Armadillo Studios Inc.

The yycPhotobook Launches

It is with big grins that we are proud and extremely pleased to announce the first copies of the “yycPhotobook”:http://www.yycphotobook.com have been published.

As mentioned in a “previous article”:http://blog.armadillostudios.ca/article/yycphotobookcom, Armadillo has been honored to team up with Duncan Kinney (of “yycBlogs”:http://www.yycblogs.com) to design and construct the yycPhotobook. And now that the book is completed, we are even more excited for the upcoming launch party on Sept 18th.

In regards to the actual design process for the book, the yycPhotobook team started by selecting a diverse collection of unique and engaging photos from a group of Calgary photographers. Next, we brainstormed a layout and order that would maximize the impact of each photo. We then assembled the basic skeleton of the book in InDesign using the easy to use templates supplied by”Blurb.com”:http://www.blurb.com. Keeping with the theme of the original web site; The yycPhotobook design utilizes the same crisp aesthetics associated with the minimalist web site. Each photograph in the book is given it’s own page with the author’s accompanying avatar and a short 140 character description of the work. In combination, this ultimately created a unique 40-page book that encompasses Calgary’s distinctive identity.

As mentioned, the yycPhotobook launch party is on *Sept. 18 at Venturion* (214 11th Ave. SE). There will be beer and wine for sale at reasonable prices and some light refreshments. You’ll be able to meet the contributing photographers and get a sneak peek of the book. The book will also be made available to the public through yycPhotobook.com and Blurb.com, on the day of the party.

The Cookingwithfire.com Redesign & Recipe E-Books

The average lifespan for a web site design is roughly 1.5 to 2 years. Due to which, we have seen a bit of an influx of returning clients looking for touch-ups to their site. One such client was Linda Matthie of
of “Cookingwithfire.com”:http://www.cookingwithfire.com.

As one of the original roster of web sites launched during Armadillo’s inaugural year, the first cookingwithfire web site was built as a fairly straight-forward promotional site designed to showcase the company’s line of Mexican inspired cookbooks. It was one of our first web sites built with an integrated corporate newsletter and it was the first e-commerce site we built to use the “e-junkie commerce engine”:http://www.e-junkie.com/?r=5350.

Now, queue the redesign.

The new Cookingwith Fire Redesign has shifted the focus of away from a promotional site complimented by a small online market place, into a fully functional e-commerce web site.

By shifting the navigation from the left-hand side of the site to the top, key navigational information is now located in a more intuitive area. In addition, we have removed some of the unnecessary sidebar content and populated it with direct links to the site’s popular “newsletter articles”:http://www.cookingwithfire.com/bite-your-tongue-when-sharing-these-hot-sauce-tips/, the “existing hardcover product line”:http://www.cookingwithfire.com/the-fire-n-ice-cookbook/ and the “new E-Book Recipe line-up”:http://www.cookingwithfire.com/the-cooking-with-fire-product-line/.

The second aspect of the redesign was to improve the e-commerce interface to coincide with the release of 11 new “Recipe E-Books”:http://www.cookingwithfire.com/the-cooking-with-fire-product-line/. Using the upgraded *E-junkie* platform we were able to enhance the overal shopping experience, keeping users contained within the cookingwithfire environment and the removing the hassle of additional windows. We have also created easy to find *View Cart* buttons on each page and simple links to the iniduval product desctiptions.

We have been honoured to work with Linda and her popular Cookingwithfire brand for the second time in our short history. We’re currently working on implementing a new newsletter service for the next round of e-book recipes, in the hopes of enhancing the web sites reach and awareness.

Seenster Alpha Goes Live

Two weeks ago, the Armadillo Team made the hour trek up to great wilderness of Banff for the latest rendition of “DemoCamp Calgary”:http://barcampcalgary.com/2009/06/03/democampbanff-in-two-days/ at the “nextMedia conference”:http://www.nextmediaevents.com/banff/. The team was up there to support Cameron Rout and the live alpha demo of the “seenster.net”:http://www.seenster.net project.

As the about page describes; *seenster.net* is for independent musicians who bootstrap their efforts on their own dime, the Prolific Compilation Card is a recommendation tool that gives artists the opportunity to get paid for recommending music in real life, at their gigs. *Unlike Last.fm, iTunes, and Myspace our product brings the social music network into Real Life to sell recommendations as a tangible commodity*.

The Armadillo team was proud to help Cameron with design tweaks and some back-end modification to get the product into a live state. In the future we’ll be working together to really enhance the product and get out of the dreaded Alpha state and into the more sensual Beta state.

If you are curious about the project or would like to get involved either follow the “team on twitter”:http://www.twitter.com/seensters or email Cameron directly at “cameronrout@seenster.net”:mailto:cameronrout@seenster.net.

Dynasty Auto Glass Goes Live!

Late last year, the new owners of Dynasty Auto Glass approached Armadillo Studios to develop a new web site for the long standing Calgary icon. They wanted to create a unique online identity, which separated them from their competitors and also embraced their long standing independent status within the community.

So today we are happy to add “Dynasty-autoglass.com”:http://www.dynasty-autoglass.com to the growing list of Armadillo Studio Web sites.

Combining Dynasty’s established branding, Armadillo Studios has developed a unique and bold layout for their new web site. The new web site embraces a retro feel by utilizing fonts that mimic a vintage local dealership and by incorporating Polaroid templates to showcase images of the shop. As an added bonus the design also utilizes Veer’s fantastic “Calgary Script”:http://www.veer.com/products/typedetail.aspx?image=UMT0000326 to give a subtle nod to the local community.

Design wise, the site embraces a simple navigation with an enhanced sidebar, which links directly to the “company’s services”:http://www.dynasty-autoglass.com/dynasty-services/#ag and it’s location on Google maps. We have also moved the layout away from the stereotypical boxy feel, associated with most of their competitor’s web sites, to a rounded aesthetic.

And as an added bonus, Dynasty Auto Glass is offering a *$10 discount on Windshield Replacement* to celebrate the launch. (See the new site for more details)

Now that’s a win-win.

The Enermatix Inc. Redesign

In 2007, Armadillo Studios was approached by the Enermatix consulting firm to develop an online identity and corporate brand. Within a couple of months we had provided a functional web site, a unique logo and the company’s promotional products.

Fast forward to 2009 and Armadillo Studios is happy to continue our relationship with Enermatix Inc. with the “release of their new redesign”:http://www.enermatix.ca.

The initial branding and corporate web site for Enermatix Inc. embraced a vibrant color scheme and a simple navigation, but after a few years it became apparent that the identity needed a small tweak; something to improve the web site’s usability and overall feel.

By inverting the color scheme of the initial web site, the new Enermatix Inc. site embraces a softer and more open feel. By enlarging the text and removing the boxy layout, this new design showcases a more approachable Enermatix Inc.

In addition, we have improved the navigation and placed key informational elements (recent articles, team profiles and contact information) on each page to allow potential clients easier access to the company. Elements of the Enermatix philosophy have also been showcased with graphical blurbs to grab the readers attention. Armadillo Studios has also improved the Search Engine Optimization to garnish a stronger audience for the company.

Armadillo Studios is once again proud to team-up with Enermatix Inc. to help improve the company’s image and to help enhance their bottom line.