Main Street Kent is a non-profit organization that focuses on the promotion, beautification, and revitalization of downtown Kent. The City of Kent, Kent State University, local businesses, and community members support Main Street Kent. Main Street Kent has 12 board members and many volunteers working to improve downtown Kent. Since Main Street Kent’s formation in 2006, dozens of new businesses have opened in downtown Kent, and a hundreds of new full-time and part-time jobs have been created. For every dollar Main Street Kent spends, $27 is returned in private investment.
Main Street Kent works to strengthen and beautify downtown Kent while fostering economic development, historic preservation, and a sense of community.
Main Street Kent’s old website was in need of revitalization. They needed a new, responsive website with ecommerce functionality. This required design & development as well as server, data & email migration.
Website Analysis and Information Architecture
We began the process by analyzing all of the content and copy and search engine analytics. We eliminated all redundant or buried pages, scraped all content from the old website, and constructed a more organized site structure by defining strict categorization rules. Once we developed the new sitemap and structure, we wrote SEO rewrites for old pages (either ones that were eliminated or ones with messy URLs) to the new, SEO-friendly URLs. This would be integrated at the very end of the project.
When the client first approached us, they considered using Squarespace for the website. After reviewing analytics, we noticed that Main Street Kent received a great deal of unique daily visitors to the website. Using this data, we decided early on to use popular CMS, WordPress and WooCommerce for shopping cart functionality. WordPress and a dedicated server would allow more control of SEO and would improve site load times due to the amount of traffic they were already receiving. We chose WordPress for a number of other reasons: client familiarity played the largest role, but so did cost. Rather than develop a CMS and/or a theme from scratch, we could begin rapid development from a skeleton theme. This saved a substantial amount of money and time.
With information architecture and the sitemap laid out, we started front end design on the website. Since we used a responsive skeleton theme to save cost, we already had a baseline responsive grid to from which to design. It was important to have a seamless user experience between pages, categories, and product pages. The homepage needed to direct the user to popular pages for dining, shopping and event destinations. The client also asked that fundraising pages were placed prominently in the header, body, and footer.
CTRL Eyewear is a new brand of smart wearables aiming to change the landscape of the wearables industry. CTRL Eyewear is specifically founded to create the consumer version of innovative eyewear created for the U.S. Special Forces. CTRL is established in 2015 in the Netherlands as a subsidiary of AlphaMicron Inc, Kent Ohio, USA. CTRL Eyewear aims to design, develop and market the world’s most innovative eyewear, powered by AlphaMicron’s vast experience in adaptive military lens technology.
CTRL Eyewear approached us shortly after the company changed ownership. They wanted to migrate entire website under a new company name. Doing so posed many problems. First, there had to be no loss of SEO, emails, or sales during the process. The criteria for the job was twofold: We had to design and develop an ecommerce website quickly, and set up a Customer Support center for users and the CTRL sales team.
We start every project with research. What is the market? Who does it consist of? What markets could we develop that aren’t currently being acknowledged? How do we do that? Magic sorcery. We knew immediately that CTRL’s product line was sleek, minimal, and technologically impressive. We didn’t want the user interface or design of the website to interfere with strong product photography or video. So, we decided on a minimal grid system and limited color palette. We would use this approach for all digital and print design.
Because CTRL is an international company with many storage facilities, we needed to streamline the ecommerce experience. Instead of sourcing a different website based on location, we moved all of the shipping and purchasing options into the hands of the consumer. One website, one experience, all managed from the backend of the website.
Customer Support Forms
The sales team requested a detailed customer RMA form. The functionality included a form with multiple questions that – once filled out by a customer – would be auto-fed into an XML spreadsheet that logged the answers to the questions, generated a unique return number, auto-saved as a PDF, sent an automatic notification to both customer and the CTRL sales/support team.
The Speedbumps are an indie rock band from the great state of Ohio. Americana-UK calls their carefully orchestrated music “wistful acoustic Folk pop” led by the soulful and rootsy crooner, Erik Urycki. Because their songs are filled with intelligent lyrics underneath complex instrumentation, the band has won Relix Magazine’s JAMOFF!, earned an IMA Award, and received Best Band recognition more than once within their region.
