslaught of animated gifs. 

And nowhere was this phenomenon manifested more frequently than the animated splash page.

Given the limits on bandwidth in these early days of the internet (I was still on dial-up when Flash was first released!) it's incredible that we thought it a worthwhile use of our data.

In truth, splash pages of any kind have never been worth the cost

We don't measure that cost in bandwidth however. 

It's measured in lost customers.

Sun 23
April
2017

Answer: When they're an overseas design sweatshop using dodgy SEO tactics.

I'm used to getting comment-spam on my blogs. Disqus is cleans out most of it automatically, but a few make it through to publication. Fortunately, Disqus sends out notifications on new comments, so I'm able to manually filter out anything that doesn't seem genuine.

What is comment spam?

Comment spam is used by dodgy SEO businesses trying to build backlinks for themselves or their clients. The idea is that you choose a blog that's relevant to the search terms you want to build PageRank for and insert a comment (genuine interaction seems to be unneccessary) that has a backlink to your site. 

While this can build pagerank on the site you've linked to, it only works if the site you're spamming has a higher pagerank than your own and is relevant to the kind of keywords you hope people will use to find your own site.

It also won't help you if you get branded as a spammer by doing so.

Sun 23
April
2017

The aptly-named Boating in Boston provides boating services, lessons and camps throughout the greater Boston region with five different bodies of water featured in the program.

When owner Michael Aghajanian contact us, the site had been in operation for some time, based around an existing Joomla! install. While the page was serviceable, it didn't have the flare that was needed to convey the fun and exciting nature of the business.

Injecting character into the site also made this one of our most enjoyable projects to date.

Sun 23
April
2017

I'm starting a new series, DIY Web Design Mistakes, quick examples of real-life problems caused by DIY design.

Today's candidate is The Boat Shed Restaurant in Maroochydore.

DIY Mistake #1: Not checking your site's listing in organic search

Otherwise, this can happen:

DIY Web design mistakes #1, not checking your search results

Yes. That's the Joomla! default description Meta Tag. Why this is bad and how to fix it, after the jump.

Sun 23
April
2017

Finding imagery for your site is hard, whether it's part of the design or for an ongoing blog.

If there's one thing I loathe, it's shiny-happy people images that say nothing except "I don't care enough to find evocative pictures".

As Tim Reid would say, "It's an EPIDEMIC!".

An epidemic of bland, faceless marketing that toes the corporate line but fails entirely to engage the humans who are forced to deal with the drivel. It's the visual equivalent of this kind of sentence:

GenericMarketingCo is a leading performance-based marketing company with enabling technology that connects marketers to consumers through a comprehensive set of email marketing and online media services.

I get it. It's hard to write good copy and it's hard to find good images.

But when you do find the perfect image, for the sake of your business, don't steal it.

Sun 23
April
2017

There are some days where you get to sit back and feel proud for the work you've just done.

Today's one of those days.

We've spent a large part of the last week working with FreakedOut, German Joomla developers, on their new offering: an integration of the award-winning email marketing tool, MailChimp.

This was a fantastic project for us. We've done a reasonable amount of User Interface work in the past, but due to confidentiality issues we've never been able to discuss or use these past projects on our portfolio.

Here's how it worked out.

Sun 23
April
2017

It's no secret I love K2, the content construction kit for Joomla.

While Joomla's core article system is reasonably robust and the introduction of template overrides made it possible to more easily theme elements of Joomla that were previously untouchable, K2 takes both theming and editing to the next level.

Designers have much greater control of each 'view' of content presentation and editors have less to worry about when publishing articles.

It's a win-win situation for aesthetics and usability.

Sun 23
April
2017

Our final work in the Classic Rock Concert poster series, 'A Day In The Life' was both a departure from the style we'd established while staying true to the intention of the series.

CCE wanted something a little different from this poster. The 'A Day In The Life' album has several references to newspaper stories and is at least partly inspired by the death of a friend of Lennon's, reported in the Daily Mail.

We were commissioned to produce a 60's era newspaper poster.

After researching various examples of British newspapers from various eras, we realised that until recently, newspapers were a mess!

Wild varieties of fonts, dramatic changes in line heights and little care given to kerning or structure. Furthermore, until the late 70's it was rare for images to dominate the front page.

Needing to give the feel of a 60's paper, while providing real structure meant creating a composite of styles, blending modern design structure with a messy, natural style of typography.

We included easter eggs in the form of 'stories' taken from Beatles lyrics and placed the entire design on a newly created aged paper (complete with coffee stains!).

Sun 23
April
2017

Ambient Living is the brainchild of Tish Pagano, a boutique online giftware store that caters to those who love fine things.

Unlike many other online stores, Ambient Living's products are hand-picked by Tish and carefully chosen for their aesthetic properties. It's an approach rarely seen in the pack-em and stack-em world of ecommerce and as a result the product range is unique, compelling and uniformly beautiful.

As such, it was extremely important for us to craft an image that fit the sensibilities of the site's potential visitors.

thinksync definitely oozes with passion for what they do, which is evident in every piece of work they produce. Their ability to create and design a concept from my ideas is outstanding. They genuinely listened to me and were quick to respond in great detail. thinksync proved to be extremely professional, reliable and fantastic solution providers. I would certainly recommend their services to others wanting a team who goes beyond the call of duty for website development. Tish - Ambient Living