Poster Design & Social Media Cover Photos
Rust Creative develops tour poster concepts and social media marketing materials for the Speedbumps. We derive design concepts and marketing material by listening the the band’s release, then design posters and cover images from those concepts.
Rust Creative has worked continuously with the Speedbumps on concert posters, promo, advertising, and t-shirt designs.
Last Chance Records is a Little Rock, Arkansas-based, independent record label specializing in Americana and indie-rock. They are home to some of our favorite songwriters, including, John Moreland, Tim Easton, American Aquarium, and more.
Website Design, Migration, and SEO re-directs
Last Chance Records asked us to design and develop a website that highlighted the label’s extensive roster of some of Americana music’s most talented songwriters. Their old website was static with sloppy url structure. There were many dead or missing links. LCR already set up an ecommerce solution so we needed to integrate shopping functionality into the new design. Since all orders were handled off-site, we simply added add-to-cart functionality to the new design.
Every artist page needed to have a catalog of their available records through LCR, as well as tour dates, press photos, social media contacts, and contact information.
The Franklin Hotel Bar is an upscale bar nestled away in a storied lower level of the Franklin Hotel in Kent, Ohio. The plush bar features classic cocktails with the freshest ingredients, craft beers, fine wines and delicious small plate food offerings. It’s a perfect spot for a quiet & intimate evening out.
We work continuously with Franklin Hotel Bar on the marketing strategy and graphic design requirements.
Locally sourced food that complements renowned service.
There’s little or no point hiring the services of a catering company if all it provides is mass market produce.
Taproot Catering caters for the individual, sourcing local produce to provide that all-important and unique ‘just-for-me’ experience for all of their customers. Only the finest produce will pass the Taproot Catering test – before it passes your lips.
In a nutshell, Taproot Catering takes the pain out of organizing your important day, night or week – and add the ingredients that are always changing, always different and always sensational.
Developed for the U.S. Special Forces and now optimized for anybody who wants to enhance performance. All-in-one solution for multiple weather types. No dangerous moves required to adapt to changing light. Hands-off solution for changing sunglasses for optimal vision.
Instantaneous electronic Tint-on-Demand lens switch to protect your vision and enhance performance. The internationally patented liquid crystal guest-host technology gives you the ability to change tint from light to dark within 0.1 second, which is faster than any other technology available with the main sunglasses brands.
The world’s fastest tint changing sunglasses. Switches automatically (depending on the surrounding light) in 0.1 second between two different tint stages (S1-S3). Decide how you see the world with a simple push of a button. Threshold for switching in automatic mode can be adjusted by user. Tint can be switched at a touch of a button or automatically through a sensor.
AlphaMicron are pioneers in scientific discovery, research & engineering. They are a high tech research and development company specializing in liquid crystal applications for electronically controllable eyewear, adaptive windows, dimming mirrors, and shutters. AlphaMicron’s technology is already being utilized in digital lenses for ski goggles, motorcycle helmets, auto dimming mirrors in cars and motorcycles, fashion clothing.
PARTA is committed to providing safe, dependable, courteous, and affordable transportation services that help Portage County residents meet their travel needs.
To accomplish this mission, PARTA’s vision is to be the provider of a multimodal alternative transportation network that sustains the region’s economic vitality and air quality, provides mobility and accessibility to all constituencies of the population, and preserves and enhances the region’s quality of life.
We worked with PARTA to design route maps and brochures for Portage County, Ohio.
Label Peelers is one of the United States largest suppliers of ingredients, kits, and equipment for homebrewing and winemaking. We work with Label Peelers on marketing strategies, development, and design.
One of our most successful branding & marketing ideas was to host a “Beer Recipe of the Month” contest. Customers submitted well over 200 recipes. The winner would receive a beer kit with custom branding, with an opportunity to sell the kits directly through LabelPeelers.com.